Automation Rules

Explains what automation rules are and how to access and create them. Includes details about the available criteria and actions used in rules, and troubleshooting tips.

Automation rules can help automate many order management related tasks in ShipStation to reduce the time it takes to create labels.

For a demonstration, watch our video tutorial on automation rules.

ShipStation University Automation Course

If learning by doing is more your style, take the ShipStation University Automation course. The lesson videos will show you how to use the three different types of automation in ShipStation: Product Automation, Service Mapping, and Automation Rules.

What are Automation Rules?

Automation Rules tell ShipStation to apply certain actions to order that meet the criteria set in the rule. When orders that meet the criteria import into ShipStation, these rules cause ShipStation to automatically perform the action set in the rule. They save you time and take numerous actions that you would otherwise perform manually.

Automation Rules apply as the third and final automated process that applies to orders when they import into ShipStation (after Product Automation and Service Mapping). You may fine-tune your customization with Automation Rules more so than with other automated processes.

Additionally, consider the standard Default Confirmation rule ShipStation includes for all new accounts. Or create a highly specialized rule that only applies to a small subset of orders and changes multiple shipping options.

Use a rule to specify at least one criterion and one action, like these example rules that handle weight, residential orders, and order tags. Thus, you could create a simple automation rule that affects all orders and only changes one thing, or create automation rules can target only specific orders by using multiple criteria, like in this example.

When does automation apply to orders?

Automation applies to orders when one of the following occurs:

  • An order imports into ShipStation in the Awaiting Shipment status or an order is created in the Awaiting Shipment status.

  • An order that imported or was created in the Awaiting Payment or On Hold status updates to the Awaiting Shipment status.

  • You click the Reprocess Automation Rules button.

If an order imports to, or is created in, either the Shipped or Cancelled status, then automation will not run on that order unless you manually Restore it to Awaiting Shipment and click the Reprocess Automation Rules button.

Need Help Troubleshooting Your Automation Rules?

Visit our Troubleshooting Automation Rules article for details on how to troubleshoot rules that do not apply as expected.

Restore

Access Automation Rules

Any ShipStation user with Administrator or Configuration user permissions can access, edit, and delete automation rules.

From the Automation Rules page, you can:

  • View all existing automation rules on your account

  • Create new automation rules

  • Edit existing automation rules

  • Re-organize the order in which rules apply (using click-and-drag)

  • Delete existing rules

  • Reprocess Automation Rules

Create New Rules

Change a Rule

If you ever need to change the criteria or actions for a rule or de-activate it, click Edit next to the rule in the Automation Rules settings window.

About Rule Criteria

Think of automation rules like if/then statements. The criteria for a rule will be the IF portion of the statement.

Criteria: Single

Automation Rules showing a single criteria selected

This statement says, "IF the Marketplace Equals Shopify..."

There are many criteria options and some let you choose more than one value. If the criterion you select allows you to choose multiple values (like stores), they are treated like OR statements.

Criteria: Multiple Stores

Shows multiple options on a single criteria to demonstrate the "OR" rule

This statement says, "IF the Marketplace Equals Amazon OR Shopify..."

Similarly, some criteria require you to type the value. If you need the criteria to look for multiple different values, separate them with a semicolon (;) and ShipStation will treat them as OR statements.

Criteria: Multiple Cities

Shows two city names in the field separated with a semicolon

This statement says, "IF the City Equals Austin OR San Antonio..."

Lastly, you can add additional criteria to the rule, and each individual criteria line is an AND statement.

Criteria: Store AND City

Shows two criteria to demonstrate the "AND" rule

This statement says, "IF the Marketplace Equals Shopify AND the City Equals Austin..."

About Actions

Again, think of Automation Rules as if/then statements. The actions are the THEN portion of the statement.

Action: Single

A single action set on an automation rule

This action says, "...THEN Add an Internal Note 'Call customer before shipping'"

Just like with criteria, you can have multiple different actions in a single automation rule, and each individual action would be an AND statement.

Action: Multiple

Shows two actions in the automation rules window to demonstrate combo actions

This action says, "...THEN Set International Non-Delivery to Treat as Abandoned AND Set Customs Content Type to Gift."

Apply Rules in a Specific Order

If you need your rules to apply in a certain order, click and drag a rule to adjust its position in the list.

Automation rules in ShipStation run in descending order, so the rule at the top of the list will run first, and the rule at the bottom of the list will run last. This also means you can create a series of rules that depend on criteria set by actions in a previous rule!

Available Criteria

Criteria

Description

# of Line Items

The number of unique line items in the order - not to be confused with Total Quantity.

Address Line 1

The first line of the address

Address Line 2

The second line of the address

Address Verified

The address verification system processed the address and returned a “Verified”, “Warning”, or “Error” status.

