Even if your e-commerce business is unique, socially beneficial, and environmentally friendly, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get high conversions and numerous leads. In reality, you need to invest in promoting your brand through advertising like Shopify Affiliate Program. By reaching a wider audience, you raise purchases, subscriptions, or other types of conversion.

2021 was the record year in terms of advertising usage worldwide. According to Forbes, 2022 should show even higher dynamics — up to $700bn in spending. Why? More companies realize the need for advertising to attract more customers to their online stores. And as this process is costly, Shopify affiliate marketing program can be a good choice.

Not everyone can allow themselves to stuff their social media with ads as Amazon does, and that’s normal.

If you’re an e-commerce player eager to drive more traffic to your website and boost sales, affiliate marketing with Shopify opens up vast opportunities for you. And we, at GenovaWebArt, are ready to assist you in this customer acquisition journey. We’ve helped numerous e-commerce clients with custom Shopify app development, design, integrations, replatforming, and support. Learn our cases of pride from our portfolio.

Namely, this article will give you detailed instructions on how to prepare for selling your goods before you actually start the affiliate marketing of your Shopify store.

Besides, we’ll get you familiar with the best apps to use for affiliate marketing on Shopify and how to set up an affiliate program on Shopify. Stay tuned!

Table of Contents

How Affiliate Marketing Works in eCommerce

First, let’s get it clear what the affiliate marketing program means. This advertising model is based on rewarding third-party publishers (affiliates) for promoting your brand and generating leads to your Shopify store. In essence, that’s the kind of beneficial partnership for both sides: affiliates get financial encouragement, and you get more customers.

But why is affiliate marketing a profitable strategy in e-commerce compared to other alternatives? You pay solely for each case of conversion. That’s every customer who ends up with a purchase coming to the store per a referral link. In 2021, 57% of companies proved to earn up to $10k from the affiliate marketing initiatives, and from $50k to $150k in rarer cases.

In this light, it's worth trying to find more devoted customers for your brand and increase your company’s revenue. And it makes even more sense if you’re a fledgling small business. Interested? Follow up to learn the other benefits!

Benefits of an Affiliate Marketing Program for Your Shopify Store

Shopify Affiliate Marketing page, Screenshot for Blog Article - Affiliate Marketing for a Shopify Store

To fuel your motivation for using Shopify for affiliate marketing, let’s dig deeper into the advantages you’ll get with it.

  1. Wider customers reach. Move from doing business locally to addressing a global audience and building your network of clients from different corners of the globe. With affiliates, you can quickly introduce your product or service to those without any idea about its existence. No other channel will do it so fast and effortlessly.
  2. More qualified leads. After you’ve attracted a broad audience to your Shopify store, you need to sort it out into segments (read more on market segmentation). Having buyers worldwide is good, but you should think more critically about serving them properly by understanding their cultural specifics, shipping & delivery peculiarities, etc.
  3. Cost reduction on advertising. Although it’s quick, affiliate marketing is also cheaper than other types of marketing. This is because you pay the chosen affiliate marketeers only in case of the closed deal (a purchase resulted from the link sharing). So, you definitely pay for purpose; usually, it's a small percentage or a fixed sum per conversion.
  4. No liabilities. As your partnership with affiliates occurs on an agreed basis, free yourself from other obligations. For instance, lower the bar of your staff needs. If you chose to sell your goods through affiliate marketing programs for Shopify, you wouldn’t need sales and marketing specialists to support business operations full-time.
  5. Brand trust. As you start saving money by cutting redundancy, devote the saved money to more strategic tasks, such as building a deeper interaction with customers. In such a way, you’ll show that you care, and their trust will uplift your brand image. Loyalty is the power that will bring you even more sales from your store.

Among other things, you can sell affiliate products on Shopify. Are you now thrilled about the idea of using affiliate marketing in Shopify? Check the basics to get ready for a big jump!

Things to Remember Before Starting Affiliate Marketing for a Shopify Store

If you’re a beginner in building an affiliate referral program for Shopify or want to dig deeper into the topic, these pieces of advice will serve as a helpful guide for you. Go on reading!

Сheck if Affiliate Marketing is a Right Fit for You

Though affiliate marketing is a good way to create some hype over your product or service, be sure that it suits your business model. Usually, it makes sense for small businesses going to e-commerce platforms such as Shopify to sell their goods. It’s an easy way to invest some money and pay no extra effort to bring more potential customers to your store.

But you should also account for the difference you get after paying the commission to affiliates. If you feel that you pay more than earn, that’s the sign that you either have chosen the wrong affiliates or you’re not ready to connect Shopify and affiliate marketing at the current state of your business development. Pick thoroughly or leave it to rest for some time!

Make Sure Your Shopify Affiliate Program Is Diverse

Though affiliate marketing stands at the top of suggested actions to present your brand to a broad audience quickly, this result is possible only if you play this game right. How to check your compliance? Consider variety and scope of influence! In other words, try to invite as many people as you can to speak about your business, weighing the quality of influencers.

Remember that qualitative affiliates, such as charismatic bloggers with thousands of followers, will bring more leads. Thus, a number of marketers aren’t the right measure of success. Also, you can turn the most active customers into your ambassadors, sharing feedback on your product on social media pages, but don’t forget about rewards for this generous act. To further enhance your strategy, consider implementing a Shopify lead magnet, such as an exclusive discount or informative eBook, to capture the contact details of potential customers and grow your email list.

Select the Reward Plan for Your Affiliates

Thinking about how to do affiliate marketing on Shopify, decide on your system of remuneration. In most cases, affiliates agree to help you with brand introduction for personal gain. In 2021, 48% of affiliates agreed to provide their service with a flat rate (a determined cost for each conversion), while the rest preferred a percentage of sales.

