As a Shopify Partner, you’ve almost certainly come across development stores, the free Shopify account that allows you to build stores for clients and test out new themes and apps. Development stores are a key component of building for Shopify, and offer tons of opportunity to explore what the platform has to offer.
But what if you have a client who already has a Shopify store? What if you’ve been hired to spruce up the design of an existing store, or launch a new marketing initiative? In that case, it’s time to use a collaborator account.
In this article, we’ll walk you through what a collaborator account is, how to request access to your clients’ stores, and how to use collaborator accounts to make your client’s experience even better.
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Understanding collaborator accounts
Before the introduction of collaborator accounts in 2017, you had to be added to a merchant’s store as a staff account if you wanted to do any work on it. This wasn’t ideal—staff accounts are limited depending on which plan the merchant is on. It also meant that you had to keep track of all the different logins for the multiple stores you were working on.
Collaborator accounts were the solution. Today, you can simply request access to your client’s store directly through your Partner Dashboard. The store owner receives an email with your request, approves you for the specific permissions you need to do your job, and you’re good to start working.
"Managed stores are all accessible from your Partner Dashboard, so no more remembering a dozen different logins."
Your managed stores are all accessible from your Partner Dashboard, so no more remembering a dozen different logins. And since collaborator accounts don’t count towards a merchant’s total staff number, merchants have the flexibility to add you whenever they need you.
You might also like: Everything You Need to Know About Development Stores.
Requesting access to a client’s store
The process for requesting access to your client’s store is simple.
- In your Partner Dashboard, click Managed stores.
- Click Add client store.
- Enter the URL of the Shopify store you want to work on.
- In the Permissions section, select the sections of the store you want to access, or check Full access. Remember that the store owner can change these permissions after your account is created. See below for more information on permissions.
- If you’d like, include a message to the store owner in the Add a message section.
- Click Send request.
Once you send your request, an email will be sent to the store owner and a notification will appear on their Shopify Home, asking them to approve you. Requests expire after seven days, but don’t worry—you can always re-request access after the expiration date.
Once your client has approved you, you’ll be able to access their store—and all the other stores you work on—via the Managed stores tab in your Partner Dashboard.
Removing managed stores
Once you’ve finished working with your client, the merchant can remove your account from their store. You can also remove your collaborator account by visiting the Managed stores page, clicking on the store in question, and clicking Remove managed store.
Removing managed stores also helps you maintain security for the merchants you’ve worked with.
The permissions you should request from a client depend greatly on the work you’ll be doing for them. For example, if you’re going to be designing a store, you don’t need access to the store’s finances. You could, however, need access to the following:
- Blog Posts and Pages
A full list of possible permissions with their descriptions can be found in our Help Center.
It can be helpful to take the time to explain to your clients why you need access to certain parts of their store—it builds trust, and helps your client understand the different aspects of the work you’ll be doing for them.
You might also like: 4 Quick Ways to Build Trust With a New Client.
A smooth working experience
Collaborator accounts make the process of working for existing Shopify merchants much smoother. They allow you to easily access the parts of a merchant store you need to do your job, while ensuring that the merchant experience is safe and controlled. This collaborative environment gives you an opportunity to do great work for merchants everywhere.
Do you use collaborator accounts with your clients? Tell us your experience in the comments below!