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Creating a hidden page with exclusive products?

MuleFishing
New Member
3 0 0

This is probably easier to do than I realize but I can't seem to figure it out and haven't found anyone else who has asked the question so here it is...

Is there a way to create an additional catalog page BUT it only contains products which don't show up anywhere else on the site? Additionally, I don't want it to appear as a tab on my site. I just want it to be a direct link.

I would like to start selling products that are a bit like an "easter egg" to my fans on social media. I will drop the link with limited-run unique merchandise but only those who find it can access these items. 

Thank you all in advance for your help!

Replies 18 (18)
r8r
Shopify Expert
2539 327 913

Hi,

if you really want a lot of control with an admin-ui, you coud try Locksmith.

You could also set up a collection that's not linked to from anywhere on the page and make this collection listing page your "exclusive products" listing. The only thing you'd have to make sure is, that the exclusive products are also excluded from the search as well as any blocks that you might use to show products throughout the site. This article explains how to hide your products from search result, using metafields. (The mentioned Chrome extension isn't available anymore, but you can really use any other metafields editor app instead to accomplish the same thing.)

Hope this helps!
Mario

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MuleFishing
New Member
3 0 0

Thank you Mario!

This definitely helps get me started. Only follow up question I have is how I can ensure my new collection doesn't roll into the main catalog section of my website? As of now, all items roll into that by default and I can't seem to adjust that.

r8r
Shopify Expert
2539 327 913

@MuleFishing this depends entirely on the configuration of your page and what components you're using. If you use modules that won't let you filter (or rather exclude) products by category, you'll have to do custom work. Honestly, I'd try and ee how far Locksmith can take you. That seems to be the most promising path to me …

Mario

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MuleFishing
New Member
3 0 0

Thanks - I was hoping to avoid spending additional money per month to do this. All good, I appreciate your help!

DREW7
Excursionist
15 1 6

From personal experience, I'd just emphasize to follow Mario's instructions to make sure search engines don't pick up the link.  Otherwise, you'll start getting orders from randoms that came across the link online.  You'll also find that people post the link to forums, social media etc...and things will generally become a nightmare.  There's all sorts of workarounds but it's a royal pita. 

MDD
Explorer
53 0 50

Once again we see shopify pushing users towards PAYING for features that should be included in the platform itself.  The constant shilling for paid third-party solutions (which Shopify is absolutely for sure getting a cut of) is a complete RIP OFF.  No one wants and answer that includes "Please pay for this", they want an answer of how to do it on the platform that I *already pay for*.  RIP OFF

PaulNewton
Shopify Partner
4765 390 1021

@MDD wrote:

Once again we see shopify pushing users towards PAYING for features that should be included in the platform itself.  The constant shilling for paid third-party solutions (which Shopify is absolutely for sure getting a cut of) is a complete RIP OFF.  No one wants and answer that includes "Please pay for this", they want an answer of how to do it on the platform that I *already pay for*.  RIP OFF


Shopify is a generalized platform that allows merchants with wildly different business models to operate, currently over a million of them.

It's unreasonable to expect 1 service to cater to every single need for millions of businesses.

Specialized needs == specialized solutions.

You can do it for free by doing the research yourself and implementing the common wholesale customization to a theme yourself to fulfill this business need.

So you can choose to either burn your time learning the different systems of shopify in-depth to put the features in-place yourself , or you can choose to responsibly delegate letting you work on the business instead of being stuck working in the business by using the available solutions.

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MDD
Explorer
53 0 50

So you can choose to either burn your time learning the different systems of shopify in-depth to put the features in-place yourself , or you can choose to responsibly delegate letting you work on the business instead of being stuck working in the business by using the available solutions.

 

Just so that I'm clear here, your response to someone criticizing the Shopify platform for not including many basic features within the platform itself (a platform, mind you, that I already *pay* for) is that... I should learn how to put those features in place myself?  After paying Shopify to provide a functional platform that includes features people ask for, you think that I, the one already PAYING for those features, am also the one who should craft and implement them?  I thought that was the whole point of an e-commerce solution like shopify, I thought that's why people PAY for shopify.... so that SHOPIFY would provide the platform and features I need precisely so that I, as a small business owner, can focus on my business and not have to worry about figuring out how to get the functionality I need out of the platform?  So if that's NOT the purpose of Shopify then what is?  Why am I even using this platform if the response to missing features is "Pay $10 a month or learn to do it yourself".  I already pay for the platform, and if I knew how to do it myself you can bet your last dollar I'd stop paying Shopify to do it for me.  Which it may be time for me to look into, I'm sick and tired of being told to pay a third party developer $10/mo for functionality that should already be in the platform.  The fact that third party developers CAN create this functionality for Shopify means that the only reasons Shopify doesn't include it in the platform themselves is they're either too lazy to bother or it's so that they can create an artificial marketplace where they can resell functionality to users instead of including it in the prices users already pay. 

