Managing Customer Lists

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Do you have a website with great content and frequent visitors? If so, your customer list will grow, as long as you make it easy to sign up. Within Shopify, there are several states of being a customer.

OrdersAccountSubscribed
0YesYes
0YesNo
0NoYes
0NoNo
1+YesYes
1+YesNo
1+NoYes
1+NoNo

A customer record appears not only for completed sales, but also for inter­actions like abandoned checkouts or newsletter subscriptions. People without an account may or may not have received an invitation to activate it. A customer may have never subscribed to your newsletter or has unsubscribed. An account is not visible to the user until he/she adds a password.

There is no delete button for accounts with an order. You can send transactional information about an account, but no marketing information, to people who are not subscribed. Basically, this might include information about an order or requests to secure their account.

Subscribed Without Account

The only way for a Shopify merchant to subscribe without an account is when there is a third-party subscribing system. Whether a subscriber has placed an order or not, they can benefit from your newsletter. You may choose to share the benefits of registering the account, such as access to order history, address management, and fast checkout.

Account Without Subscription

A customer who places an order receives order and delivery confirmation emails. If he made a conscious decision not to subscribe during checkout, further requests will fall on deaf ears. This situation can also occur if you take a phone order but forget to ask if they wish to subscribe. The customer loses out on the benefit of your newsletter marketing.

Unsubscribed and Unregistered Account

There is little value in an unsubscribed, unregistered customer record with no orders. You might be able to send an abandoned cart email or an invitation to complete their account with a password. If a phone number is available, you may follow up with a phone call. An absent or invalid email address with a customer who does not subscribe is a dead record. Instead of having the unmarketable data linger, deleting it is the best option.

Gaining More Information

Within Shopify, customers can checkout using either their phone number or email. People cautious with their information may leave one field blank if given the option. This can become an issue if product is backordered or if an international airbill requires a phone number.

Customers who provide a mobile number receive SMS messages about their order. Customers who provide an email address receive fully formatted order notification. The administrator can enable the requirement for an email address.

Every business is different and you may be subject GDPR or local privacy laws. So one setting does not work for every business. Try different options while monitoring the number of abandoned checkouts to see which works best for you. You may lose some customers if you require an account during checkout. On the plus side, you eliminate the need to invite them back to create an account.

The point is that an active customer list is better than one with many people who don’t buy your products, visit your website, or subscribe to your newsletter. You may need to press the delete button if they are unsalvageable.

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Main photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels.

Kevin Williams is a Shopify Partner that has been program­ming data­base systems since 1990 and writing since 2010, before main­tain­ing an e-commerce site in Perl. Along with him, explore the Shopify platform and Liquid programming with marketing and writing tips.

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