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Importing Customers

Importing your customers is the fastest way to add or update their information in bulk. A customer import involves having all of your customer information in a CSV file, which can be edited as a spreadsheet. Upon import, your column headers will be matched with their corresponding customer fields in BigCommerce, and the customer information will be updated accordingly.

Creating an Import Template

Whether you are adding new customers or updating your existing customers, we recommend exporting your customers using the Bulk Edit template. This template will provide you with the same column headers used by BigCommerce, which will streamline the update process. You can also create a custom import template by making a copy of the Bulk Edit template.

The following fields are required when adding or updating your customers.

  • Email Address — no two can be the same. A customer’s account can only be assigned to one at a time.
  • First Name — customer's first name
  • Last Name — customer’s last name

Did you know? Abbreviations will cause an address failure at checkout. If entering a customer’s address information, the state or province must be spelled out, not abbreviated. (For example, use California, not CA.)

Importing Your Customers

The steps below will guide you through importing your customers into BigCommerce.

Before beginning, make sure that you have a backup (an unedited Bulk Edit export) of your customers so that you can put things back to how they were should things go awry.

1. Go to CustomersImport.

2. If you exported your file using the Bulk Edit template, check Bulk Edit Re-import, which selects the recommended settings and automatically configures the Match Import Fields step.

Bulk edit re-import settings


Did you know? If you do not use the Bulk Edit template column names, you will need to match your CSV's columns to their corresponding fields.

3. Under the File Details section next to Import File, upload your CSV file directly from your computer by browsing to it.

Import file details

Attempting to upload too large a file can cause the import to fail. If your file is larger than 512 MB, try breaking it up into smaller files.

4. You can typically leave the additional File Details settings alone. They are used if you are uploading a non-spreadsheet CSV and need to specify the import settings.

  • Use a file already on the server — If you have a larger file or a slow internet connection, you can connect to WebDAV and save your file to the import_files folder, then select this option. Files can be up to 512 MB.
  • Contains Headers? — Does the file contain column headings?
  • Field Separator — In non-spreadsheet CSVs, what punctuation is used to separate the fields?
  • Field Enclosure — In non-spreadsheet CSVs, what punctuation is used to tie phrases together (e.g. "Socks and Shoes")?

5. Click Next when done.

6. Click Next when done.

7. Click Start Import when ready to begin importing your products.

Start import button

When the import is complete, you will see an import summary.

Import summary report

If there was an issue when importing, click More Information to see any errors generated during the import.


Be careful! If a customer is imported without a password, they will need to go through the password reset process.

Matching Import Fields

Next, to Match (field), select your CSV's corresponding column name from the drop-down. You do not need to match every column, but you must match the required columns.

Matching import fields

Table of Importable Fields

Below is a table of all fields that are importable via the CSV. The field names are those used in the Bulk Edit Template. Fields in bold are required.

You can create a Password column to import customer passwords. During the Match Import Fields, you will have to match the Password field with the Password column manually. Passwords are not exportable.

FieldColumn in Excel (Bulk Edit)DescriptionFormat
Email addressAYour customer’s email address; no two can be the same, and a customer’s account can only be assigned to one at a
First NameBYour customer's first nameText
Last NameCYour customer’s last nameText
CompanyDYour customer's company (if business order)Text
PhoneEYour customer's phone numberNumeric
NotesFYour notes about the customerText
Store CreditGThe amount of [store credit] you want the customer to have available 
Customer GroupHThe [customer group] to which the customer is assignedName of customer group
Address ID - 1IThe system-generated ID for an address in the customer's address book 
Address First Name - 1JThe first name that appears in the saved addressText
Address Last Name - 1KThe last name that is displayed in the saved addressText
Address Company - 1LThe company (if any) listed in the saved addressText
Address Line 1 - 1MThe first address line in the saved addressE.g. 1234 Main St
Address Line 2 - 1NThe second address line in the saved addressE.g. Apt. #3
Address City - 1OThe city in the saved addressE.g. Austin
Address State - 1PThe state in the saved addressMust be spelled out – E.g. Texas (not TX)
Address Zip - 1QThe zip or postal code in the saved addressE.g. 78787
Address Country - 1RThe country in the saved addressE.g. United States
Address Phone - 1SThe phone number associated with the saved addressE.g. 555-555-5555 (can be any format)
PasswordManually enteredYour customer’s password; you can import passwords but not export themAlphanumeric
Tax Exempt CategoryManually enteredOnly used if you have linked your paid Avalara accountAlphanumeric
Receive Review/Abandoned Cart Emails?BAShould marketing emails such as product review requests be sent to this customer?1 (Yes), 0 (No)

You can add additional addresses by changing the 1 in the column (e.g. Address First Name - 1) to 2 or more. All addresses will appear in the customer's address book, but there is no distinction between billing or shipping addresses

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