Use Customer Tags to control access to your Shopify Store

This is a simple guide to automating a Shopify membership only store using subscriptions and customer tags.

However this article doesn't explain how to use liquid code and Java Script to hide and reveal content. This will require advanced Liquid/JS knowledge or a Shopify Expert to implement. It's roughly 4-6 hours of development time to build.

Using Shopify customer tags to restrict access to certain areas of your Shopify store

Customer tags are a great way to segment and group your Shopify customers. As well as being used for email marketing & assigning specific discount codes, they can also be used to control access to content within your Shopify store.

When a customer logs into your Shopify store, you can use liquid to look-up that customer account to see what tags they have. This gives you the foundations to hide and reveal specific pages, products, collections and blogs which are only available to those with specific tags.

For example, you might want to sell a membership to gain access to exclusive content and downloadable material. You can sell a membership to a customer and only provide access to this content to those who have purchased your membership.

Note: You will need either liquid and Java Script knowledge or a Shopify developer to build the logic into your Shopify store. However, once that's built you can use the following two apps to automate the entire process:

Apps you will need:
ReCharge Subscription app
Customer Tagger

Setting up a Membership product

We recommend using ReCharge subscription app to power your membership programme. It's a powerful Shopify subscription app, that easily turns a Shopify product into a recurring subscription product.

For the purposes of this example, we have created a Shopify product which is going to be the membership on our website. We marked this product as not a physical product by unticking the check box under the Shipping setting, when creating the product.

If you don't have a limit on amount of memberships you are selling you can also set Shopify to 'Don't track inventory'. In this example we have removed a stock count.

Now the product has been created, the next step is to create the subscription in ReCharge. Once in the app, navigate to Rulesets and create a new one. In this example we have created a 12 Month Membership ruleset and added our newly created product.

For full details on setting up ReCharge and subscription products, visit the help centre.

Using Customer Tagger to automatically apply Shopify customer tags

Now we have created our subscription products, we need to make sure that each time a customer orders this product they are automatically tagged with 'Member'. This allows us to identify that customer as an active subscriber and therefore we allow access the restricted content.

Using Customer Tagger, we can automatically tag customers who subscriber to our membership with 'Member'. 

To do this we need to first create a new rule 'Tag by Product'. Within this rule you will see all the products within your store. You will need to search for the subscription product you created and click 'Add tags'.

Automatically tag customers when they order a product on Shopify


We can add our defined tag in the box, in this example it's 'Member'. This has created a new rule in Customer Tagger, whereby, every time someone places an order for this product they are automatically tagged 'Member'.

Removing customer tags on Shopify automatically


You will notice that there's a duplicate of the subscription product that has 'Auto renew' on the end. This is ReCharge's version of the product and you can ignore it. 

Using Customer Tagger to automatically remove Shopify customer tags

The above steps will allow us to automate our membership programme. However, what we don't want to happen is a customer cancelling their subscription but still having access to the restricted content.

This means we need to set a tag expiry on the new rule we created. This tells Customer Tagger to automatically remove the tag after a certain period of time. In this example the membership is 12 months long and therefore we need to automatically remove the tag in 365 days time.

If the customer renews their membership, Customer Tagger will reapply the tag and the tag expiry will start again from time duration that's set.

Within the Existing rules tab, we can see our newly created product tagging rule. Alongside the rule there's the option to 'Set tag expiry', this will then allow us to assign a time limit on that tag.

automatically remove Shopify customer tags

By clicking this we can add in the length of time we want Customer Tagger to leave the tag on their account before removing it.

automatically removing customer shopify tags

Now we have created the expiry time on that tagging rule, we know that when someone orders that product, if they don't renew after 365 days Customer Tagger will automatically remove their access. 

customer tags Shopify

That's it! You have officially setup a completely automated membership system on your Shopify store.

**Please note this guide covers the process after you have added the logic in your theme to only reveal content to customers with a specific tag.