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How does account approval work?

A guide to account approval on Shopify using Customer Fields

Brett Shelley avatar
Written by Brett Shelley
Updated over a week ago

✅ Turn your registration form into an application form

The account approval feature in Customer Fields allows you to manually review and approve customer accounts before they are activated, ensuring that the only customers who get accounts on your store are those you approve. Account approval is an account creation option you can enable in the Settings tab of your Customer Fields form.

The customer account approval flow

  1. Customer form submission
    The customer fills out and submits your account approval form on the storefront. This creates a pending customer record that only exists in Customer Fields.

  2. The app triggers a confirmation email
    After form submission, the app triggers its "Customer account request" email to be sent to the customer. This email lets the customer know that their form submission was received and is pending review.

  3. Review the pending customer
    Next, you can review the pending customer record in the Customer Fields app admin. Since the account has yet to be approved, it only exists in the app and will not be available in Shopify. The record will possess a yellow "Account pending" label and can be easily located in the Review tab of the customer directory.

  4. Approve or deny the customer
    When you open a pending record, you will have the option to either Approve or Deny the customer account.

    • If you approve a pending customer, the app's "Customer account approval" email is automatically sent to the customer. This email uses Shopify's account invite email template, which contains a special link for the customer to set a password and activate their customer account.

    • If you deny a pending customer, the app's "Customer account deny" email will be sent to the customer, and they will not be granted a customer account. (You will still have the option to approve a denied customer if you change your mind later on.)

  5. Customer activates account
    Once the customer receives the account activation email, they will be able to set a password for their account and activate their account successfully.

How does customer auto tagging work with account approval?

The process for customer auto tagging does not change whether or not you have account approval enabled on your form.

The app will only create a customer record in Shopify after you approve a pending customer, which means that denied customers will not receive a customer tag in Shopify.

When customers are approved, any customer tags added using rules will be added and synced with the customer record in Shopify.

Merging customer records

A potential step in the account approval flow is the merging process. There are some cases where you may need to merge one or more customer records together because Shopify's system does not allow for duplicate email addresses or phone numbers.

When approving a customer, if the app detects a customer record in Shopify that uses the same email or phone, then you will see a banner message explaining that there is a conflict. From that banner, you will be able to view the conflicting record and decide how to proceed. For example, if you do not want to merge the records, you can edit one of the records to have a different email or phone (depending on the nature of the merge conflict). Otherwise, you have the option to merge the customer records together.

When you merge a customer, the app will overwrite the conflicting customer record with the data from the customer record you're approving. This includes all data in the app for the customer record being merged, which may include customer tags, standard Shopify fields, default address fields, and custom fields. Any of the customer's previous history in Shopify (including orders, timeline comments, etc) will be preserved.

It's important to note the app's email logic if you merge a pending record with an existing record:

  • If you merge a pending record with an active customer record, an activation email will not be sent, since the customer already has an active account.

  • If you merge a pending record with an inactive customer record, a popup window will appear for you to send the account activation email so that the customer can activate their account like usual.

Commonly asked questions about account approval

I started getting an error that says "Failed to send account invite" when trying to approve customers.

This error occurs to let you know that the account approval email could not be sent to the customer. Sometimes this is related to an issue as small as an invalid email domain, in which case the app will show a secondary error message explaining this. However, if you're only seeing the "Failed to send account invite" message without any other messages, there may be one of two culprits at play here:

  • You may be running into a new limit imposed by Shopify that prevents shops from sending multiple account invites in a certain span of time. Since Customer Fields uses Shopify's account invite email for approval, this means that sending several in a row could cause Shopify to prevent you from sending more invites. Generally, the solution is to wait 10-15 minutes and try to send the invite again. See here for more details on this issue: Failed to send account invite

  • Your browser session timed out and you have been logged out of Customer Fields. Try logging out of by going to this link. Then, log back into the app and try again.

If this error continues to occur after following the above troubleshooting steps, please contact our customer success team via chat or email for more information.

I want to install my account approval form on an edit account page.

Since account approval forms cannot be installed on edit account pages, you will need to follow some simple steps to set up an edit account form on your store. See here for more details: Set up edit account form

I want to hide pages, products, and/or prices from customers.

Customer Fields is not a permissions app, and is not able to restrict access to certain parts of your store. However, our app is a great tool to use alongside true permissions apps to restrict access. See here for more details on how to do this: Restrict Access

I need to be notified when a customer applies for an account.

If you would like to be notified when a customer submits an account request, you can enable the staff email notifications by going to the app Settings > Email notifications to enable the app's email notifications. If you've done this and are receiving notifications to Spam or not at all, please reach out to our customer success team for assistance.

I want to require approval for some customers, but allow others to register automatically.

Wholesale merchants may want to require approval for B2B accounts, but allow regular customers to register automatically. We have a guide on how to set up this flow on your store in our help center: Set up account approval for different types of customers

I want to approve customers separately from sending the invite.

The app's account approval tool is designed to approve customers by sending the account invite. Shopify activates a customer account based on when the customer sets a password for their account, so the logic here is that to consider a customer "approved" is to also make it possible for them to finish activating their account.

If you're working with multiple team members where some users are to "approve" customers while others are to send invites, you can use customer tags to sort customers by whether they were reviewed. For example, a staff user can review a pending customer and add a tag that says either "Approved" or "Reviewed" so that other staff members know the account has been inspected prior to sending the approval email.

Why can't I edit the password fields from the account approval email?

Customer Fields uses Shopify's account invite email for account approval; this means when you approve a customer, the app triggers Shopify's account invite email to be sent. This email comes from Shopify, not Customer Fields, and contains a special link for the customer to activate their account. This link takes the customer to your theme's account activation page which asks them to set a password, and this page is not controlled by or customizable by Customer Fields. If you want to edit this page in some way, including requiring the user to enter a strong password, you will need to enlist the help of the theme developer.

The account approval email is going to my customer's spam folder.

If you're using your own domain name for the 'Store contact email' and 'Sender email' in Shopify (found in the Shopify admin under Settings > General > Store details), then you may want to update your domain's DNS records to ensure that the emails sent by Customer Fields are delivered to your customer's inbox. See our help center for more details: Update SPF Records

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