How to Use Customer Groups in BigCommerce
Jan 14, 2023

How to Use Customer Groups in BigCommerce

In this video I go over how to use customer groups on BigCommerce, what they can do, and how to use stencil code to take it even farther.

Video Transcript:
(How to Use Customer Groups in BigCommerce)

Hey guys, are you looking at the customer groups feature on big commerce and thinking it might solve some business problems for you? Or are you looking at moving over to big commerce to get this because you're thinking, you know, this might be a path to, you know, to do some kind of wholesale system may be for your customers, I get this question a lot. And I have a ton of customers that use this feature. You know, I think I think the documentation out there really barely scratches the surface of what it can do.

So I want to go over, you know a little bit about how it works, what it can do. And I'm going to show you guys some of the built in stuff, as well as a little bit of code near the end of the video just to kind of show you guys what it can do and plant the seeds of why this is such an amazing feature. Before we get started, my name is Kal I'm a developer store just like you. And I run the ecommerce growth community for store owners like you and me.

And every week I post more ecommerce videos. So if you find this one helpful, subscribe, hit the bell, and you can see more. All right, oh, yeah, by the way, that's me. Okay, let me share my screen, and we are going to dig into customer groups. And you know, I'm gonna go over some of the high level stuff and show you guys some of the possibilities.

But, you know, I may do some additional videos after this for some specific applications, because I'm just going to try and plant some seeds and show you guys the breadth of what can be done with it. This is an amazing feature that, you know, is a huge competitive advantage of Bigcommerce over rivals like Shopify, I like Shopify, but they just don't have this. You can, you know, on other platforms like Shopify use external apps to kind of create something that works kinda like this.

But it's so much better when you have this type of data as part of your core database, because then really, you know, anything out there can interact with it. And we can, you know, choose to put things or not put things on the page using stencil code, without having to basically hide and show things with JavaScript after it actually loads on the page. Right? This is so much more cleaner, more performant.

And better for indexing if you're only showing public stuff, publicly without showing it and then removing it with JavaScript or jQuery after the fact.

So this is a this is a huge feature that big Commerce has. And I want to give you guys some ideas of what you can do, right.

Alright, so let's get started. I'm going to dig into Oh, yeah, first of all, before we get started, as we get started, I don't know when we get started. The this feature is on this is the big commerce pricing as of today. And there's different different packages standard Plus Pro and Enterprise. And this feature that we're talking about is customer groups, and segmentation, which is really available in the Plus plan and up.

So if you got plus pro or enterprise, you got this, if you don't have standard, you might end up upgrading to plus to get this if you need it after I show you what I'm going to show you.

Now, if you talk to the big commerce reps, they're going to highly tout this price list feature, which is enterprise and up. And a lot of times I find that they are telling people that this is what you need in order to show like wholesale discounts. And it is a very nice feature price lists will let you guys explicitly say on a per product level, very easy in a spreadsheet style way, exactly what the price should be a different customer group levels.

And that is an amazing feature. But it is not the only way to discount products. And I'm going to show you that it is a really nice way and it is a very clean way. But you know, if you are if you're at this level with the Pro Plan, you might find or even at the Plus plan, you may find that you could do what you need to do with customer groups and discounting this available.

Without you know, upgrading just for enterprise. And I'm not talking out of enterprise, I'm just saying it's it's one way to do it. And it kind of works in condition and condition in addition to this. Alright, now that we got that off our plate so long as you're on Plus, you can do what I'm going to show you today.

So first of all, what can you do with groups at a super high level, you can discount products, you can discount all the products in category by category. You can discount. You can show different types of content like showing categories to only certain groups, showing pages only to certain groups, or maybe even like menu items to people that are in a certain group.

You can hide and show like smaller components like for example your buy buttons or pricing on a product page. So imagine a store that says login to see pricing Maybe you want to have a customer group, that's the only group that sees pricing.

Like maybe, maybe you have a retail site that you want to show all your products on, but you only want wholesalers to see pricing and be able to buy.

Well, you can do that with customer groups. You know just so much more, you can also say, you know, even without doing like a wholesale scenario, if you want people to have to have an account and login to see pricing, you can have a group just for your non registered users and a default group.