Amount Paid

The amount paid by the customer

Assigned User

The specific user assigned to this order

Buyer ID

Customer identifier imported from the marketplace - typically the username or email address.

Customer

The name of the customer (formerly "Buyer Name")

Carrier

Carrier and/or Postage Provider

City

“Ship To” city

Country

“Ship To” country

Custom Field 1

Refers to the Custom Fields within an order. Data can equal, contain, start with, end with, or be blank

Custom Field 2

Custom Field 3

Date Paid

The date the payment was made

Gift Order

Is the "This is a gift" option checked in the order?

Internal Notes

Data can equal, contain, start with, end with, or be blank

Item Name

The name of the order item.

Note: Automation Rules using Item Name as criteria will not apply to orders that have more than one line item in the order. Because of this, we recommend adding tags to your product records and using the product tag as automation criteria.

Item SKU

The SKU of the order item.

Note: Automation Rules using Item SKU as criteria will not apply to orders that have more than one line item in the order. Because of this, we recommend adding tags to your product records and using the product tag as automation criteria.

Marketplace

The marketplace the order imports from

Notes to the Buyer

Refers to the Notes fields within an order. Data can equal, contain, start with, end with, or be blank

Notes from Buyer

Order #

The Order Number as displayed in ShipStation

Order Date

The date the order was placed

Order Subtotal

The cost of the order prior to calculating customer’s shipping charge and taxes

Order Tags

Tags that have been added to the order

Order Total

The cost of the order, including shipping fees and taxes

Package

The package type selected for the order

Payment Method

How was this order paid for? Credit card, C.O.D., etc

Postal Code

“Ship To” postal code

Recipient Company

“Ship To” company name

Recipient Name

“Ship To” recipient name

Requested Service (Mapped)

The carrier/service/package the requested service has been mapped to in ShipStation

Requested Service (Marketplace Value)

The carrier/service/package that the customer selected for the order during checkout

Residential / Commercial

Address has been verified as residential or commercial

Ship By Date

The already-defined Ship By Date from the marketplace

Shipping Account

Which Shipping Account is defined - ‘My Account’, 'Third Party’, or ‘Recipient’?

Shipping Paid

The shipping cost paid by the customer

Source

The original source of the order when importing orders from a Shopping Cart, Inventory Solution, etc.

State

“Ship To” state

Store

The store the order imported from

Tax Paid

The tax amount paid by the customer

Total Quantity

Total number of items in order

Total Weight

Total order weight

USPS Zone

USPS Zone based on Ship From and Recipient postal codes

Ship From Location

The defined Ship From location

Warehouse Location

The Warehouse Location outlined in the product defaults for the order item.

Note: Automation Rules using Warehouse Location as criteria will not apply to orders that have more than one line item in the order. Because of this, we recommend adding tags to your product records and using the product tag as automation criteria.

Notes About Automation Criteria

Automation Criteria

Description

Address Verified

There is not currently a way to select multiple values for this criterion in a single line.

If you want automation to apply when an address is verified as a Warning or an Error, you must have two automation rules - one for each value.

Item Specific

Automation rules using the Item NameItem SKU, and Warehouse Location criteria options will only apply to orders containing a single unique line item (the quantity of that line item does not matter).

Even if every product in the order matches the criteria, the automation rule will be skipped if there is more than one unique line item.

If you need automation based on an ordered product, regardless of other products in the order, create a tag for the product, tag the product record in ShipStation with that tag, and use the tag as the criteria instead.

See the FAQ article, How do I create Automation Rules for Multi-product Orders? for more details.

Order Tags

If you select multiple tags as the value in a single criteria line, then the rule will apply when any of the selected tags are on the order.

If you only want the rule to apply if all tags are present, each tag should have its own criteria line.

Available Automation Actions

Action

Description

Add an Internal Note…

Adds notes to the Internal field in the order.

Add Note to the Buyer…

Adds notes to the to Buyer field in the order

Adjust the Order Weight…

Adds a specific amount to the order weight based on what you select in the rule setup.

Assign to a user…

Assigns the order to a designated user in the ShipStation account.

Bill Int’l Duties to Payor of Shipping Charges

Marks the duties of the order to be billed to the shipper instead of the recipient (check with your carrier to find out how they will bill those charges)

Charge Shipping to 3rd Party…

Designates a third-party account as the payor of shipping charges (this option requires the shipping service to have already been applied to the order)

Charge Shipping to My Account…

Designates your pre-selected shipping account as the payor of the shipping charges.

Collect Payment on Delivery (C.O.D.)...

Applies the Cash On Delivery (C.O.D.) option to the order (not supported by all carriers)

Create an Alert…

Creates an order alert with customized information

Do Not Notify Marketplace of Shipment

Prevents ShipStation from sending the Marketplace Notification

Do Not Prepay Postage (Endicia Only)

Automatically selects “Do Not Prepay Postage” from Other Shipping Options for the matched order

Don’t Import the Order

Removes the order from ShipStation and prevents future imports of the same order from that selling channel connection.

