Email Parsing For e-Commerce Automation

ThinkAutomation is an email & message parser. It can scan any sort of message and look for & extract (parse) pieces of information which it stores in 'fields'. The parsing process can be as simple as 'Look For 'First Name' then '=' and extract until the end of the line'. Or it can be more complex, making use of regular expressions and repeating blocks. Regular expressions can be used to parse data that takes a specific format, such as a telephone number or email address. For example, suppose you sell your products on line. From your e-commerce provider you will probably receive an email for each new order. It may be in a format similar to this:

Parse Email

This is a sample of an email received from an e-commerce payment provider. Providers such as eBay, Paypal, WorldPay, Amazon Marketplace etc.. all send some form of email confirmation of orders, payments, enquiries etc. You may have also set up your own on-line forms that you receive via email.

To parse this message you would create a ThinkAutomation field for each of the fields you wanted to extract. Starting from the top of the message you would then create the parsing rules for each field. Each field allows you to specify a 'Look For' and an optional 'Then Look For'. This tells the parsing engine where to place the extraction pointer. For example, to extract the 'Street' we would set the 'Look For' to 'Street' and the 'Then Look For' to '=' (we need to do this because we don't know how many spaces are between 'Street' and '='). We then set the 'Extract Until' option - this could be Until The End Of The Line, Message, Specific Characters, Number Of Characters etc. The 'Look For' option can make use of a regular expression to search for very specific sorts of text.

Extract Text From Email
Once a field is extracted ThinkAutomation can remove leading & trailing spaces, change the case and perform other transformation actions. You can also combine multiple fields into one (eg: First Name + Last Name) and perform validation actions on the field values. Any number of fields can be parsed & extracted from a single message. These fields can then be used on subsequent actions. ThinkAutomation will automatically construct the SQL statements required to update your database.

That's not all.. ThinkAutomation can send new email messages (an 'Auto Response') using email addresses parsed and extracted from the original. So you can easily send automated confirmation emails back to the customer and send an email to your order processing department to tell them to start working on the order. If the incoming email contains attachments, ThinkAutomation can save them to a specific location and even rename them based on data in the email. ThinkAutomation can create a custom report and save it as a PDF file which can be emailed onwards as an attachment.


  • Parse any number of fields from an incoming message.
  • Assign parsed fields to fields in your database.
  • Simple or complex parsing.
  • Assign default values and validation rules.