That's the group everyone's put in when they are registered. And say only the registered group has the ability to see pricing and the unregistered group has to register in order to see it. So that's a, that's a real, real appealing thing for people that want to get customer information before they reveal pricing. All right, let's actually show you some, let's, let's show you how the sausage is made, if you will. Alright, so inside Bigcommerce.

If you go into customers, customer groups, you will see here that you have a default group, and you can click to create a group, I'm just going to call it wholesale in this scenario. And a couple things to note here, just right here on this page, you have this button right here, group access, customers in this group can see products in all categories across all channels, that's important, we're going to come back to that in a minute. You have category level discounts. So maybe you want to give a 10% discount off of anything in this one particular category.

And maybe a 20% discount in a different category. Let me show you. So we're going to change this to be percentage discount, we're going to say 10% off of products in this category.

And we come up here to select the actual actual category that we're talking about.

So let's say Ford, Van Ford Transit vans gets a 10% discount, and this other category is going to get a 20% discount, just like that. So you can see right now, we've already discounted our products pretty easily.

And you know, if you're like a lot of stores that have, you know, flat discounts for people in a wholesale group or whatever, and you know, across the whole site, you could, you could come down here and say, you know, a 40% discount, storewide just takes care of it right there.

Maybe a different group has 45 instead of 40. Right. You can also say product level discounts by picking an individual product and discounting that one product. Now if you have a lot of products, this can get pretty onerous.

So you know, it's a little bit limited here. This is where price lists come in, where if you want to explicitly say on a per product basis, what the discount is, then having a price list where you can upload 10,000 different skews, and their discounts all at once is pretty attractive. But if you have a store where you can easily just say, you know, across a whole category or across the whole store, give a certain discount, then you know, this right here is already winning pretty hard for you.

Okay, so I'm just going to click save here to create the wholesale group. And what I want to show you now as I'm going to click into the default group, which was there, by default, and what I'm going to do is this is this is clicked by default, but if you uncheck this, then you can say you can just go through here and check all of the categories that the default group should be able to see.

And because they have four transit vans unchecked, then the default group will no longer be able to see that let me just save this like this.

First, I'm going to show you guys this in action. So if I open the store and other tab so you can see it can see all of those top level categories.

And now I'm going to change the default group access to only have the top level stuff so everything except for Ford Transit Vance, right. Gonna click Save and Exit.

And there it goes. So I can no longer see Ford Transit vans. And I can see all the other ones. So right now the way that I'm seeing this is the default group can see everything that's not for transit vans, and the wholesale group can see everything right. So let's test that out.

So if I can not see four transit vans right now, let's come in here. And let's edit my user to put him in the wholesale group.

So Kal Wiggins right up here to put somebody in wholesale group or whatever customer group you created. You come up here and you just select here in the drop down Also, oh, thank you have to click Save. But next thing that I'm going to do is I want to log in as cow, because right now, I want the front end. And I'm just a default customer, right? I haven't logged in as me yet.

So to do that Bigcommerce has a nice little feature where you can come into view customers.

And then to the right of that customer, if you click on the three dots, you can click login. And that will actually log you in as if you were that customer.

And you can see now that because I'm logged in as Cal who's in the hospital, and the wholesale customer group, I can see for transit vans, and if I log out, I can no longer see for transit fans. So that is a really cool feature.

And so right there, I've showed you guys how you can change your menu to not show certain things to people based on if they're in the group.

And this is just using the default, the default functionality. So we've covered so far, how to create a group how to change whether or not that group shows up in different people's menus dynamically, assuming that you're using a dynamic menu, if you have a custom coded menu, then that functionality may not work that way.

And we've also covered how to log in to see people that are in that certain group to see what they would see if they were logged in, which is really cool.

All right.

So we've restricted category viewing by making sure that certain customer groups can't see certain categories. And that's one huge thing that you can do.

Next thing I want to show you guys that you can do is in the marketing promotions, big Commerce has automatic promotions and coupon promotion.

So the difference this is a little bit new terminology. But the difference is that coupon promotions require a coupon code, whereas automatic promotions are automatically applied, as long as people meet the certain criteria. So let me just show you that I'm not going to this isn't like a whole video about promotion. So I'm just going to show you a little bit about this. If I go in here to create an automatic promotion.

