Product Automation: Defaults

Explains one type of product automation: product defaults. Includes how to set defaults individually and in bulk and explains what each default does.

Product Defaults are the details in your ShipStation product records that indicate what the default settings should be for orders that contain only that product.

ShipStation provides multiple methods to set your Product Defaults:

Methods

Description

Individually in Product Details

Edit an individual product's defaults directly in the Product Details screen.

Upload in bulk with a CSV import

Add or edit multiple product records with a single CSV file upload.

The CSV upload for products can update product weight, dimensions, tags, and customs details, but does not include shipping service or package type.

When shipping an order

Select the Save as shipping defaults for this product option when you configure shipping for an order.

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.

Configure Individually in Product Details

Configure an individual product's defaults in that product's Details screen.

The Product Details screen is divided into the following tabs:

Product Details Tabs

Description

General

Product Defaults related to general product identification information.

Shipping

Product Defaults related to product shipping details, like carrier and service.

Customs

Product Defaults related to international shipping, like declared value and harmonization code.

Store Aliases

Lists alternate SKU values for the product record.

These tabs contain the Product Defaults and they control the Product Automation processes in ShipStation. The four sections below include details on what defaults you can set in each available tab.

To set product defaults, go to each tab and fill in the desired fields. Then, save your changes.

How to Access Product Details

When you create products manually in ShipStation, you'll automatically be taken into the Product Detail screen to edit the product defaults.

If a product record has already been created, there are two ways to access the Product Details: from Order Details and from the Products tab.

From Order Details, click the hyperlinked product name:

Order Details. Red boxes around product names to show hyperlinks to Product Details

From the Products tab, click the hyperlinked product SKU or double-click the product's row in the Products grid to open the Product Details:

Products grid. Red box around SKUs in SKU column to show hyperlinks to Product Details

Apply Product Default Changes to Open Orders

Any changes you make to to the Product Defaults in the product detail window will not, by default, be applied to orders already in ShipStation.

If you want the changes you made to apply to orders that have already imported, check the option to Apply changes to open orders before clicking the Save Changes button.

Shipping defaults tab with arrow pointing to Apply changes to open orders checkbox.

Checking this option will cause ShipStation to re-apply that specific product's default settings to orders in Awaiting Shipment that include the product.

Exception for Service & Package Type Defaults

Currently, the Apply change to open orders option ignores the service and package type defaults. We are aware of this issue and working to resolve it.

Until then, we recommend you use Bulk Actions to change the service and package type on multiple Awaiting Shipment orders simultaneously.

Product Details: General

Product details general tab with arrow pointing to Returnable checkbox.

Field or Setting

Description

SKU

The SKU identification for the product. Once saved or imported, it cannot be changed.

Name

The common name for the product that ShipStation will use for the SKU when creating new orders manually. This can be changed in ShipStation.

If the Override the imported name product default is enabled, ShipStation will also use this name for imported orders.

Override imported name

Tick this box to override any imported names with the name entered in the name field.

This setting will trigger ShipStation to use the Name product default instead of the product name imported from the order source.

Product Type

Set the product as a standalone, parent, or variant product. See Product Type to learn more.

Active

Set the product to active or inactive. Inactive products will not trigger any automation actions or inventory tracking. Controls whether or not Product Automation for this product record will apply to orders. If product record is not active, automation will not apply.

Description

A short description of the product often pulled from the selling channel. Not used for any automation in ShipStation, but can be used to provide information to your packers.

Image URL

A URL for an image to override the default image pulled from the selling channel. ShipStation will display in-app and on generated documents.

Reporting Category

Designate the Product Category. Used for product-based reports, organizing products, and better reporting. Not used for any automation in ShipStation.

Order Tags

Tags are applied to a product as a Product Default added to orders that include said product. These color-coded visual references designate special types of orders (such as Fragile items). They are often used in automation rules.

UPC

Universal Product Code (UPC) space exists if necessary. These can appear on generated packing slips, but are not used for any automation in ShipStation.

Returnable

When checked, sets whether or not a product is eligible for returns initiated by a customer when using the Branded Return Portal

Product Details: Shipping

Product details Shipping defaults tab.

Defaults set in the Product Details Shipping tab will apply to orders that contain only that product. This means, if other products are present on the order, the defaults will not apply (the Weight default is the notable exception to this rule... see the callout in the table below for details).

Additionally, the selections for carrier, service, confirmation, and dimensions will only apply to the order if the item has a quantity of 1.

Field or Setting

Description

Preset Group

Preset Groups are pre-filled templates of product defaults that you apply any products that use the same defaults.

Use this type of automation to assign default shipping methods to sets of products that all ship the same way. See our Preset Groups article for details on how to use this feature.

Domestic

Sets the default shipping service, package, and confirmation type for the product when the order destination is considered domestic. Only applies to single item orders.

International

Sets the default shipping service, package, and confirmation for the product when the order destination is considered international. Only applies to single item orders.

Weight

Default weight for a single quantity of the product in kilograms.

