Create a Private Shopping Club with Shopify February 11, 2016 03:00

You can turn your Shopify into a members-only private shopping club. This can mean requiring a free sign-up to the store before you can purchase products (like Frank & Oak) or requiring a paid membership to have the ability to browse and shop at the store (like Sam’s Club or Costco).

In this post, we will look at how to implement exclusive areas on your Shopify store through the Locksmith app.

Private shopping: Create exclusivity

The main benefit from having restricted access is exclusivity. You can assign this exclusivity and the reward the way you want. You can reward a group of your customers for loyalty by providing access to new products before they are released publicly, or provide them discounts on your store products.

You can also increase your revenue by requiring customers to become paying members of your store to gain exclusivity. By creating more sign-ups on your store, you can target these customers with products or features they will be interested in the most. In all cases, members gain value by accessing exclusive parts of your store.

Private shopping: Locksmith app

The Locksmith app for Shopify can hide parts of or your entire store. The app has a free demo period for 15 days, and is only $9/month thereafter. Once you install the app, you will be able to create “locks” for pages, products, collections, cart, or your entire store. Once you lock one of these, you can create one or set of “keys” to open these areas on your store.

options private shopping

“Key” options in Locksmith

You can assign a number of different keys like requiring a customer to be signed in, have a specific tag, have a specific email, enter a passcode, have been redirected from an exclusive link, and other parameters like the customer order history, and the date.

Some common use cases can be requiring a customer to sign up for your store so that you can gain further insight into your customers’ purchases. You can also require customers to purchase a recurring membership – monthly, or typically yearly. You can do this through membership apps like Memberships, Subscriptions and Loyalty by Supple Apps. This is the way many large wholesale stores like Costco.

Through the app, you can create multiple keys for a specific lock. These keys can be configured on through “and/or” logic. For example, you can require customers to be signed in and have purchased a membership, or use a promotional passcode to access the private shopping areas. This gives you a lot of flexibility on how you distribute access to your store.

passcode back private shopping

“Lock” your entire store for exclusive access

If you lock your entire store, visitors won’t be able to access any part of your store. Instead, they will be prompted to use the “key” assigned to gain access. You can, however, allow access to your homepage if you want to highlight information about your brand and display the pitch for becoming members.

Each key selection gives you further options to customize that specific key details. In the image above, if you select a single passcode, you can enter the text that prompts the visitors to enter the passcode, and set the passcode (“letmein!” in this example). Once you do that, your store will display this message and prompt for a passcode to enter.

passcode front private shopping

Storefront requiring a passcode

In addition to setting the messages for the passcode prompt, you can set what message your visitors see when they try to access exclusive content, or signed in customers who need additional “keys” for certain content. In the Settings area of the app, you can quickly enable or disable the app.

settings private shopping

Set global messages for visitors who try to access exclusive areas

You may not want to lock your entire store if your target audience doesn’t know about your brand or your products. In such cases, you want your store to be accessible by visitors so that they can gain awareness. But, you can lock your “Cart” page so that once potential customers have browsed products and are ready to make a purchase, they have to sign up or provide the correct “key”.

Another neat “key” is where you can select the part of an email address used by the customer. For example, if you are expecting multiple people from the same company to order exclusive products, then you can set a key that the email address contains “@companyname.com”. This way, anybody who has a company email can gain access to the exclusive areas.

You can also lock only parts of a page, but this requires editing code for your theme files. In most cases, you can implement a private shopping experience for your select customers without having to use any code.

Private shopping: Summary

Shopify has a number of apps that allow you to implement a form of a private shopping club with exclusive products, access, and deals for members. This rewards your most loyal customers who then promote the benefits of access to your store.

The Locksmith app lets you hide parts of pages on your store, products, collections, and even your entire store site. You can create locks on areas of your website that you only want your members to access. You can also create a number of different ways (“keys”) your members gain access to “lock”ed areas on your store. This includes signing up for your store, having a specific customer tag, knowing passcodes, and more.

Does your store have exclusive deals for members? If so, how do you implement it?


Cover Photo Credit: Holly Victoria Norval ( CC BY 2.0 license)

The post Create a Private Shopping Club with Shopify appeared first on ShopStorm.