With the legacy editor, I'm sorry, with the advanced editor, this is the new editor that they came out with here not too long ago. You can say, Okay, this promotion would start target customers if the currency equals $1.

And if their customer group is wholesale. So this would be a way to apply a discount to the store, if they are specifically in that customer group. Or you could say I want a discount that applies specifically if they're not wholesale, because my wholesale customers already get the discount. So I want this new, this new like temporary discount just to be for my retail customers.

So let's say this discount is going to be just if they are not wholesale, right, and then you can add a rule like, you know, if you know, if they buy a certain product or whatever, or if they reach a subtotal, they're spending at least 100 bucks, then you know, give them free shipping or whatever. So that by doing it this way, if you remember on the previous screen, I excluded people that were in the wholesale group.

So now, only the retail customers are going to get the free shipping discount if they hit that certain threshold of $75. Right? Which is awesome.

All right. So there's so much you can do with the promotions. The coupon are very similar in what you can do exclusion wise.

So if you come in here to create a coupon, same thing is you can say if the customer group is or is not wholesale, or you know, or default, or whatever, and you can choose multiple groups at a time.

So if you end up with, you know, five groups and you have like three levels of wholesale, then you can target them all with the same rule, which is pretty cool. All right. So I'm not going to go over that in depth, because there's just so much stuff that you can do with coupons and discounts. But, you know, even if you didn't apply discounts at the, you know, at the group level, you can come in here and apply discounts at the, you know, the automatic promotion level.

And, you know, that could be even better perhaps, right? You can because you can you can daisy chain some of these conditions like say, if the customer group is wholesale, and you know, they're in the United States, for example, then apply this discount right now that wouldn't end up applying until we know that they're what their shipping destination is.

So that's a little bit of a minus because this is only going to apply basically checkout once we've identified where they're shipping to, but it's an It's interesting what all you can do with this if you get pretty creative. Let's see here, what next. So, pricing lists.

So if you are on enterprise, then you have this pricing list feature. And you can come in here and create a pricing list. And you can apply it just to a customer group, you can also apply it to an individual product. But you know, being able to apply this, this this price list, this spreadsheet type pricing to a whole group at once is pretty, pretty awesome. And let's see what else we got. So we went over store wide discounts, category discounts, automatic promotions, you know, which can be discounts, but can also be free shipping, and all kinds of other stuff.

We went over the same with coupons, we went over price lists, all these things can interact with groups, which is really, really awesome. And let's see. So that's a lot of the built in options that are there by default. Right? Now.

There is so much more that you can do with custom code. And I'm going to show you guys a little bit of code in this, right, so don't get too crazy. But I'm going to show you guys some stuff you can do. So first of all, I'm going to create a copy of our theme so that we can customize it.

With Bigcommerce, you can't customize a like the baseline theme, you have to you have to do it on a copy of it. So you have to make a basically a forked version if you're going to customize it at all.

So let me do that. And I'm gonna actually show you guys a little bit of code just to show you what's possible. If you're not coding, don't be scared. But this is something that you could show your developer and have them kind of understand a little bit more about what you can do with this. So let me apply this, this theme, and then we're going to edit it a little bit.

All right, so I'm going to just do this here in the stencil file editor. theme files okay, and so this is this is just the homepage here for my routes theme.

And what I'm going to do is I'm going to just come in here, and I'm going to just add a little bit of code. So first of all, we're going to just add a test and I'm going to add an image. And this is going to be my image right here. Save it, apply it take a drink stencil Theme Editor is a little bit slow.

Which is why developers always prefer to code locally. But it's a little bit easier to do this here for the video. So let me refresh the front end page. It does take the theme edit, you know, just a minute or two here to apply.

And you can see that here's my test paragraph and here's the little image and little image is just a gray image that says this and that. So we're gonna go back here, I'm going to take out my test and I'm going to add one more image and I'm going to make these images have some color.

