How customer records are created by ShipStation and how to import customer records with a CSV file.
ShipStation creates Customer Records when orders import, as long as either an email address or username is present on the order.
When ShipStation imports orders from your store or marketplace, it will check the customer in the order against your account's existing customer database to update the customer history. If no customer record exists, ShipStation creates a new customer record.
ShipStation will use the customer's username, id number, or email address to identify the customer, depending on what is received from the order's source. For example, ShipStation identifies eBay customers based on the eBay username, but will identify Shopify customers based on the Shopify's internal customer id number. Whichever field we use, ShipStation stores the value as Username .
ShipStation uses the order's Ship To address information in the customer record. If a new order for the same customer imports into ShipStation and is using a different address, ShipStation will update the customer record to match the new order.
You cannot currently modify the address for a customer record created by a store import. Only a new order importing from the same store can update the customer record.
There are two other ways to add customer records within ShipStation:
Add customers with manual orders
Import customers via CSV file
Using MailChimp in ShipStation
If you use MailChimp, our MailChimp integration automatically creates new MailChimp email subscribers when new orders are imported.
In ShipStation, go to Settings > Integrations > Integration Partners > MailChimp to learn more.
When you create a manual order, either using the New Order button in the Orders tab or an Order CSV import, ShipStation will check the customer in the order against the existing customer database to update the customer history.
New Order Button
When using this method, the manual order must include an email address for ShipStation to link the order to an existing customer or create a new customer record.
CSV Order Import
If you're performing a CSV Order Import, you will need to map a field in your CSV file to the Buyer Username during the import process for ShipStation to link the order to an existing customer or create a new customer record.
The most common way to do this is to include both an Email Address field and a Username field. Then, enter the email address for your customer into both fields. You'll then map that field to the Buyer Username field during the order import process (pictured below). Then, proceed with your order import normally.
For either method, ShipStation will create a new customer record along with the new order (or update an existing customer record if that customer already exists in your account's customer database).
ShipStation will store the order's Ship To address information in the customer record. If a new order for the same customer is created in ShipStation with a different address, ShipStation will update the customer record to match the new order.
You can modify customer records created by the manual orders process by using the Customer CSV Import process described in the next section.
No Customer Export from Customers Tab
You cannot export a customer list from the Customer's tab. However, you can use the Raw Data Exports from the Insights Reports to export a list of your customer records from ShipStation.
If you need access to your entire backlog of customer records (for example, to easily create a label for a call-in order), you can import those records into ShipStation using a specially formatted CSV file. All customers created in this way will be listed under the Manual ShipStation marketplace.
You can also update existing customer records by importing the specially formatted CSV file. However, ShipStation will only update customer records created under the Manual ShipStation marketplace when using this method, not customer records created by a connected selling channel or marketplace.
CSV Import Replaces Existing Fields
If you update existing customer records with this process, be sure your CSV file contains all the information you need for your customer records.
The CSV import process will replace the data in ShipStation with the data from the CSV. This means if you have a blank cell in the CSV for a field that currently contains data in ShipStation, the CSV import will overwrite that data with a null value and that data will no longer be available in ShipStation.
Troubleshooting Import Issues
Read our CSV Import Troubleshooting and Tips article if you encounter difficulty with your Customer CSV file.