Shopify Web Development

Affiliate Marketing for a Shopify Store: Essential Things to Keep in Mind

If you are planning on launching an affiliate program for your Shopify store, read this post first. You will learn about the ins and outs of Shopify affiliate marketing. This should help you make a conscious decision whether to follow this path or not.


In this post, you will learn about the basics of Shopify affiliate marketing. That is, setting up an affiliate program for your online store. We have covered the most essential aspects every Shopify store owner should bear in mind: how to attract affiliate marketers, what apps you should use to maximize your affiliate marketing efforts, and other crucial details. Read on. It will be interesting, we promise.

As Henry Ford once famously said, “Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.” Advertising is the driving force behind every business. Multinational corporations such as McDonalds or Apple spend heaps of money promoting their products and services via all possible channels. According to Statista, the advertising spending in North America, for example, amounted to 253.6 billion dollars in 2019 and is expected to reach almost 240 billion in 2020.

Just like brick-and-mortar businesses, e-commerce needs advertising, too, in order to attract customers and earn revenue. That said, while large online enterprises with multi-billion dollar turnovers like Amazon and eBay can easily afford to strew media with their ads all over the world, many smaller online stores can’t boast such generous advertising budgets. This forces them to search for alternative, less expensive ways to promote whatever products they sell.

One of the roads many SMBs take in this direction is affiliate marketing. To understand its essence, imagine the following scenario.

You’re a business coach. You have just created a new program for entrepreneurs who want to increase their sales. Naturally, you’d like as many people to sign up for your seminars as possible. However, your advertising budget is fairly limited. You don’t have enough money to place ads on television or the Internet.

While you’re restricted in your financial means, though, you have many friends and acquaintances among the business community. For example, a merchant that you know regularly plays golf with other entrepreneurs.

Why not contact him and ask him to mention your seminars to the golf club members? In return, you can promise to pay him a certain amount for every person who’ll enroll for your course on his recommendation. This is what affiliate marketing is in a nutshell.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work in E-Commerce?

There are a few differences between the business coaching example above and affiliate marketing on the Internet. The idea, though, is identical: find prominent Internet users to promote your brand among their audiences. This is how it goes:

  • The online merchant creates an affiliate program.
  • The online merchant promotes this program through various channels, attracting affiliate marketers. These are influential people among the Internet community (bloggers, social media stars, and others).
  • The affiliate marketers who have signed up for the program place special affiliate links within their content, such as a video.
  • Once a consumer clicks an affiliate link and makes a purchase on the online merchant’s store, the corresponding affiliate marketer gets compensation in monetary or another form.

Why is this marketing practice so beneficial for Internet store owners in general and Shopify store owners in particular? These are the most notable reasons:

Main benefits of affiliate marketing

  • You only provide compensation to affiliate marketers once a purchase is made on their recommendation. This normally takes the form of a commission on sales, meaning that you spend money you’ve just earned.
  • There’s no need to engage sales and marketing experts on a full-time basis. The work is done for you in the background by countless affiliate marketers. This means no expenses on salaries, social benefits, and so on.
  • You gain access to a global network of consumers with no extra effort. Just one popular video blog on YouTube can generate millions of views monthly. This exposes your brand to an entire army of consumers in all the corners of the globe at once.
  • You earn respect for your brand among your affiliate marketers’ audiences. Since influential Internet personas promote your products or services, those who read their blogs or watch their videos are more inclined to believe them, and, thus, make purchases from your store.

Shopify Affiliate Marketing: As Easy as ABC

If you’re a Shopify store owner, you’ve done the right thing by choosing this great e-commerce platform for your business. We have sung the praises of Shopify on numerous occasions. Read this post on our blog, for example.

Apart from many great benefits the system provides for online entrepreneurs, it makes affiliate marketing a simple undertaking. Just search for an appropriate app and install it on your Shopify site.

You can find a lot of excellent Shopify affiliate marketing apps.  A short while ago, we did a review of these on our blog. One example is Referral Candy. This app is easy to install, provides multi-channel promotion tools, automatically distributes compensation to affiliate marketers, and has many other useful features.

If you’re struggling to find a suitable app for Shopify affiliate marketing among those the App Store offers, we’re here to help. The GetDevDone Shopify development team has vast experience building online stores and tuning them up for specific business requirements. Ask us and we’ll recommend the best tool for your advertising campaign.

Installing a good app on your Shopify store solves many problems. However, there are other essential steps you need to take in order to see tangible results. Below are several important things to keep in mind if you decide to walk the affiliate marketing path.

Affiliate Marketing on Shopify: Important Things to Remember

Decide if Affiliate Marketing for Your Shopify Store Makes Sense

While using Shopify for affiliate marketing is an exciting opportunity to earn revenue without having to throw money into ads, it’s not a good idea for some online stores. If the difference between your purchase and selling prices is minimal, you should probably leave affiliate marketing alone till times are better.

This is because you have to pay a commission to your affiliate marketers. If this amount is too small, your affiliate program will hardly be popular. On the other hand, if you are too generous with the people advertising your brand, making decent money will be virtually impossible. As such, we recommend that you do some serious calculations before you begin giving away the affiliate links left and right.

Your Affiliate Program Needs as Much Publicity as Possible

Although affiliate marketing is the “background” advertising method, as a Shopify store owner, you still have to do some heavy lifting before you actually start making money this way. Above all, you need to let as many people know about your campaign as you can.

These are the most common ways:

  • Get in touch with those who enjoy the greatest popularity among Internet audiences. These can be talented bloggers or vloggers.
  • Write to your most active customers and ask them to drop a word for you on their social media accounts.
  • Create a page on your Shopify website with the description of the program and a form that anyone who wants to join it should fill out. Place a link to this page on the home page and elsewhere on your site.

It’s Not All About the Money

Consider paying affiliate marketers for actions they perform on your Shopify store

Of course, affiliate marketing is about selling more products or services by spending less on advertising. We’ve already discussed this. You pay a commission to affiliate marketers who have brought you customers.

However, there are other advantages. You can consider paying affiliate marketers for various activities that visitors to your store perform. For example, when someone subscribes to your newsletter or fills out a questionnaire, it means these people may eventually convert.

In addition, clicking affiliate links increases traffic to your Shopify store. More visitors to your site means more chances to have new customers. Therefore, why not pay an affiliate marketer a small amount every time someone lands on your store on their recommendation?

If you have any questions about affiliate marketing on Shopify or want to make your online store feature-rich and professional-looking, the GetDevDone Shopify development team will be glad to help. With our unrivaled expertise in e-commerce and thousands of happy clients, we are true web development experts. Let’s talk about your project today!