Product Aliases

Explains what a product Alias is and how to apply an Alias to products individually or in bulk.

Product Aliases are a way to tell ShipStation that different SKUs represent the same product.

If you list the same product on multiple selling channels with different SKUs, you may want to use product aliases to properly track products in ShipStation.

Alias Use Case

A merchant sells a product called Delicious Burger on their WooCommerce store and wants to add the product to their new Amazon store. The SKU in WooCommerce is DB1000 and the product record for this SKU exists in ShipStation already.

The SKU for the Amazon product is Del-Burg, but if an order imports into ShipStation with this SKU ShipStation will create a new product record. Before that happens, the merchant instead adds the Amazon SKU, Del-Burg, as an alias to the product record in ShipStation. This way, ShipStation knows both SKUs are the same product.

Once a SKU has been added as an alias, ShipStation will do the following:

  • Prevent a new product record for Del-Burg from being created in ShipStation.

  • Count any sales of Del-Burg (Alias SKU) as sales of DB1000 (Master SKU) instead for most ShipStation Sales and Product reports.

  • Apply the DB1000 product defaults to orders that import with the SKU Del-Burg. This means any product automation won't need to be configured separately.

ShipStation will not prevent the alias SKU from appearing in ShipStation altogether, though. The SKU Del-Burg will appear on the orders imported from Amazon, and will also appear on pick lists and packing slips for the order. You can change this to display the Master SKU DB1000 in your packing slips by changing the Field Replacements when making custom edits. To change the behavior for pick lists, select Product SKU in Document Options.

Additionally, when the merchant clicks on the Product Detail link in the Order Details screen, ShipStation will open the Product Details for DB1000.

Add an Alias to a Product

Parent Products and Alias SKUs

If you are using Parent & Variant Products: Parent Products are non-buyable SKUs used for reporting purposes. The box to Override the imported name will not apply to Variant SKUs linked to Parent products.

Use a standalone product in ShipStation instead to override the product name imported from a selling channel.

Parent product detail shows the Name marked.

Bulk Import Aliases via CSV

If you have multiple SKUs for the same product across multiple selling channels, you may want to add these SKUs as aliases in ShipStation. You can save time by uploading these aliases to ShipStation in bulk from a CSV file. This bulk upload process can also help you manage pre-existing SKUs and aliases.

The bulk import process allows you to:

  • Add new aliases to products

  • Update an alias (if one already exists)

  • Delete or remove an alias

We recommend that you use our pre-formatted CSV to get started. You'll add your SKU, Alias, and StoreName information to their respective fields in the CSV. The Delete field will determine if an alias remains or gets deleted from ShipStation. Below are more details about each field in the CSV file.

CSV Fields

  • SKU required

  • Alias required (You can have multiple aliases per SKU, so long as each has a distinct store name.)

  • StoreName only required if the store name was set when the alias was initially created (the StoreName used in the CSV must match the store name in ShipStation exactly. You can only have one alias per store per SKU.)

    • If left blank, StoreName will default to (Any Store) in ShipStation.

    • The column heading 'StoreName' must be all one word: StoreName

    • If you make a mistake, edit the CSV and re-upload it. ShipStation will override the previous values as long as SKU and Alias values are the same.

  • Delete optional (Enter either True or False. True will delete that alias. False is the CSV default, so if the field is blank, ShipStation reads that as False.)

When the upload completes, you can view the product aliases in one of two ways.

  • In the Store Aliases tab, in the Product Details screen:

    Standalone Product Detail popup. 1st box highlights Store Aliases tab, 2nd box, product Aliases. Arrow points to name default: (Any Store)
  • Hover over the count of aliases in the Alias column of the Products grid:

    Products grid. Red box highlights a product's Aliases, seen via Alias count hover-over. Arrow points to Alias count in Alias column.

The Bulk Import Aliases CSV is not case-sensitive, but be sure to spell SKUs and store names correctly!

Product Inventory only Exports Master SKU.

ShipStation cannot yet export an alias CSV (i.e., an alias CSV template with existing aliases). This feature is coming soon! For now, exporting Inventory Products will only show the Master SKU and not the Alias SKU.

Import Aliases in Bulk via CSV

Before you can import, you must complete your Bulk Import Alias CSV. ShipStation provides a sample CSV you can download and edit to ensure your CSV is formatted properly.

Repeat the above process as necessary for new stores and product changes.

Possible Bulk Alias Import Errors

The following situations may produce error messages during a bulk alias CSV upload. Typically, the message tells which row in the CSV has the error.

  • Creating new products via bulk alias CSV import: A SKU that doesn’t exist yet will not create a new product, but it will send an error message. To create product records in bulk, please see our article Add Products In Bulk via CSV Import.

  • Incorrect columns and headings in the Bulk Alias Import CSV file: Please download and use the sample CSV template available in the Product Alias Import popup. For example, the StoreName column heading must be one word: StoreName.

  • You try to delete an alias already deleted from a store.

  • You try to upload an alias that already exists in a store.

  • The value in the StoreName field doesn’t match your store name exactly.

  • An alias in the uploaded CSV duplicates another SKU or alias in that store. (The exception is when the alias/store combo is different. The alias/store combination must be unique.)

  • The SKU field is blank (i.e., there's no SKU to match with an alias).

  • An existing SKU is used in an alias field: In this case, use the Combine products feature to make one existing SKU an alias of another existing SKU in ShipStation.