With the rise of user-friendly software that emphasizes convenience, most modern consumers have learned to value self-service customer portals — and we really do mean most. According to Statista, 88% of US respondents now expect a brand or organization to have some kind of online support portal.
When Shopify brands effectively utilize customer account portals, they have a prime opportunity to create a convenient customer shopping experience and provide a framework to meet diverse customer needs. But what separates a great portal from an ineffective one?
At Smartrr, we think a strong Shopify customer portal is one that deepens customer autonomy and engagement. That’s why we’ve prioritized making an industry-leading portal with features such as comprehensive order history, reward opportunities, easy referrals, reviews, loyalty programs, and more. In other words, we’re transforming the DTC post-purchase experience by empowering consumers to curate their own customer journey.
No matter where you are in your eCommerce journey, we’re covering everything you need to know about customer account portals — as well as how Smartrr transforms your portal into a brand engagement hub for both your one-time and recurring business alike.
When we talk about a customer account portal, we mean an online information center that gives customers visibility into their interactions with a company throughout the customer journey. Think of it as a one-stop shop for your new and loyal customers alike to access account information, manage subscriptions, view upcoming orders, track transaction history, and more.
These customer portals are an essential component for eCommerce businesses because they put the power into the hands of the consumer. Beyond being a helpful tool for customers to access numerous resources in just one click, an engaging portal also works to deepen your audience’s relationship with your brand.
So why does this matter and how does it work? Good questions —
There are a variety of reasons why a strong customer account portal matters for your Shopify brand. In addition to creating a more convenient experience for consumers, here are some of the benefits of building up your customer portal:
All right — let’s talk features. After all, they’re the bread and butter of any account portal.
It may vary based on the kind of business you run, but we usually advocate for a more robust portal to maximize engagement levels — and consumers in general are seeking more well-rounded portals as well, which makes sense. Think of it this way: the more you include in your account portal, the less you’ll see customers reaching out for support from your team — leaving a happier audience and a support team that’s freed up to handle the real problems.
But before we can talk about elevating your customer portal, it’s important to strengthen your basic offerings.
Here are some basic features that customers tend to expect within their customer account portal:
Now we can dive into the good stuff.
In addition to the standard account portal features that we previously discussed, many Shopify brands are seeing the benefits of going even deeper with LTV-boosting touchpoints. Going above and beyond with your account portal is key to engaging, retaining, and impressing your subscribers — all in the name of maximizing your customer lifetime value.
Here’s how you can elevate your customer account portal, as well as how Smartrr’s portal helps drive engagement and prioritizes the end consumer.
A great way to bring your Shopify customer portal to the next level is to allow customers to manage their subscription settings — and our suggested secret weapon is to implement a gifting option. Giving subscribers the option to gift enables your current audience to skip a month when they don’t need your product in favor of providing their friends and family with a thoughtful present — all the while simultaneously boosting brand awareness and expanding your customer base.
🧠Smartrr’s Customer Account Portal: In addition to gifting, Smartrr has a plethora of other flexible subscription management options from which subscribers can select in their portal. Encourage consumers to choose what’s right for them, whether that’s opting to pause, skip, swap items, or edit their frequency — all without needing any customer support.
And in the name of making things as easy as possible for the end consumer, we offer passwordless login to remove any friction from the login process.
Ultimately, your account portal is a stellar spot to highlight what matters most: your products. Strategically displaying and offering one-time add-ons and subscriber-only exclusive products and discounts can up engagement and encourage your subscribers to spend a little extra.
🧠Smartrr’s Customer Account Portal: Within our account portal, you can easily offer one-time add-ons, exclusive discounts, special pricing, and subscriber-only products and benefits to increase AOV and LTV, strengthening the relationship with your customers.
46% of consumers reported that they increased their amount of business with a company to receive loyalty rewards. Consumers tend to respond to rewards, and you can easily encourage retention and foster a connection to your brand by implementing a loyalty program. By giving subscribers perks to celebrate subscription milestones, you can help build a strong relationship, increase your AOV, and keep your subscribers dedicated to your business.
🧠Smartrr’s Customer Account Portal: You can easily and transparently display loyalty rewards within Smartrr’s customer portal without subscribers needing to enroll. We also recommend promoting your loyalty program through email marketing to ensure everyone is aware of the program — and to encourage subscribers to redeem their rewards in their portal.
Additionally, an important part of promoting brand loyalty is ensuring a consistent brand experience in general. Within the Smartrr app, you can customize your company’s portal to seamlessly adhere to your brand guidelines and craft an experience that aligns with the products that you are selling — including translation & copy overrides to maintain a clear brand voice. Smartrr’s advanced theming capabilities natively sync brand settings from Shopify to Smartrr’s account portal for a white-labeled brand experience — which means it’ll look like you designed it yourself.
One of the best ways to grow your brand is by rewarding your subscribers for spreading the word, also known as encouraging word-of-mouth marketing. Many brands incentivize subscribers to refer friends by giving each party a credit toward their next purchase — but you can also opt to provide a free product, exclusive access to new products, or whatever makes sense from your brand.
The best part is your Shopify business will really benefit from this investment, too — because these referred customers tend to spend 200% more than the average customer.
🧠Smartrr’s Customer Account Portal: With our account portal, you can easily display referral rewards and allow your customers to cash in on their earnings. Plus, our portal lets you show each subscriber the number of referrals they’ve brought in so they can monitor the perks they’ve gained as a result of referring others.
The power of trending upsells boils down to social proof, or the tendency to look at what other people are doing to inform your own behavior. By promoting “trending” products alongside positive reviews, you can help to boost social proof and gently encourage subscribers to try out a new product. This is also a great opportunity to seamlessly upsell to your subscribers.
🧠Smartrr’s Customer Account Portal: Smartrr makes it simple to curate your own trending list and spotlight whichever products you’d like. You can even use our trending list to highlight a particular creator’s “picks” to further leverage social proof.
The convenience and benefits of a seamless customer account portal combined with a strong product help create a brand experience that outshines competitors. Consumer-focused subscription programs with an intuitive account portal that includes features to engage subscribers and build brand champions ultimately lead to increased retention and customer lifetime value. Our modern account portal sets the foundation for Smartrr to be the strongest retention tool in the Shopify ecosystem.
Want to see specific examples of how Shopify brands are building their business with Smartrr’s strong customer account portal capabilities? Click here.