Weight Default Applies to All Orders

ShipStation will apply the Weight default to multi-line and multi-quantity orders. ShipStation will calculate the weight for all items in the order and insert that value into the order's Weight field.

Dimensions

Default shipment length, width, and height of the product or product packaging. Only applies to single item orders.

Warehouse Location

Descriptor of the product's physical location in your warehouse.

This information will appear on Pick Lists by default and can be added to customized packing slips.

The product warehouse location is not the same as the Inventory Warehouse Location that appears on inventory reports.

Fulfillment SKU

The SKU sent to the fulfillment centre to identify the product when using the Send to Fulfillment feature.

ShipStation uses this alternate product identifier value when pushing fulfillment requests to ShipWire or FBA. For more details, review the Shipwire and Fulfillment by Amazon articles.

Automate Service Selection for Multi-Item Orders

Need to automate the shipping service for multi-item orders? You can do this using Service Mapping or Automation Rules.

Product Details: Customs

Product details Customs tab highlighted.

Field or Setting

Description

Do not create customs

Turns off customs declarations for orders using this product.

If this option is checked, ShipStation will not create a customs declaration for the product.

Description

A short description that overrides the product description pulled from the selling channel. Useful if the product description is too long for a customs form.

Declared Value

The monetary value of the product for customs purposes.

Harmonization Code

Identification code for classification of product to help expedite the shipping process. Also known as a Tariff Schedule.

Learn more about Harmonization Codes in our article about Customs Declarations.

Origin Country

Select a country of origin (country that the product was created in) from the drop-down.

The customs defaults set here will only apply to orders if your account is set to create customs declarations based on items in an order. ShipStation is set to do this by default.

This option is available in Settings > Shipping > Internal Settings. The Custom Declaration option should be set to Create Declarations from order items.

Arrows point to Shipping tab & international Settings in Settings sidebar. Red box highlights Customs Declarations field.

Product Details: Store Aliases

Product aliases allow you to link a single product record in ShipStation to multiple different SKU values from different stores. As a special duty setting, an alias counts one SKU as another SKU for reporting and product setting purposes.

Product Details with Store Aliases tab highlighted.

Field or Setting

Description

Add Alias

Adds a SKU as an alias for this product. Orders with the alias SKU will inherit the primary SKU defaults when the order imports from the selling channel.

Aliases are typically used by multi-channel sellers who sell the same products on different channels, but use different SKU values for each marketplace. 

Alias SKU Example

Your prized product has sold on your personal Shopify site for years: a 16oz jar of Peter's Peppers & Pickles (SKU PPP001). Also, you have already set up product automation for it in ShipStation. You decide to sell the same product on Amazon, but find that SKU PPP001 is already in use by several companies. To avoid confusion with search engines, you opt to give the product a SKU of PPP-JAR16OZ so it stands out a little more.

Because of your historic Shopify orders, there's already a product record for SKU PPP001 in ShipStation.  However, since Amazon is going to send us a different SKU, PPP-JAR16OZ, ShipStation won't recognize them as the same product. 

To remedy this issue, add PPP-JAR16OZ as an alias in the product details window for SKU PPP001. This will tell ShipStation it is the same product and to use the product automation you have already set up for SKU PPP001.

An alias SKU will also be added to a product if you Combine product records to merge multiple products together.

Product Aliases Require SKUs

Product aliases will not function if the store is set to identify products based on name.

Product aliases
Product aliases

Upload Product Defaults in Bulk

If you have many products to apply defaults to, you can upload certain Product Defaults in bulk using a specially formatted CSV file.

If you use a CSV import to create your products, you can include the default settings in the initial import. Or, if you already have product records created, you can update the existing product records as well.

Export and Edit Product List

Upload the CSV to ShipStation

Updating products with a CSV file

  • Leaving a cell blank on the CSV file will cause ShipStation to enter a null value for that Product Default.

  • Order Tags can be added, but not removed, with a CSV import.

  • Product Aliases and Product Preset Groups cannot be added or removed via the Import action

When Configuring Shipping for an Order

Once you've configured a shipment in ShipStation, you can tell ShipStation to save the shipping details you're using as Product Defaults for future use. The next time an order for the same product imports, ShipStation will automatically apply the same shipping settings.

Available for Single Product Orders Only

This option is only available for single product orders where the product in the order is linked to a product record in ShipStation.

To do this, click the link to Save as shipping defaults for this product located under the shipping details in the Configure Shipment Widget.

Configure Shipment Widgent. Red arrow points to Save as shipping defaults for this product link

After you click the link, the shipping details will be saved to the product record and will be reused for future orders which contain the same product.

ShipStation Legacy Layout Only

In ShipStation's Legacy Layout, this option is a checkbox and the shipping defaults will only be saved after you create the label.

Parent and Variant Product Automation

If you're using ShipStation's Advanced Product Types, you may have noticed that Parent and Variant SKUs each have their own set of defaults.

When ShipStation applies defaults to an order that contains a variant SKU, ShipStation will apply the Parent SKU defaults first, and will then apply any variant SKU defaults that differ from the parent SKU.

Product aliases