A Complete Guide to Shopify Customer Import

- Shopify

Shopify customer import

Welcome to our guide to Shopify customer import. If you have a customer list that you want to use in Shopify, you’ve come to the right place. If you want to export a customer list, edit it, and then re-import it to your e-commerce website, you will find out how to do that below. It is also possible to use a customer CSV template to build a new customer list. You will lern that below. 

Like every data transfer, Shopify customer import starts with a CSV template. After exploring its components, we proceed to the default import procedure. In addition to that, you will learn how to import customers to Shopify with the help of our Import & Export Tool. Without any further delay, let’s get started. 

Shopify Customer Import Prerequisites

Below, you will learn where to get a sample CSV with customer data suitable for Shopify. We not only provide a corresponding link but also describe each column header. In addition to that, you will also find a list of other Shopify customer import nuances in this chapter.

Shopify Customer Import Template

You can download and view a Shopify customer CSV template in our Google Sheets table here: Shopify Customer Import Spreadsheet. Use it as a guide to create your customer list that you can import to your e-commerce website. 

Shopify customer import template

The template includes the following two customer profiles:

  • John Doe is a customer with an email address and a shipping address.
  • Jane Doe is a customer with an email address and a phone number.

Let’s see what information each column contains.

Shopify Customers CSV Described

Below, you can see a full description of the Shopify customer import template:

Column Description Additional Comments Example
Customer ID A unique identifier assigned to a customer. 7376666230965
First Name The customer’s first name. Jane
Last Name The customer’s last name. Doe 
Email The customer’s email address.  This column is required, but the value can be blank. jane.doe@shopify.com
Default Address Company The name of the company associated with the customer’s default address. 123 Fake Street
Default Address Address1 The first line of the customer’s default address. 123 Fake Street
Default Address Address2 The second line of the customer’s default address. 123 Fake Street
Default Address City The city of the customer’s default address. Ottawa
Default Address Province Code The province or state of the customer’s default address. ISO code. ON
Default Address Country Code The country of the customer’s default address. ISO code. CA
Default Address Zip The postal or zip code of the customer’s default address. a1b2c3
Default Address Phone The phone number of the customer’s default address. +1 (613) 333-3333
Phone The customer’s phone number. +1 (613) 555-5555
Accepts Email Marketing Sets whether or not the customer agrees to subscribe to email marketing, such as a newsletter.  Valid entries are yes or no. no
Accepts SMS Marketing Sets whether or not the customer agrees to subscribe to SMS marketing, such as discount offers.  Valid entries are yes or no. yes
Tags A comma-separated list of tags used to tag the customer.  Tags are not case-sensitive. You create a customer segment based on tags. tag1,tag2,tag3
Note Additional information about the customer. Very nice customer.
Tax Exempt Indicates whether the customer is tax-exempt.  Valid entries are yes or no. yes
Total Spent The customer’s total amount spent.  This column isn’t imported with customer details. 300
Total Orders The customer’s total number of orders.  This column isn’t imported with customer details. 2

Other Aspects of Shopify Customer Import 

Also, it is important to keep the following considerations in mind, when working with a Shopify customer import CSV:

  • Your CSV file must be in UTF-8 format.
  • The first line of your customer CSV table must include the column headers like in the example above. Note that these headers aren’t case-sensitive.
  • The Email column is required. Although it must be present, the value can be blank. In case the column is missing, you receive an error when you import customers to Shopify.
  • If you overwrite an existing customer with customer data with the same email address or phone number, all of your customer data stored in the admin is replaced with the data from a CSV file.
  • Any customers from a CSV with duplicate email addresses or phone numbers are skipped during an import. Only the last profile with the duplicated email address or phone number is imported. Delete all the email addresses and phone numbers from the CSV file to import customers that previously had duplicate email addresses or phone numbers. You can add the email addresses or phone numbers to the customer profiles later manually or merge these customer profiles.
  • While you can export the Total Spent and Total Orders columns from Shopify, they aren’t imported with customer details. Shopify only tracks what customers order and spend on your online store.
  • Shopify lets you import customer CSV files that are not larger than 15 MB. Use multiple CSVs to get around this limitation.
  • It is impossible to migrate customer passwords from another store via a CSV file. After importing customer data to Shopify, invite your customers to create new passwords.
  • It is possible to use additional columns in your CSV file that represent certain metafields that exist in your Shopify admin.
    After you create a metafield in Shopify, add a column to your CSV file that matches the customer.metafields.namespace.key from your metafield definition. For instance, to import the standard Birth date metafield, use this column title in your Shopify customer import CSV: customer.metafields.facts.birth_date.
    You can import and export the following meta field types:

    • Boolean (boolean);
    • Date (date);
    • Date and time (date_time);
    • Integer (number_integer);
    • Decimal (number_decimal);
    • Single line text (single_line_text_field).
  • It is impossible to import order information via a Shopify customer import CSV.

How to Import Customers to Shopify

Below, we explore two different ways of importing customers to Shopify. First of all, you will learn where a default data import procedure takes place and how it looks. Next, we describe how to import customers to Shopify with lots of additional features and benefits, including support for Excel files and Google Sheets integration.

