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How to format Customer Data CSV files

Learn more about Customer Data Import

Lari Lehtonen avatar
Written by Lari Lehtonen
Updated over a week ago

When you upload a file to Nosto to bring your own customer data, it must respect a CSV UTF-8 format.

To help you in this process, you can download an example of file here and in this article, we will focus on exploring the data structure and how the data will be used by Nosto once it's imported.

CSV File Structure & Formatting

One column header must always be labeled "Email", "Email Address", E-mail” or “E-mail address" (case insensitive) with email addresses listed underneath. Each email address represent a customer. Additional columns, once comma-separated, can point to customer attributes are corresponding values are then mapped to the relevant customers. 

Let's take a closer look using the .CSV example file: 

We recommed you to use Excel's Text to Columns functionality to format the file and understand more easily how the data will be processed by Nosto:

Once the file is formatted, the data is structured as such:

Looking at this file, the following customer data will be imported to Nosto:

  • Five customers will be imported (all identified by the header column Email Address)

  • Three Customers Keys will be imported: Loyalty Level, Influencers and Shoe-size.

  • Three values will be imported & tied to Loyalty Level: Silver, VIP & Gold

  • Two values will be imported & tied to Influencers: Yes & No.

  • Four values will be imported & tied to Shoe-size: 8, 9, 10 & 11.

If an email address is missing, or if the format is incorrect only in one or multiple lines, Nosto will not successfully process the customer data. However, the rest of the file can be successfully imported if format is adequate.

For the sake of this support article, the .CSV file above will be uploaded to Nosto with the following name: "My first imported list".

Full screen version here.

Segmentation Usage

Once customer data is successfully imported, the list is displayed along with the import type, import status and dates of import & updates. Users can now select an imported and create specific segments. 

With the example above, users can now create the following segments:

  • Example #1 - Shoppers who have a VIP loyalty level

With the configuration above, and will be included in the segment.

  • Example #2 - Shoppers who are influencers

With the configuration above,, and will be included in the segment.

Note: The scenarios above are fictional and all mechanisms to define loyalty levels and how to transfer shoppers from one loyal level to another, whether a shopper is an influencer or not and collect shoe size is handled in a third party platform and passed to Nosto. 

Additional resources

We recommend you to respect the following guidelines to create a CSV file from scratch:

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