 

 

 

 

PaulNewton
Shopify Partner
4765 390 1021

@MDD wrote:

Lots of fallacies and misconceptions here

criticizing the Shopify platform for not including many basic features within the platform itself

Memberships systems are by no means basic, just because your model requires it doesn't make it simple.

Even if shopify had one there's still a high likelyhood youd have to customize it , just like the wholesale channel on shopify plus , or as most merchants need to do for their themes.

So if that's NOT the purpose of Shopify then what is? 


To provide the baseline ability to do ecommerce, it's certainly not fulfilling any 1 single merchants specific requirements  just because a tiny percentage asks for it because they think they are entitled to everything they need.

Say you rent a business space for brick and mortar, do you expect the landlord to put a dome over the parking lot allowing only specific people in when most the rest of the businesses in that business center do not need such a feature.

No that would be silly and unreasonable to expect the landlord to build that so what you do instead is get and ID reader installed on your doors by a contractor because that's reasonable and just plain good business isn't it?

Just because shopify is software doesn't remove reasonability or having good business practices.

 

 If I knew how to do it myself you can bet your last dollar I'd stop paying Shopify to do it for me

Delegation. Even if you knew you have to burn time doing it that's not a good way to grow an online business.

Apps MAKE YOU MONEY, if feature-X doesn't make money why are you wasting time on it?

I can understand the frustration for new entrepreneurs having to figure things out but the time spent fuming on stuff like this is time that could have already been used setting up that feature.

 

I'm sick and tired of being told to pay a third party developer $10/mo for functionality that should already be in the platform

"Should" is loaded, just because you need it doesn't it make it others responsibility to provide it when the are already providing you with so much.

The only platform that will EVER meet all of the needs for 1 single merchants requirements is the platform they build for themselves.

Merchants that want to make money realize how much that would cost so use shopify as a jumping off point not a be all end all.

 

The fact that third party developers CAN create this functionality

Not how that works in the least money is finite, time is finite, shopify is a business and they deliver the best value they can for the most customers possible.

Even the baseline features they provide efficient merchants still use apps with enhanced features to get things done and make money.

You can either be upset shopify isn't in the wish fulfillment business or you can invest in the tools you need to increase your business value.

If there's over 1 million merchants how many do you think it takes to justify bloating the system with another feature

Two hundred thousand? A thousand? The handful in this thread deciding what a million other merchants get, no.

After all shopify isn't not beholden to making all of single merchants wishes come true now are they?

 

 

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MDD
Explorer
53 0 50

Of course as a Shopify "partner" your perspective revolves around the need to protect your own income flow from whatever subscription based apps you yourself sell that address shopify's intentional shortcomings, so pardon me if I don't engage in a long debate about the philosophy of what an e-commerce provider should and shouldn't do, I have a more immediate need: functionality.  Something as simple as creating a page on my site that is not viewable unless you have the URL for that page.  I consider that basic functionality as it was something I was easily able to achieve when I did all my own coding for my site before switching to shopify, where that functionality is locked behind a paywall.  The bottom line is, whenever I search for functionality to address an issue or to add a needed feature the answer always comes back:  Shell out more money to rent that functionality from someone else, waste hours, days or even weeks sorting out how to "do it yourself" or buzz off. 

I signed up for Shopify under the impression that I was engaging with a platform that is dedicated to helping streamline both my front-facing online store and my back end website management which would leave me more time to increase customer engagement and retention and secure increased conversion rates.  What I increasingly find myself engaged with is a platform that is dedicated to providing basic functionality and an artificial marketplace where 3rd party devs can rent everything else back to me while Shopify takes a cut of the income and doesn't have to do any of the actual work.  This is not the experience I expected and the fact that I'm still using Shopify is only a result of my own lack of motivation to dedicate the time to switching to another service.  But every time I try to implement a feature on my website and find the same old "You should look at this app for $10/mo!" reply I'm reminded to update my "to do" list.  

