Product Automation Overview

Explains common uses for product automation, the two types available, how ShipStation identifies products, and how to create product records.

Product Automation is the first type of automation ShipStation applies to orders after they import into or are created in the Awaiting Shipment status.

Product Automation applies to an order based on what product is included in the order.

To use Product Automation, you must have product records in your ShipStation account.

If you are a new ShipStation user and do not yet have product records in ShipStation, review the Create Product Records section below to learn how you can create product records in your ShipStation account.

If you already have product records in ShipStation, review the Product Automation: Defaults and Product Automation: Preset Groups articles to learn about the two ways you can use product automation in ShipStation.

Common Uses for Product Automation

Some of the common uses for product automation include:

  • Setting the order weight

  • Entering package dimensions (for single item orders only)

  • Selecting a service and package type (for single item orders only)

  • Entering customs information

  • Defining the SKU used for FBA or Shipwire

  • Tagging orders with special requirements

Types of Product Automation

There are two types of product automation:

Product Defaults

The details set within each product record are considered the product's default settings.

ShipStation automatically applies the defaults to orders that contain the product.

Preset Groups

Default shipment and customs declaration settings that can be applied to multiple product records at once. Preset Groups are ideal if you ship many of your products the same way every time.

Create a single preset group with the desired shipping and customs declarations settings, then assign specific products to that group. ShipStation will automatically apply the group defaults to each order that contains a product that is part of the group.

Multi-item and Multi-quantity Orders

A product's defaults only apply to orders when the product represents the entirety of the order. Product defaults will not apply to multi-item orders.

Additionally, some defaults will not apply to multi-quantity orders.

Review the Product Automation: Defaults article for more details on the specific product defaults.

Product Automation Demo Video

Watch this demo video to learn about using Product Defaults and Preset Groups.


How does ShipStation identify products?

However your orders end up in ShipStation, ShipStation will check the items in the order and try to match them to existing product records in your ShipStation account.

If ShipStation matches an item to a product record, then ShipStation applies the product automation for that product to the order.

If no match is found, no product automation applies (though service mapping or automation rules could still apply).

ShipStation uses either the product SKU or name to identify the product, depending on the settings for the store the order belongs to. By default, ShipStation identifies products by their SKU.

To adjust how ShipStation identifies products, go to Settings > Selling Channels > Store Setup, and Edit the store. In the Products tab, choose to identify products by SKU or name.

Create Product Records

Before you can use Product Automation, you must have product records. This section describes how product records are created in ShipStation.

How are product records created?

There are three ways in which product records can be created in ShipStation:


ShipStation creates product records when orders import into, or are created in, ShipStation.


You can manually add products to ShipStation in the Products tab.

CSV Import

You can import product records in bulk from a CSV file by using the Import option in the Products tab.

Passive Product Creation

ShipStation automatically creates new product records as orders are created within a store. This setting is enabled by default in each of your store's settings Products tab.

When enabled, ShipStation creates new product records any time an order imports and contains a product that does not already exist in your ShipStation account. The product record that is created will include the product SKU and product name sent in the order.

If you do not want ShipStation to automatically create product records, go to Settings > Selling Channels > Store Setup, and Edit the store. Within the Products tab of the store settings, you can enable or disable the setting to create new products.


This setting only controls whether or not ShipStation creates new product records for imported orders if the product records do not already exist. It has no effect on automation processes for products that already exist.

Manual Product Creation

CSV Product Creation

If you have a large number of products to create, you can create them in bulk by importing a CSV file with your product information.