So I'm going to say that that first image and second image Alright, let's apply that. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to show you how to use an if statement to get this to show up just if people are logged in as a certain group. So I'm just starting out by putting you know the two the two pieces of content that I'm talking about here on a page and so we can see him look looks like I did something wrong again here

you know, I could you know, I record this live all right. There we go, we got two images, first image and second image. And what I want to do is I want to say specifically, I will only show the first image if people are, let's say, I'll only show the second image if people are logged in as the wholesale group. So here's how we do that. So we have the two images right here. It's really clean, clear and easy to see. And we are going to, first of all, we're going to add a script in here that is going to output customers. Group. And here's what it needs to say console log, customer group name in stencil handlebars, and lie.

If I clicked inspect, and then click into the console, it should tell us the customer group that people are loaded in us.

And I think since I'm not logged in as anything, it's kind of just be blank. So a customer group. That should work. I just want to see a little bit of text here. So I can make sure I'm looking at the right line here in the console.

So if I refresh it on the front end, you can see here's my line, and it says customer group is blank, right. And that's because I'm not logged in as anybody that is in a customer group.

Now, if I went back here into the backend, and logged in as my customer, and I'm in the wholesale group, I'm going to log in as my customer now. Then, if I go back to the homepage, where that code is, click inspect, and see the console. customer group is wholesale, right?

So so what did we what did we learn here, so if I'm not logged in as anybody that's in a customer group, then it'll just be blank, right. And if I am, then it'll say, a wholesale whenever that code is put on the page.

So this is the code that outputs a customer group name. Alright, now you can say, we can put an if statement in here that says, if customer group name and I'm sorry, we need to take these out because we're already in some handlebars, so we can say if customer group name.

So if they if there is a customer group name, then we're going to put the customer group name onto the page in a paragraph. Or we can say there is no customer group name.

Refresh it on the front end. And okay, so I'm still logged in as wholesale. So now it showed wholesale here on the page. So I'm going to actually come back here are actually on here, I'm going to log out.

Go back to the homepage. And now you can see the result of that if statement. There is no customer group name.

So why did this happen? So it happened because I'm not logged in as a customer group name. And the way that our if statement says is is the way what it's saying here is if it's true that there is a customer group name, then put that on the page.

And so if it's not true that there is a customer group name, ie if they're logged out, then show this On the page, right?

So you can see, you know, pretty easily how this can become a command here to show the price.

Or don't show the price, right? Go back here and save it, give it a minute back to the front end, don't show the price. Whereas if I'm logged in as my customer group user then it says show the price.

Now, you know, clearly, we're just kind of doing some things here, that isn't exactly what you would do like, you wouldn't actually put a sentence on the page that says Show the price or don't show the price, what you would do is you would use this if statement to wrap around the price element, like on a product page or in your product cards, to basically take away the ability to show the price.

And, you know, if if the price doesn't show, then you would say something like login to see the price. And this could be a link to the login page, right.

Or you could use my epic modal login app and use this right here to trigger logging them in a modal which wouldn't redirect them off of the current product page. So a little bit of a plug for that. All right, so we can take these images now.

And we can say, if they are in, if they're not in the group, then show this if they are in the group, and show that I'm going to just comment out the initial ones, click Save.

Don't know if you guys can hear me drinking some tea, but it gets a little bit warm in these videos.

Alright, so come back here to the front end. And now we are seeing the second image.

But if we log in as a wholesale person in come to the homepage. So we were seeing before, let's see, second image.

This is where we put that, that line and the console. So we can always see what we're logged in as. So right now we are logged in as customer group wholesale. And so if I look at the stencil code, it should say if we are in a customer group, then show the second image.

Okay, so if we're not in a customer group should show the first image. So let's just log out and see if it shows the first image feels first image Perfect. All right now technically, the way that this if statement is showing, it's saying if there is a customer group, but this is not asking if you are in a specific customer group.

So to add to ask it, if you are in a specific customer group, we want to add on a little bit of text here a little bit of code that says if customer group equals and let's just say wholesale, then show this. And I'm also going to say you are logged in as wholesale. All right. Alright. So this changes our if statement to be instead of just is their customer group name.

This is now saying if the customer group name specifically is wholesale, then show this otherwise show this other thing. And if you've been looking around for the answer on how to do that, kudos, you found it. It's really easy once you do it. And you can also pair this up with or like an or statement to say if they're in this group or that one, and then they'll fire on either one of those.