Shopify’s Default Customer Import

Follow these steps to import customers to Shopify via a CSV file: 

  1. Proceed to Admin -> Customers and click Import.
    Shopify customer import: customers screen
  2. Click Add file and pick your Shopify customer import CSV.
    default Shopify customer import : select file
  3. Check Overwrite existing customers that have the same email or phone number to update any existing customer profiles.
  4. Check Add tags to customers in this csv and use these tags to create a segment to create a segment and tag the customers from your CSV list.
  5. Click Import customers.
    default Shopify customer import

That’s it! What are the downsides of this process? Let’s see: 

  • You cannot automate customer import to Shopify.
  • You are bound to CSV files and manual uploads.
  • You cannot import customers from third-party systems. 

Luckily, there is a tool that lets you fix these and multiple other issues associated with the standard Shopify customer import.  

Shopify Customer Import with Import & Export Tool

The Import& Export Tool by Firebear introduces the following 5 steps of customer import to Shopify:

Step 1: Create A Customer Import Profile

You can create a new import profile for customers under Apps -> Firebear Import & Export Tool -> Import. Click the “New Profile” button.

Shopify customer import: add new profile

Step 2: Select Customer Import CSV

The “Select File” screen displays. You have numerous options when it comes to file formats and sources. We describe the Shopify customer import from a file since it is the most common way to import data. Follow these steps to apply the necessary configurations:

  1. Specify your profile name, such as Shopify Customer Import.
  2. Choose the entity – Customers.
  3. If needed, set up a schedule of updates to automate regular Shopify customer imports.
  4. Configure email notifications if necessary. You can get near real-time updates for failed, successful, or both types of import processes. It is a good addition to scheduled imports.
  5. Select your file format as “CSV”. Note that our app also lets you import customers to Shopify using CSV, XML, XLSX files, and Google Sheets spreadsheets.
  6. Opt for File as the import source of your customer update. Browse the file with customer data modified according to the requirements mentioned above and select it. Also, it is possible to import customers to Shopify over FTP, from a direct URL, out of your Google Drive storage, or from a Google Sheets spreadsheet.
  7. Specify separators if your update contains unusual separators. You can also use the Auto Detect delimiter feature to let your app detect the delimiters used in your customer update.
  8. Click “Continue” to proceed to the mapping screen. 

Shopify customer import: select file

Note that the app will inform you in the case of an unsupported link.

Step 3: Configure Mapping for Third-Party Customer Import

On the mapping screen, indicate which columns from the imported file should match the properties of customers in your Shopify store. If your Google Sheets update doesn’t align with Shopify requirements, replace unsupported column names with suitable ones. Thus, you will enable third-party customer data import to Shopify.

Shopify customer import mapping

Click “Continue” to proceed to the next step. 

Step 4: Preview Results of Shopify Customer Import

The app provides a preview of the customer data you are about to transfer to Shopify. Here, you can spot any mistakes or inconsistencies, and return to previous steps to address them.

Shopify customer import: preview results

Step 5: Import Customer Data to Shopify

Finally, click the “Save” button to save your Shopify customer import profile. When you’re ready to import, click the “Import” button. The app will initiate the data transfer.

Shopify customer import

For more detailed information on how to import and export data in Shopify, refer to our “Improved Import & Export Tool Manual.”

Shopify Customer Import FAQ

How to import your Shopify customer data to Google Ads?

Numerous third-party apps let you import data from Shopify to Google Ads. You can also use the Import & Export Tool for this purpose. Export customers from your e-commerce website and import the output to Google Ads. Note that you can do that regularly due to the automation our app provides. Alternatively, it is possible to provide data in various file formats. And what’s even more important, you can replace the standard Shopify attributes with any attributes that Google Ads requires right in the export profile of our app. Read the manual for further information.

How to automate Shopify customer import?

You can use the Import & Export Tool to automatically import customers to Shopify. The app provides the ability to create a schedule of updates, importing customer data regularly in the background.

How to import customers to Shopify from Google Sheets?

Use the Import & Export Tool to import Shopify customers from Google Sheets. Select Google Sheets as your file format and specify this platform as your file source. Next, paste a link to a spreadsheet with customer data. That’s it. Now, you need to configure a standard import profile to transfer customers to Shopify from Google Sheets.

How to import customers to Shopify from Excel?

Since the Import & Export Tool supports XLSX files, you can import customers to Shopify from Excel. Just select XLSX as your file format and File as your file source. Navigate to your XLSX file with customer data and select it. Next, configure a standard import profile to transfer customers to Shopify from Excel.

How to import customers to Shopify from third-party systems?

If you migrate from an external platform to Shopify, you will need the Import & Export Tool to transfer your customer data. The app provides the ability to replace all third-party column names with the names used in Shopify on the mapping screen. Create a new profile, select your file type and source, provide a data file, and let our app detect all column headers. Next, specify names Shopify uses instead of unsupported headers. Now, you can import third-party customer data to Shopify.

Final Words

As you can see, Shopify customer import is an intuitive process supported in Shopify by default. You just need to navigate to the Customers screen and provide a CSV file. If a more complex process is required, consider the Import & Export Tool your best way to import customers to Shopify. Follow these link to get the free app and leverage it for Shopify customer import:

Get Import & Export Tool for Shopify