Enable Saturday Delivery (UPS / FedEx)

Automatically selects “Saturday Delivery” from Other Shipping Options for the matched order

Enable Shipper Release (UPS only)

Automatically selects “Driver may release package without signature” in Other Shipping Options for the matched order

Hold the Order for…

Places matched order on hold for a specific number of days

Hold Until…

Places match order on hold until a specific date

Include a Return Label with the Outbound Label

Generates a return label when the outbound label is created

Insure the Package…

Automatically assigns a specific insurance provider to the matched order

Mark Shipment(s) as “Non-Machinable”

Automatically marks the matched order as “Non-Machinable” (typically results in a surcharge).

Request Confirmation…

Assigns a specific confirmation type to the order

Send an email…

Sends an email to designated email addresses when the rule runs.

When in trial, you must contact the ShipStation Support team to have this action enabled for your account.

Set Carrier/Service/Package…

Assigns a Carrier/Service/Package to the matched order

Set Custom Field 1…

Adds a note to Custom Field 1.

Set Custom Field 2…

Adds a note to Custom Field 2.

Set Custom Field 3…

Adds a note to Custom Field 3.

Set Customs Content Type…

Assigns the content type of your order’s customs declarations

Set Declaration Statement (FedEx only)

Sets declaration statement that will be used on customs documents for FedEx international shipment.

Set Fulfillment Provider…

Selects the Fulfillment Provider and offers the option to automatically send the order to that provider.

Set International Non-Delivery…

Selects the action that should be taken when an international shipment cannot be delivered

Set Package Dimensions…

Sets the length, width, and height of your order

Set Ship By Date

Sets the Ship By Date in your Order

Set Ship From Location…

Sets the Ship From Location in your order

Set the Dry Ice Weight (UPS / FedEx)

Sets the Dry Ice Weight in the order. Does not alter the order's weight.

Set the Order as Containing Alcohol (FedEx)

Automatically selects “This order includes alcohol” in Other Shipping Options for the matched order

Set the Order as Containing Dry Ice (UPS / FedEx)

Selects that the order includes dry ice, but does not set the weight

Set the Total Order Weight…

Defines the total weight of the order (different from Adjust Order Weight)

Show Postage Paid on the Label

Displays the price of the postage on the label for the matched order

Stop Processing Rules for the Order

Stops any automation rules that follow this rule from running on that order

Use a specific Packing Slip…

Assigns a selected packing slip to the matched order

Use email template for Delivery Notification…

Assigns a selected email delivery template to the matched order

Use email template for Shipment Notification…

Assigns a selected email shipment confirmation template to the matched order

Notes About Automation Actions

Action

Description

Note Actions

If your store sends Internal Note, Custom Field #1, Custom Field #2, or Custom Field #3 to ShipStation, an action that sets the same note field will override the note imported from the store.

However, if the store refreshes and includes the same order information, ShipStation will update the order to match the store. In this situation, it's best to update these notes directly in the store and let it flow into ShipStation via a store refresh.

Adjust Weight:

This action will only apply to an order once. It will not apply to an order again even if you reprocess automation rules.

Charge Shipping to My Account

Only use this action if you have multiple accounts connected to ShipStation for a single carrier, like two FedEx accounts. When used, this action will allow you to set which account should be used to create the label.

If a shipping service is already selected for the order but does not match the services provided by the carrier account set by this action, ShipStation will clear the order's shipping service.

If you only have a single account connected for each carrier, this action is not necessary.

Don't Import the Order:

Be very careful with this action!

If this action applies to an order, the order will be set to an inactive status in our database and removed from view and all reporting in ShipStation.

Once this action applies to an order it cannot be undone. It locks the order out of ShipStation completely. Even if you delete the rule, re-importing the store's orders or using the Reprocess Automation Rules button will have no effect.

Send an Email

This action is not enabled for trial users. If you need to use this automation action, please contact the ShipStation Support team and an agent can enable it for your account.

This action will only apply to an order once. It will not apply to an order again even if you reprocess automation rules.

When setting this action, you can either send the email to a specific email address or use the customer or store's email address.

This action sends the email immediately when the order imports. If you want to adjust the shipping confirmation email ShipStation sends at the time of label creation, use the Use email template for Shipment Notification…  action instead.

Set Fulfillment Provider

This action will set the fulfillment provider for the order. This action also gives the option for ShipStation to automatically send a fulfillment request to the provider upon import of the order.

The portion of the action that sets the fulfillment provider will apply again if you reprocess automation rules, but the action that automatically sends the request will not.

If you encounter an error when sending the automatic fulfillment request, ShipStation will retain the order in the Awaiting Shipment status. You will then need to use the manual Send Fulfillment action to request fulfillment again.

Restore