But let's just look at this on the front end now. can refresh it. So it's showing the first image because we're logged out. So let's come back here and log back in.

You can see how handy now this is to be able to log in as somebody in whatever group you want.

So come back here to the homepage and it's shown the second image and says you are logged in as wholesale. All right. So, you know this is just a couple like real cheesy examples of show Going a little bit of, you know, altered content.

But you can use these if statements to maybe, you know, subtract out one of your menu items, or show a different logo or, you know, show a whole other menu.

You know, let's do that real quick, let's say, you know, if, what if we take this, and we don't put this in the homepage, but instead of this being here, let's just take this whole block. And we just save this. So that is not on the homepage anymore.

Because all we've done so far is show you some stuff on one individual page. But if you apply this to say your header, right, imagine at the bottom of our header.

We put together a menu and let's just paste the script in that we were using. Okay. So this is where to put that customer group name is into the console. And then we have our script here that we were running, that showed the image and the logged in as wholesale or not logged in as wholesale.

But let's imagine we put a little menu here. And this could be like a menu that you want to show just for your wholesale customers.

So for example, maybe you have a page that has a whole bunch of their images or like a press pack or logos or something that you want to download, you don't want that to go out to all of your customers, but you do want to be good service to your wholesale customers.

So let me I'm just going to save this. And we're going to look at this real quick. Because we move this to the header file. So now this is available on every page on the site.

back here and refresh it. Alright, so we see the code that we had, we're, we're logged in as wholesale. And then we see the links that we put up here just as like a, a test, a, you know, a test menu. But we have this stupid image, and we have this, you are logged in as wholesale. So let's clean this up and turn it into something that feels a little bit more real world by taking this menu and making this the thing that you see if you log in as wholesale.

And say, instead of somebody that's not logged in as wholesale, we're just gonna say welcome to our store.

Alright, so if they're logged in as wholesale, they're gonna see this menu. And if they're not, they're just gonna see a menu message that says Welcome to our store, just so we can verify that it's showing something. And we could, you know, easily show them nothing different or nothing at all instead. So let's save it and apply it.

Going to log out here while that's saving. Right, now we're gonna refresh just take a minute or two sometimes for it to apply to a store. Their online steam stencil editor is a little bit slow. All right, there goes. Okay, so I'm logged in as I'm logged out.

So it basically just says, Welcome to our store. But if I come back in here and click to log in. Now I'm logged in as my wholesale group customer. And so you can see the links that we showed up that we that we threw up here. You can put whatever you want in this if statement and show it to only the people that you want to see it. And what's really cool is that again, this is stencil. So this isn't JavaScript, this is in jQuery, this is going on the page. You know, as it's loading, it's not removing something from the page after the fact. Which is which is way better for indexing because you only index the stuff that you wanted to show. So you know we've covered so much in this I'm going to do some additional follow up videos where I go over some specific examples and just do a real targeted video, but I just kind of really wanted to show you guys you know what kind of stuff that you can do with this.

And you can see that the built in options like the restricting category viewing the coupon discount restrictions, the priceless supplying to specifically groups, the store wide discount the category, I mean, these are all amazing options that you don't have on just about any other platform out there and without having to create a whole separate site just for your wholesale audience, right. You can do your wholesale and your retail in one, you don't have to do this for wholesale. But Wholesale is the biggest application I see for customer groups.

You know, I've seen some businesses out there that service, you know, b2b clients, and they want their b2b clients to log in and just see products that are available for them, and to have the appearance tailored for them as a b2b customer. And, you know, the sky's the limit once you combine the customer groups with the stuff that you can do with the custom stencil, it's it's pretty crazy. I know I got a little bit Cody here, and I want to hold myself back and not go not go too far.

But there is just so much stuff that you guys can do. And I wanted to you know, just kind of share a little bit about it and start the conversation. Be sure if you guys found this helpful. Leave me a comment. Let me know what you guys are going to do with it. Be sure to join our community up at join ecommerce

If you need a developer come see me. I'm super deep into this stuff. I know all kinds of stuff about customer groups. And I am very passionate about the platform.

So let me know what you guys need help with leave me a comment. And thanks so much. I'll see you guys next time.