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Making Your Store's Content Member Only

The ability to have "member only" content is not a native feature of BigCommerce. However, the customer groups feature (available on select BigCommerce plans) can be used to require customers to register for and log in to their accounts before they are able to access certain content. For example, if you sell exclusively to wholesalers and the general public is not able to order from your store without first signing up for an account.

For assistance with setting up customer groups to sell to both retail and wholesale customers, see Restricting Products to Customer Groups

Creating a "Sign Up" Category

You will first need to create a category which non-members and members who are not logged in can see that provides them with instructions for accessing your content.

1. Go to ProductsProduct Categories, then click Create a Category.

2. Name the category Sign In or Create an Account.

3. Click the Edit HTML Source button on the second row of the Description field's WYSIWYG icons.

The Edit HTML source button

4. Copy and paste the following into the popup that displays:

<p><a href="/login.php">Sign In</a> or <a href="/login.php?action=create_account">Create an Account</a> to view products.</p>

5. Click Update.

6. Click Save & Exit.

Creating a "Guests" Customer Group

Next you will need to create a customer group for anyone not signed into an account which restricts their access to the Sign In or Create an Account category.

1. Go to CustomersCustomer Groups.

2. Click Create a Customer Group.

3. Name the Customer Group Guests.

4. Uncheck the box marked Customers in this group can see products in all categories.

5. From the list that appears to the right of Categories, select Sign In or Create an Account.

Without logging in, guests won't be able to see any categories (except the one informing them to log in or create an account).

6. Save your customer group.

7. Select Guests from the Customer Group for Guests dropdown near the top of the page.

Customer Group for Guests setting highlighted with "Guests" selected

Creating a "Members" Customer Group

Finally, you will create a customer group which grants access for your members to view your products.

1. Click Create a Customer Group.

2. Name the Customer Group Members.

3. Uncheck the box marked Customers in this group can see products in all categories.

4. From the list that appears to the right of Categories, select all categories except Sign In or Create an Account.

 

Did you know? Selecting a parent category does not automatically select its subcategories. Click the + symbol to the left of a parent category to select any of its subcategories.

Select which categories logged in members are able to see

5. Check or uncheck the box next to All new customers should be added to this group depending on whether or not you would like to manually manage your members.

  • All new customers should be added to this group (checked) — Any customer who signs up for an account on your store is automatically added to this group and will immediately gain access to the "member" content after signing up and logging in. This option requires no action on your part and is generally a better user experience for your customers.
  • All new customers should be added to this group (unchecked) — Any customer who signs up for an account on your store will not be added to the "member" group, and will only gain access to the "member" content if a store administrator manually assigns them to the group. This option requires more work on your part to both monitor your store for any new customers and manually assign them to the group.
 

Be careful! If you choose to leave All new customers should be added to this group unchecked, we recommend adding new members to the Guest customer group by checking this box in your Guest customer group settings. If new customers are not assigned to a group, they will be able to view all content.

6. Save the customer group.

Testing

To test your newly configured store, begin by going to your storefront the same as a customer would. If you are logged into a customer account, log out, otherwise, you should notice that the only category available to you is the Sign In or Create an Account category and any web pages you have created.

The Sign In or Create an Account category link.

1. Click the Sign In or Create an Account category link.

2. Click the Create an Account link on the category page.

3. Fill in the required information, then click Create my Account.

If you checked the box marked All new customers should be added to this group above, then you should now have access to the "member only" categories.

If you did not check the box marked All new customers should be added to this group above, you will need to manually assign your new customer account to the Member group by following these steps.

1. In your control panel, go to CustomersView, then locate your new customer account in the list.

2. Select Members from the Group dropdown list.

You can manually specify a customer group from the View Customers screen

3. Go back to your homepage (you should still be logged in to your account, if not, log in), and refresh the page. You should now have access to the "member only" categories.

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