Data columns

An overview of what data columns are and how they are used

Kyle Weiskopf avatar
Written by Kyle Weiskopf
Updated over a week ago

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

Generally speaking, a data column must exist for the app to save and retrieve any data values for a customer. Since data columns are created automatically when adding fields in the app's form builder, 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 and Custom data columns:

  • Standard data columns are reserved for all of the standard customer fields (aka properties) 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 available in Customer Fields:

Common types

  • single_line_text - Used for simple strings of text (single line only; no line breaks)

  • text - Used for complex strings of text with multiple lines

  • 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 complex use cases. These advanced data column types are great for storing a single group of related data, or multiple sets of related data:

  • group - Used to store an object of data

  • group_list - Used to store a list of objects

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. Please note that custom group data columns and any child columns nested under a group cannot be used for forms created in the app's form builder.

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. 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 Customer Fields:

  1. By adding custom fields to a form via the form builder

  2. Using the data columns page 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 in the directory by using the column picker in 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 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 actions are possible using the data columns page in the app admin.

The data columns page is designed to organize your data columns into groups. Simply click on a tab to see a list of data columns for each group:

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

  • Custom - a list of all active custom data columns

  • Standard - a list of all standard data columns

  • Archived tab - a list of 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 favorite columns using the Favorite 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 using the 'Archive selected' button, which is found after clicking on the Custom 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, then 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, you can archive it using the Custom tab.

Questions or concerns?

If you need help with data columns or if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our Customer Success team. You can contact us via live chat or email (

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