The ultimate guide to Shopify customer accounts in 2023

Jack Hutchinson
April 20, 2023

Online Shopping is Broken

The online shopping experience in 2023 leaves a lot to be desired - especially for shoppers eager for more personalization. Brands know almost everything about us, yet our on-site experiences are almost identical. While many brands improve loyalty programs in hopes of improving lifetime value, a growing number of merchants are using the customer account to drive retention and profitability.

Benefits of Customer Accounts for Shopify Stores

The customer account is often one of the most overlooked pieces of a brand’s site. It’s also one of the most valuable tools for creating a hyper personalized shopping experience. A great customer account experience can sign-in more shoppers, collect zero-party data, personalize the on-site experience, and increase AOV. Here’s what a great customer account can unlock for Shopify brands.

Identify Customers & Collect Zero-Party Data

Customer accounts are a valuable tool for brands looking to identify and track their signed-in shoppers. When a visitor creates a customer account, they not only provide valuable information such as personal identifiers (name, email, shipping address, etc.), but also begin leaving a trail of data about their preferences and shopping behavior. This can include wishlist items, abandoned carts, order history, and even product views. Across several visits, brands can create a holistic profile on a signed-in shopper and use this information to personalize their on-site experience. For brands that want to build long-term relationships with their customers, this can be a massive unlock.

Personalize the Shopping Experience

When shoppers are signed-in, brands know exactly who they are. This means that the on-site experience can be customized to each customer. Savvy brands use the customer account to offer signed-in shoppers exclusive pricing, reveal hidden products or collections, create custom discounts, and change content based on shopper preferences.

Princess Polly uses Status to personalize the onsite experience by displaying products that signed-in shoppers previously interacted with or abandoned from cart. Additionally, the Princess Polly customer account has been carefully designed to create an on-brand signed-in shopping experience.

Accelerate the Buying Journey

Customer accounts allow brands to increase customer engagement and retention. Signed-in shoppers generally display a higher degree of purchase intent and are more likely to add items to their wishlists and cart. By automatically saving items that shoppers love to the customer account, brands can personalize the shopping experience and resurface these items during future sessions. This keeps shoppers engaged, and motivates them to return in the future. They can pick up where they left off and avoid starting from scratch, leading to a smoother and more enjoyable shopping experience.

LSKD uses Status shopping tools like Continue Browsing and Saved Items to keep customers engaged and drive shopping activity from the account.

Increase Average Order Value (AOV)

A great customer account experience can help improve Average Order Value (AOV). By saving everything relevant to signed-in shoppers to the customer account, brands make it easier for shoppers to navigate collections and find items that they love. This is especially true for brands with large catalogs. Simplifying the shopping journey and putting high-intent products in front of signed-in shoppers, creates opportunities for upsell and improves conversion - ultimately driving higher AOV.

Daily Sale uses Status shopping tools to automatically save previously viewed and carted items. These items are resurfaced to shoppers during future signed-in shopping sessions, improving engagement and increasing AOV.

How To Get Customers to Create Customer Accounts

The customer account can be a valuable tool for collecting zero-party data, personalizing the shopping experience, and increasing Average Order Value. However, it can be difficult to get shoppers to create accounts and stay signed-in. Status data suggests that brands using a traditional account experience sign-in 15% of customers or less on average. Simple strategies such as creating a seamless sign-up process and offering incentives can improve sign-in rates.

Create a Seamless Sign-up Process

To help get more shoppers signed-in, Shopify brands should make the account creation process quick and easy. Brands should consider allowing customers to create an account using their social media profile, Google log-in, or email, and only request essential identifying information. Keep it simple and create additional opportunities for data capture later.

Shopify Plus brands using Status, can sign-in more shoppers by offering passwordless and one-click login methods. This removes sign-in friction and dramatically boosts account creation rates. Brands like UpWest have seen a 4x increase in sign-in rates with Status.

Integrate Your Apps Inside the Account

Brands that use apps for tracking, loyalty, credit, and returns can increase account sign-ins by integrating these apps within the customer account. This ensures that every tracked order, point redemption, credit click, and return request becomes a signed-in shopper. Additionally, by integrating apps within the customer account, shoppers can access tracking, returns, loyalty, and credit through one log-in. This creates a rewarding and streamlined experience while also drastically reducing login related support tickets.

After launching Status, Princess Polly connected rewards, tracking, and returns to the customer account. Now customers are prompted to sign-in to their account before using rewards, tracking orders, or requesting a return. This increased sign-ins and improved the customer experience.

Offer Incentives

Incentives are often used to encourage customers to create an account. By adding value prior to account creation, shoppers may be more likely to sign-in. Sign-in incentives that brands often use are one-time discounts, free shipping, and additional rewards. One off discounts can incentivize short-term behavior, rather than long-term loyalty. As a result, we find that brands that integrate rewards not only sign-in more shoppers, but also get more from their loyalty program.

After integrating Loyalty Lion with Status, Baseballism increased loyalty sign-ups by 167% and saw a 33% increase in point redemption. Similarly, Anna Beck increased sign-ups by over 300% and saw a 2.4x improvement in loyalty revenue.

How To Use Customer Accounts for Growth

In order to get the most out of the signed-in shopping experience, Shopify brands need to remove sign-in friction, provide signed-in shoppers with tools that help them shop, and integrate existing apps with the account. By doing so, brands can improve their sign-in rates, turn the customer account into a source of revenue, and supercharge engagement with existing tools.

Get More from the Same CAC

You know it, we know it, customer acquisition costs have increased. Brands now face two options - increase spend to acquire and reacquire customers, or invest in tools that retain first time shoppers. The latter is the obvious choice - but how? A great customer account experience. By identifying opportunities for account creation and leaning into existing customer behaviors, brands can turn first-time customers into signed-in shoppers. In fact, Shopify Plus brands using Status drive 5x more first time customers into accounts by removing sign-in friction.

Get More from Existing Customers

Use your customer account to save everything existing customers “want,” but haven’t bought yet. This creates a personalized experience and increases the speed at which customers move through their buying journey. Additionally, saved items can be used to drive upsell and increase AOV. Status makes saving items to the account easy, and provides signed-in shoppers with tools that drive conversion.

Get More from Your Loyalty Program

Signed-in shoppers drive more shopping activity. By putting credit and loyalty apps (Yotpo, Loyalty Lion, Rise, etc.) at shoppers' finger tips, brands increase point engagement, redemption, and loyalty revenue. Brands that integrate loyalty with Status have been able to increase loyalty member revenue by over 200%.

Get More from Email and SMS

By increasing the percentage of customers that shop signed-in, brands create a valuable segment for nurture. Segment growth, in combination with saved preferences, unlock highly-personalized email and SMS flows that drive conversion.

The Best Customer Account App for Shopify Plus Brands

Shopify Plus brands that want the most from their signed-in shopping experience use Status. Brands like Princess Polly, LSKD, and SHEFIT use Status to sign-in more shoppers and turn the customer account into a personalized shopping tool.

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