Introduction

The Customer Fields app uses Data columns to serve data for each customer record. These data columns allow the app to filter, format, and import/export customer data in a reliable fashion.

Generally speaking, a data column needs to exist in order for the app to save any data for a customer. Data columns are created automatically when adding fields in the app's form builder, so you shouldn't need to take any additional steps to ensure that your customer data will be saved when a form is submitted.

Standard vs Custom

It's important to understand the difference between Standard data columns and Custom data columns. Standard data columns are reserved for all of the standard customer fields in Shopify, such as a customer's first name, last name, email address, phone number, and default address. Custom data columns are used for any custom customer fields you wish to use, such as a customer's gender, birthday, favorite color, etc.

Data column structure

Each data column has the following attributes:

  • Label - A human-friendly name for the data column.

  • Key - A unique, machine-friendly name for referencing the data column.

  • Data type - Indicates the type of data being stored.

Data types

Here's an overview of the different data types that are currently supported:

Common types

  • text - The most common data type. Used for generic strings of letters, numbers, and special characters

  • integer - Used for whole numbers

  • float - Used for numbers that contain decimals

  • boolean - Used for true/false values

  • date - Used for dates (without time of day)

  • datetime - Used for dates (with time of day)

  • email - Used for email addresses

  • phone - Used for phone numbers

  • file - Used for file uploads

  • list - Used to store multiple values in a single row (also known as an array)

Advanced types

The app also supports two special data column types which can be used to store multiple pieces of data for more advanced use cases:

  • group - Used to store an object of data

  • group_list - Used to store a list of objects

These advanced data column types are great for storing a single group of related data, or multiple sets of related data. Group data columns are normally only meant for use with the address fields in the app's form builder, but they can be used with custom-built forms as well. Group list data columns can also be used with custom-built forms, or by using a repeating group field in the app's form builder.

Pro tip: You can learn more about repeating group fields using this help article.

How do I create and use data columns?

There are two ways to create data columns in the app admin:

As you can imagine, data columns are used in many different places throughout the app. See below for a quick breakdown:

Customer directory

Data columns are shown on the app's customer directory page. You can easily filter your customers by data columns using the customer directory. You can also choose which specific data columns are shown on the directory by using the column picker shown on the top right of the table.

Pro tip: You can learn more about the customer directory using this help article.

Customer detail pages

Data columns are also shown on the app's customer detail pages. When you are viewing a specific customer record in the app admin, you will see data columns in several places, including the 'Overview' and 'Form data' cards. You can also favorite certain data columns to highlight your most important data.

Data columns page

There are certain cases where you might want to create a data column that is not part of a form. Or, perhaps you want to change the label for an existing data column. Both of these actions are possible using the data columns page in the app admin.

The data columns page is designed to categorize your data columns into groups using tabs:

  • Favorite columns tab - a list of any custom data columns that have been favorited

  • Form columns tab - a list of all custom data columns that are attached to a field on any form

  • Other columns tab - a list of all custom data columns that are not attached to a form field

  • Standard columns tab - a list of all the standard data columns (which may or may not be attached to a form field)

  • Archived tab - a list of any custom data columns that have been archived

Data imports and exports

When you export your customer data to a CSV, you will see data for all of the data columns you selected. When you import a CSV to add new customers or edit existing customers, you will need to map the app's data columns to the columns in your CSV file.

Manage your data columns

Favorite certain data columns

You can favorite certain data columns to highlight your most important customer data. When you favorite a data column, the app will automatically show the favorited data column (and its value) inside the 'Overview' card, which is found when viewing a customer's details in the app's admin area.

  • You can favorite data columns by clicking the star icon on the Form data card on the customer details page (as shown above).

  • You can also use the data columns page to favorite certain data columns, or view a list of your current favorited columns using the Favorite columns tab.

Archive old/unused data columns

Since the app automatically creates data columns when using the form builder, there may be cases where you have leftover data columns that are old and no longer being used. You can archive these data columns quickly and easily by using the 'Archive selected' button, which is found inside of the 'Other columns' tab on the data columns page in the app admin.

Note: You cannot archive any data columns that are being used by a form. If you wish to archive a data column that is being used by a form, you must either delete the form altogether or use the app's form builder to edit the data columns in use by the fields in the form. Once a data column is no longer being used by a form, the app will automatically move the data column to the 'Other columns' tab.


Questions or concerns?

If you need help with data columns or if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our support team. You can reach out to us via live chat or email (support+cf@heliumdev.com).

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