Swanky’s Approach to Single Sign-On (SSO) on Shopify

Use cases for SSO on Shopify vary in scale and complexity. This is a tool designed to enhance customer experience, but it can cause problems for development teams. Learn how Swanky approaches SSO to increase customer engagement.

Single Sign-On (SSO) is an increasingly important feature for brands using Shopify. At its core lie two key aspects: security of data, and seamless user experience with data synchronicity. Whilst both of these elements are integral for any ecommerce store, SSO is required when two or more platforms operate together to provide distinct services, but require a cohesive user experience and data security.

With regards to SSO on Shopify, this article will provide an overview of implementation considerations before exploring how the Swanky team approaches this challenge.

Use cases for SSO

There are various use cases for SSO, both on Shopify and more broadly. Some common applications include:

  • brands with multiple websites or apps that want to provide a single login across all properties;
  • when there’s regulatory considerations, with customer data being managed from a central location;
  • membership or subscription-based businesses that manage customer accounts outside of Shopify; and
  • B2B merchants with complex buyer groups and permission structures.

Note that many, but not all, use cases for SSO are found within enterprise business operations. For many of our clients, SSO is therefore a key functional requirement both in selecting and building with Shopify.

Implementing SSO on Shopify


Shopify’s primary mechanism for SSO is Multipass – a tool currently only available to Shopify Plus stores. Multipass allows a third-party platform to send a token to Shopify and securely exchange customer details. This information is then used by Shopify to log a customer in (if an existing account is identified) or create a new profile based on the token.

Of course, a token could also be sent in the opposite direction, from Shopify to a third-party platform.

Note that a bidirectional SSO setup, whereby tokens are sent and received by either platform as user information is updated, is also possible.

The implementation of Multipass is relatively straightforward, but typically requires custom development to allow specific requirements to be set depending on what data needs to be transferred between platforms.

Third-party apps

Third-party apps can also facilitate SSO on Shopify (including non-Shopify Plus stores). These can be an excellent solution, but research and due diligence must be conducted to ensure an app meets data security requirements, is fit for purpose and is cost-effective.

Each SSO provider, whether utilising Multipass or a third-party app to interface with Shopify, has unique encryption requirements that must be accounted for during implementation. This is where technical competence is vital to ensure a robust solution is employed.

SSO for B2B on Shopify

SSO is an important component for many B2B stores and something that requires careful attention. You need to consider how user data is protected, how information is passed between platforms, and what tech is used to create a fast and friction-free user experience.

Whilst these considerations are similar for DTC stores, B2B customer accounts hold more information which can lead to increased complexity when connecting multiple platforms with an SSO provider.

SSO for B2B Shopify stores is an area of greater complexity. Swanky’s team has experience in developing custom SSO solutions that prioritise data security, enhance user experience and optimise backend operations. Our approach factors in the additional complex requirements of creating relationships between users and companies.

Swanky’s approach to SSO

The approach our team takes to SSO is informed by a deep technical understanding of Shopify. We know how to choose and utilise tools that balance commercial interest with user experience, optimising the return on investment (ROI) for our clients.

Regarding the technicality of our approach, we leverage a custom middleware solution, connecting Shopify’s backend with the SSO software. This has proven to decrease latency and improve performance, despite the multiple redirects involved in some SSO flows. We also keep customer data secure by handling it server-side, in the middleware layer.

In addition to the necessary steps involved in SSO (choosing and connecting the right software, maintaining data security) we use our technical expertise to create a smooth user experience. A notable example of this was in our recent project for Newcastle United Football Club that used SSO across two sites.

Our developers created a solution that added a redirect step, returning the user to where they were before logging in. This could include sending users back to a product page or the cart – pivotal points in a user journey. By taking a user back to where they left off, we are reducing friction in the user experience and streamlining the path to purchase, thereby helping to optimise conversion rates.

Looking for support with SSO on Shopify?

By combining our technical skill with digital strategy and commercial awareness, Swanky has been able to implement complex SSO setups for enterprise brands on Shopify.

If you need support with SSO for your Shopify store, get in touch with us today.

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