PaulNewton
Shopify Partner
4765 390 1021

Of course as a Shopify "partner" your perspective revolves around the need to protect your own income flow from whatever subscription based apps you yourself sell that address shopify's intentional shortcoming

The bulk of my income revolves around getting merchants solutions to increase their business value through one-time theme customizations,  education,  correcting flawed mindsets, or outright giving them process.

Lol the "intentional " rhetoric. The misconception of treating known solutions as some conspiratorial artificial impediment instead of tools is one of the first mental blocks new merchants need to learn to overcome or it's gonna be a constant albatross of failure. 

 

Here's a fun experiment search the forums for merchant profiles complaining about apps in the same way and see how many are still in business after even a few months of the post or devolve into "traffic no sales".

Successful merchants use the tools that make them money.

But hey when roadblocks or failure is happening just get mad and point at a generalized platform instead of engaging with the issue using it's known solutions and moving on with business.

 

I have a more immediate need: functionality

Then meet that need with the expertise that's been given to you for free to meet an "immediate need" :

  • apps
  • or a modified wholesale customization

 

Something as simple as creating a page on my site that is not viewable unless you have the URL for that page.  I consider that basic functionality as it was something I was easily able to achieve when I did all my own coding f

modified wholesale customization , you did look that up when it was recommended right?

{%- if customer.tags contains "canseepage" -%}
    {%- comment -%} Content {%- endcomment -%}
{%- endif -%}

If you want public shareable links without apps use the theme preview systems.

 

using Shopify is only a result of my own lack of motivation to dedicate the time to switching to another service

If a feature is so low value that it cannot overcome motivational issues why burn time on it that make no sense in the personal or the business.

 

 "You should look at this app for $10/mo!" reply I'm reminded to update my "to do" list.  

Knock out most of it in a day by sorting by expected ROI then getting those apps > profit > repeat.

 

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r8r
Shopify Expert
2539 327 913

@MDD if you want full control and flexibility over your tools, SaaS is not the right approach, neither - most likely anyways - will Shopify be able to satisfy your needs.

Shopify is a for profit company. Serious experts and partners are for profit companies as well. Same goes for serious merchants who need to make a living on their sales. What you are describing is an expectation where you get a completely customizeable experience and dedicated support for a minimal investment.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t sell apps or themes and provide tons of free support here; my company also supports various open source projects (Shopware, TYPO3, etc.) by contributing our work and code.

I‘m not exactly bored though and if someone needs more help than I can provide pro bono, I will tell them what it’s gonna cost ahead of time. Most merchants agree without a discussion. Same as most merchants don’t mind spending money on an app, so long as it gives them a positive ROI.

 

To me it sounds like you stores requirements don’t seem to match up with what you get from Shopify. If a 15 USD app fixes the shortcomings your store has, then by all means, what are you waiting for? If you’re not willing to invest (or have requirements that Shopify doesn’t provide - of which there are many) you may have to compromise your ideal picture of a store or simply choose another platform as your e-commerce tool.

 

Regards, Mario

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MDD
Explorer
53 0 50

Here's a fun experiment search the forums for merchant profiles complaining about apps in the same way and see how many are still in business after even a few months of the post or devolve into "traffic no sales".

Here's a fun fact:  I've been doing what I do for over 15 years, nearly 5 years of that using shopify, and have generated a 6 figure income annually the whole time, both before and after switching to shopify.  Shopify has minimally met my backend requirements so I keep using it.  Shopify has repeatedly failed to meet my customer facing requirements so I regularly consider dumping it.  You have an agenda you're working on here, that much is obvious, and equally obvious is that your agenda aligns with Shopify's, not mine as a successful merchant seeking solutions.  Thanks anyways, enjoy your "partnership" with shopify, someone should.  I certainly don't.

MDD
Explorer
53 0 50

If a 15 USD app fixes the shortcomings your store has, then by all means, what are you waiting for?

