Limiting who can create new Customer / Order / Product TAGs

birica
Shopify Partner
13 1 5

Hello Shopify Community,

I hope you're all doing well. Today, I'd like to bring up an issue that has been a recurring challenge for our team—managing tags in Shopify. Specifically, I'm looking for ways to limit who can create tags, manage them centrally like metafields, and ideally, merge duplicate tags easily.

The Problem at Hand

  1. Tag Overload: We currently have over 400 tags applied to our orders ( just orders, we have similar situations with customer records), which is overwhelming considering there should ideally be no more than 60-70. A significant number of these tags are duplicates, used on just 1-5 orders.

  2. Duplicate Tags: Most of these duplicates arise from slight misspellings/typos, extra spaces, or the use of underscores instead of dashes.

  3. User Errors: We have a team of more than 15 users, and despite training, human errors are inevitable. Slow internet connections also contribute to the problem, as the tag dropdown sometimes loads too slowly, leading users to create new tags instead of selecting existing ones.

  4. Administrative Control: I'd like to have the ability to restrict who can create new tags. While the default setting can remain "allowed for everyone" having an option to limit this to 1-2 admins would significantly reduce duplicates and time wasted tag management.

  5. Counterproductive Tags: The current state of tags is almost counterproductive for us. Cleaning them up for useful reporting is becoming a cumbersome task.

  6. Recurring Cleanup: This is the third time in 1.5 years that we're undergoing a tag cleanup process, highlighting how easy it is to misuse them.

  7. Tag Merging: A feature to merge two similar tags and update the corresponding tagged customers, orders, or products in just a click or two would be incredibly helpful.

Proposed Solutions

  1. Centralized Tag Management: Similar to how metafields are managed, a centralized system for tags would allow for better control and organization.

  2. User Restrictions: An option to restrict tag creation to specific admins would be a game-changer. This would not affect smaller teams but would be a boon for larger organizations like ours.

  3. Tag Merging: A simple UI feature to merge tags could save hours of manual work.

  4. Dropdown Load Speed: Optimizing the dropdown load time could also mitigate the issue to some extent.

Conclusion

Tags are a powerful feature in Shopify, but without proper management, they can become a hindrance rather than a help. I believe implementing these features would benefit not just our team but many others facing similar challenges.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, or any workarounds you've found effective.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Looking forward to your insights!

20 years+ programming experience (Ruby, Javascript, SCSS/SASS/CSS)
Replies 4 (4)

JoesIdeas
Shopify Expert
2284 208 607

Wow 400 thats a lot of tags on an order! 😄

 

There's not a way (that I know of) to restrict certain people to creating tags, only restricting access to areas.

 

Maybe creating a clear SOP for the people that manage tags would help. People shouldn't be making basic errors when entering tags (for example you mentioned hyphen vs underscore).

 

Maybe simplify your tag system, for example never use underscores or dashes, only spaces. Then you could prevent the problem of duplicate tags due to dash / underscore / space descrepency.

 

Another thing you could analyze is if tagging is necessary in all your cases. For example, maybe some things could be automatically generated (like adding certain order notes depending on contents of the order).

 

If there are set rules for adding tags, that a human doesn't analyze, you could look into automating order tags. For example, if order contains products from collection A, add tag "Collection A" to the order. You can do things like that with Order Automator, as well as create custom automations. Shopify Flow also has functionality that can automate order tags.

 

If it were my store, I would analyze the system first, how to minimize human interaction for menial tasks like tagging, and then after automating as much as possible, create a clear SOP for the remaining people that need to interact with tags.

• Creator of Order Automator (automate tagging, fulfillment, Amazon, notifications + more)
• Shopify developer for 10+ years, store owner for 7 years
• I also make guides like Shopify Automation Tips and How to Figure Out Why You're Not Getting Sales
birica
Shopify Partner
13 1 5

Hi. 
Thank you for your  suggestions 🙂 and reading my post, and trying to understand the problem. Truly appreciate it. 


  1. Let me clarify - 400 tags – that's not the SAME orders. It's on ALL orders.  
    An average order has - 3-5 tags. But there are multiple different ones that we use for categorization and analytics. Some tags are also created by several Shopify store apps that we use. 
    What I meant was that we have 400+ tags overall, and many are slight duplicates. 
    Overall, we should have no more than 70+ tags. And those tags are broken into 5 major categories: utility – created by various apps or some internal “debugging”, and the rest are used for 4 types of analytics / attribution.  So, about 15 tags per category – doesn't seem excessive.  If this was a custom-built system – I would simply have 5 fields with dropdowns.  But we had to adjust to using tags instead. 🤔


  2. Spaces are not recommended in tags – it messes with searching functionality.  While you can use a space – it's not recommended (and I tried it – it does mess with searching – meaning some orders are not showing up in search when looking by tags, and sharing admin links in certain situations is not providing the right results) – that's per Shopify
    https://help.shopify.com/en/manual/shopify-admin/productivity-tools/using-tags

    Considerations for tags

    Review the following considerations for tags:

    • Tags that are associated with orders and draft orders can have up to 40 characters.
    • Tags that are associated with products, transfers, customers, and blog posts can have up to 255 characters.
    • Tags are not case sensitive. For example, Approved and approved are the same tag.
    • You can only use letters, numbers, and hyphens in your tags.
    • Letters with accents and other symbols can exclude search results.
    • You can apply up to 250 tags to each product, customer, transfer, blog post, order, and draft order
  3. Those tags that could be automated – already are – either through Shopify Flow or through a custom App API calls. Unfortunately, most tags in question come from phone/chat interactions with customers. 

  4. We have SOP in place, but mistakes keep creeping in, and once a “bad” tag is created – it makes it so much easier for somebody else to misuse it. Ultimately, I think tags, were created back when Shopify was just starting for 1-2 users per store in mind.  In the past one of my suggestions to Shopify support to enhance tags was already implemented, and they said as much – that Tags expanded beyond their original intended use.  I think the feature just needs a refresh.  And in order not to affect existing users who like the way it is – the new restrictive mode should be an "opt-in"
  5. So as you said – analyze the system (!) – we did that first, and do that continuously. And already implemented tag automation a few years back.  IMHO – The solution is to have a better or more restrictive interface for tag creation. We are looking into possibly utilizing metafields somehow instead—but it's not as convenient as using tags. 
20 years+ programming experience (Ruby, Javascript, SCSS/SASS/CSS)
JoesIdeas
Shopify Expert
2284 208 607

If the issue is just the duplicate / erratic tags, since you have a custom app already, maybe you could add in a feature that runs a daily job to scan to check for tag issues, and correct them automatically.

 

I don't know if timeline comments or order notes instead of tags for certain things would help, but I guess that depends on if you want to search / categorize later and how good the search is for those areas.

 

That's it, I'm all out of ideas... the stores that I've managed or consulted on I haven't ever ran into a tag issue like this, in your case maybe a custom app / feature would be the way to go, especially since you already have a custom app connected.

 

• Creator of Order Automator (automate tagging, fulfillment, Amazon, notifications + more)
• Shopify developer for 10+ years, store owner for 7 years
• I also make guides like Shopify Automation Tips and How to Figure Out Why You're Not Getting Sales

kirkdennison
Visitor
2 0 3

I completely agree with your assessment of the problem and think all of your proposed solutions are good ideas. Hopefully the Shopify development team sees this post and takes it to heart.