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Importing and Exporting Customers

A customer import or export involves having all of your customer information in a CSV file, which can be edited as a spreadsheet. Whether you're moving customers to a particular customer group or adding store credit, exporting and importing customer data is the fastest way to update existing customer information or add new customers in bulk.

 
 

Requirements

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.)

 
 

Exporting Your Customers

1. Go to CustomersExport.

2. Select your export settings.

Export template and File Format Options

  • Template — We recommend Bulk Edit or a custom export template.
  • File Format — You can export your file as a CSV (recommended) or XML. You can only re-import CSV files, not XML or any other file type.
  • Save export to the server for later download? — Select this option to save the file to your exports folder in WebDAV (recommended for exporting 1000+ customers).

3. Click Continue, then click Export my customers to a CSV file.

Export Customers pop-up

4. When the file is ready for download, click the download link.

Download customer export pop-up

 
 

Choosing an Export Template

An export template determines specifically what customer information you're exporting. All export templates will include details like the customer's name and email address, but you can get more granular about other details. For a full list of exportable information, see the table of Exportable Fields.

BigCommerce comes with a few customer export templates built in:

  • Bulk Edit (recommended) — The bulk edit template was made for updating your customer information. It includes the majority of exportable fields, and has specifically named columns that let you skip steps in the importing process.
  • Default — The default template includes only basic product details such as name, weight, description and price.

You can also create your own custom export template and select which of the exportable fields you want it to include.

 
 

Creating a Custom Export Template

Customizing your template is the best way to ensure your customer export has exactly what you want. You can build an export template from scratch or customize a copy of one to suit your needs.

We recommend using a copy of the Bulk Edit template and modifying it for your needs. This will let you bypass the settings and field mapping when you go to re-import it later.

To start, go to Advanced SettingsExport Templates. Use the Action menu to Create a Copy of the Bulk Edit template.

View Export Templates

Type a name for your template in the Template Details section and since this template will be for customers, ensure Enable Customers Exporting? is the only option selected under Export Options. Notice that the tabs listed along the top update with your selections.

Customer export option

Customize the rest of the template settings to fit your needs. When you're ready, click the Customers tab at the top to view the available export fields.

Customer export fields

Go through and check or uncheck each field as needed. Click Save & Exit when you have made your changes. You can now export your data using your new template.

Exporting customers using the customized template

 
 

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

 

Pro Tip! 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

 
 

Exportable/Importable Fields

Below is a table of all customer attributes that are exportable via a CSV. The majority of these fields are included when using the Bulk Edit export template. See Custom Export Template Fields for a list of fields that do not appear in the Bulk Edit template but can be added to a custom export template.

FieldDescriptionExample
Email AddressThe customer's email addressjohn.smith@email.com
First NameThe customer's first nameJohn
Last NameThe customer's last nameSmith
CompanyThe company, if the customer orders on behalf of a businessAcme, Inc.
PhoneCustomer's phone number555-555-5555
NotesYour notes about the customerCustomer is tax-exempt
Store CreditUse this to apply store credit for the customer to use when shopping. (This will allow the customer to pay with store credit.)50 (uses your default currency; e.g. 50 = $50 if you are using USD)
Customer GroupAssigned customer group if using the Customer Group featureRetail
AddressesContains the following fields:
Address IDThe unique system-created ID for the addressNumber
Address First NameThe first name associated with a particular addressSarah Jane
Address Last NameThe last name associated with a particular addressSmith
Address CompanyThe company associated with a particular addressAcme, Inc.
Address Line 1The first line with an address; normally contains street and house/housing complex number123 Main St
Address Line 2The second line with an address; normally contains care of information and unit or building numberApartment 201
City/SuburbThe address' city or suburbAustin
State/ProvinceThe address' state or provinceTexas
Zip/PostcodeThe address zip or postal code78726
CountryThe address countryUnited States
Address PhoneThe phone number associated with that address555-555-5555
Address Form FieldsIf you created address form fields, your customers' responses will be included hereQuestion: Where did you hear about us? Response: Online ad
   
Form FieldsIf you created form fields, your customers' responses will be included hereQuestion: Where did you hear about us? Response: Online ad
Receive ACS/Review emailsRecords whether the client opted in or out of receiving product review requests or abandoned cart saver emails1 = Yes, 0 = No

Manually Added Fields

These fields are not exported in the Bulk Edit export template by default but can be added to a custom export template.

FieldDescriptionExample
Customer IDThe system-created unique ID for the customerNumber
Customer NameThe customer's first and last nameJohn Smith
Date JoinedThe date the customer account was created10/15/2017
Address: Address NameThe full name associated with a particular address, can be different from the customer placing the orderSarah Jane Smith
Address: State AbbreviationThe abbreviated form of the address' state or provinceTX
Address: Building TypeThe address building type (commercial or residential). Used for shipping purposes.Residential or Commercial
OrdersThe number of orders the customer has placed (exportable only)2
Tax Exempt CategoryOnly used if you have linked your paid Avalara account.See tax-exempt category code
 

Pro Tip! 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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