 

15 USD *per month

 

If I could find the various, often very simple functionalities which I seek for an upfront one-time cost of $15 or even several hundred dollars I'd engage them immediately, and in the past have done just that when I really need something to be a certain way and shopify, as usual, does not provide the functionality I require.  While that's more palatable, what I have not and will not do is pay multiple subscriptions fees to multiple different third party devs for functionalities that in my opinion should be baked into shopify to start with, or at the very least included in the higher tier pricing plans for shopify.  I only pay $29/mo for my plan and for what is provided I feel that's a more than acceptable cost (ignoring the literally thousands of dollars I pay yearly in transaction fees, I suppose).  But because of this 3rd party artificial marketplace where Shopify is having their cake (direct income from merchants like myself) and eating it too (income from devs selling basic functionality to merchants) that I refuse to increase the level of my shopify plan, because doing so in no way at all increases the actual core functionality of the platform other than improved reports, which does nothing whatsoever for my customers or storefront.  If I moved from the $29/mo plan to the $79 or $299/mo plan I would still have to shell out more monthly payments on top of that to 3rd party devs for missing functionality.  The way Shopify is marketed is as a comprehensive e-commerce solution, just google the phrase "comprehensive e-commerce platform" and a Shopify ad will likely be the first thing that pops up, they PAY to advertise the platform as comprehensive.  The way shopify actually works is as a basic e-commerce platform upon which 3rd party devs stand with their hands out seeking subscriptions.  To my way of seeing things Shopify looks more like a platform for selling functionality to merchants in the form of multiple monthly subscriptions than it looks like platform designed to provide merchants with comprehensive solutions to their needs.

r8r
Shopify Expert
2539 327 913

@MDD - I’m trying not to feed the trolls, but considering you’re accusing me of something without knowing me one bit, I will respond anyways:

With Shopware I make at least 10-fold of what I make with my Shopify work. I also have donated over 400 hours of my time in the past 12 months to answer questions here in the community and help out. Not because it pays off financially, but because I like working with people and helping them, while becoming better at what I do and learn something new every day. Yes, it generates a job here or there, but nothing I could make a living on.
I have consulted people to both move away from Shopify and move to Shopify as well. Always depending on the use case and requirements. In the German board I have written a lengthy post about total cost of ownership over 5 years, comparing Shopify to a couple of open source solutions. Spoiler: Shopify is not the cheapest solution in that scenario.

If you came to me for consulting, I would most likely suggest you set aside the budget to go open source and use one of the other reputable platforms out there, that will give you full freedom of what you need to get done. This will take a 5-figure budget at least, but that way you can shape your own custom tool.

Using Shopify comes at a cost, both monetarily and much more so in terms of freedom. It fits for a vast number of merchants and their use cases out there, but by far not for everyone. It doesn’t seem to be a fit for you. But that’s not the fault of either Shopify or us here in the ecosystem.

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MDD
Explorer
53 0 50

I'm not trolling, just expressing my ongoing frustration with what I believe is intentionally limited functionality that Shopify implements on their platform so that they can create an artificial marketplace where they can then take a cut of the profits that third party devs bring in creating solutions to that missing functionality.  Basically I believe that shopify is creating a situation where they can make money off the work of others by trying to force merchants such as myself to buy functionality that Shopify themselves should be implementing.  If you consider that to be trolling, fine, but it's just what I think is happening.

r8r
Shopify Expert
2539 327 913

@MDD - it was your judging that I considered trolling. Don’t get me wrong, I understand you’re frustrated - I would like to see many of those things changed as well. But considering that this SaaS serves millions of instances, I can understand why they try to limit the core features to what is needed by the vast majority of users. Going so far, that in the EU not even all tax laws can be followed 100% when you run a Shopify store here, as Shopify doesn’t see a big enough share of merchants affected by certain laws.

But that’s how SaaS works. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

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MDD
Explorer
53 0 50

Fair enough.  I do understand the difficulty of scaling functionality to a global platform, but it's beyond confusing to me that simple things like changing the size of shipping labels you're going to print on, providing live links to hidden shop pages or setting country-of-origin for all products in the shop via a global setting instead of per-product (all things I've had to spend hours finding solutions to) are things that virtually all merchants will need to handle, yet shopify makes the solutions to these basic problems (and so many more) so opaque that 3rd party devs charging a monthly fee are usually pointed to as the best solution when someone comes to these forums asking how to do these things.  And I do not believe for a second that's accidental, I believe Shopify wants it that way.