Tips for working with Episerver Commerce customers

Last week I was working on the custom user interface for customer management and discovered two useful tips which help to work with customers in Episerver.

Enable search by Email

When working with customers, you usually use a CustomerContext class. It provides a method to search for a customer by a pattern.

var criteria = "Tom Jones";
var contacts = _customerContext.GetContactsByPattern(criteria);

By default, it searches only in FirstName, FullName, MiddleName and LastName fields. But it is common to search a customer by Email too.

The CustomerContact class has a public static field - TextProperties which lists all searchable fields of the customer contact. You can add any additional field to it if you want. As you want to initialize this field only once, it is wise to do it in an initialization module.

public class Initialization : IInitializableModule
    public void Initialize(InitializationEngine context)

    private static void EnableCustomerContactSearchByEmail()
        CustomerContact.TextProperties = CustomerContact.TextProperties.Union(new[] {"Email"}).Distinct();

    public void Uninitialize(InitializationEngine context)

Here I am adding Email field, but it should be okay to add search on any meta-field.

Working with customer groups

While customer groups have documentation, the documentation lacks any examples on how to work with those.

There is one class - CustomerGroupLoader which has two methods. One method lists all available customer groups and the second one retrieves a customer group by name.

var customerGroups = _customerGroupLoader.Get();
var partnerGroup = _customerGroupLoader.Get("Partner");

The method for listing all groups is useful for creating items for a select box on your customer management form.

private IEnumerable<SelectListItem> GetCustomerGroups()
        new []
            new SelectListItem { Value = "0", Text = "-"}
            x => new SelectListItem
                Value = x.Id,
                Text = x.Name