However, while inventing a system of rewards, you may look at the question from a broader perspective. To attract the affiliate with your offer, find the intersection of your interests. For example, in addition to money, you can suggest to them a discount for your service, free product samples, or other interesting perks that will place you apart from the rest. Be creative!

Carefully Choose the Affiliates that Suit Your Store Specifics

Here relevance enters the scene. No matter how numerous the community of your potential affiliate looks, think rationally about how close their interests are to yours. Imagine that you’re the owner of an online shop selling vitamins and dietary supplements. Who will suit you more — a vlogger fond of sports or a blogger who makes the local street food reviews?

Cherrypicking the affiliate with similar values will definitely bring you more qualified leads. Seeing their opinion leader as an authority, some of their followers are most likely to try your goods. That’s why ensure you’ve chosen right from the very start of your affiliate marketing program.

Consider the Proper Scope of Your Affiliate Program

Last but not least thing to mind while preparing to add affiliate marketing to Shopify is the number of affiliates you’re going to collaborate with for the desired business impact. The more it is, the more time, energy, and money you’ll put at stake. Hence, if it’s your first time building an affiliate marketing program, limit your ambitions and start small.

What’s more, the number of affiliates can also be affected by the app for Shopify affiliate marketing used. Some of them can considerably restrict the size of your program, and believe us, that’s for your good when you’re making the initial steps. Practice will teach you to set the priorities wisely.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing on Your Shopify Store

Benefits of an Affiliate Marketing Program for Your Shopify Store, Illustration for Blog Article - Affiliate Marketing for a Shopify Store

Now you’re ready for a big jump! So far we’ve prepared to plan your affiliate program smartly, and it’s time to discuss how to set up an affiliate program on Shopify. Go ahead!

1. Set up your goals

Before launching the affiliate program, make a pause and think over the desired goals you want to achieve with its help. For instance, it can be the conversion increase by 15% during the forthcoming three months. Try to make it specific, measurable, and attainable — in the best traditions of the SMART approach.

Select a fitting Shopify affiliate app

Shopify affiliate apps are numerous, and we’re going to get you acquainted with the best affiliate apps for Shopify to look through, make a choice, and add to your stores’ web accounts. Ready for the helpful list? Enjoy it!


That’s one of the most famous affiliate marketing software examples to try if you’re ready to pay the higher monthly price — $99. Though it’s more expensive than its competitors, this investment is worth it as you get a high level of security, a large database of affiliate partners, an unlimited number of cooperations, and the perk of generating coupons to share with TA.


This app is already much cheaper as you can get a monthly plan from $49, and it’s a good start for those who need to customize the affiliate marketing program per multiple parameters and easily integrate it with the Shopify store. The comprehensible setup, the access to a performance monitoring board, and free trial for the first 30 days can be your finding.


If you’re seeking a user-friendly interface, convenient program management, and high customer service to support you on the go, Omnistar is the perfect match for your integration with Shopify. Besides, the app also surprises its users with free marketing tools and exclusive offers for affiliates. Test it for $47 per month!


When we’ve spoken about the size of your affiliate program for Shopify and the limited number of affiliates, we meant Affiliatly. But don’t hurry up to make your impression about it! The app has its strengths: an easy-to-go interface, a flexible payment procedure, and a moderate price ($16 per month). It teaches you to be accurate with affiliate choices, and that’s a plus too.


If you’re not sure that affiliate marketing is your cup of tea and would like to have some practice before investing much, have a look at Enlistly. This app provides free plans for newbies, while the monthly plans with more functions will start from $9. You don’t lose much, right? Its perk is the ability to set the different rates for different types of affiliates in one click.


Though it has a broader range of services, LoyaltyLion also supports the integration with Shopify and can amaze you with flexibility, solution stability, and varied customization features. You can start with the free plan with no limits on members and then move to a monthly or annual subscription whenever you feel ready.

Make your affiliate program public

The moment you’ve chosen the app for Shopify affiliate marketing and connected it to your store, you need to find affiliates for your program. We’ve already urged you to focus on quality and relevance, and what’s left is the variety of promotion channels to go live. Make a banner on your site, post the news on your social media, and write emails to the subscribers.

Spend time on onboarding

Imagine that you’ve successfully found the desired number of partners to promote your brand. What’s next? Communicate your vision and expectations to affiliates to get things clear from the outset. Take part in creating messages for promotional content and then agree on the referral tracking and rewards system. Devote your energy from the start not to lose it after!

Assess the results of your affiliate program

Begin with looking at the analytics dashboard in your affiliate marketing app you used. Calculate and conclude which of your affiliates has brought you the biggest boost in sales and identify the factors influencing their program success. Then go from the opposite and think about the possible reasons for less successful programs. Make a list of future strategy corrections.

How to Measure the Success of Your Affiliate Marketing

Except for the app, you can benefit from Google Analytics insights linked to your online store. By optimizing it for your Shopify account, you’ll be able to track conversion rates and segment your buyers into separate categories to serve their needs better.

Moreover, it’s reasonable to conduct regular A/B tests and analyze their findings through the prism of net profit and add-to-cart as well as abandoned-cart rates. This will help you get an idea of what should be optimized on your site to make the purchase more convenient for your customers.

Finally, you can also evaluate the success of affiliate marketing programs for Shopify by paying attention to such qualitative metrics as:

  • Total sales
  • Sales per the affiliate marketing
  • Average order size per referral
  • Number of affiliates you cooperate with
  • Number of partners quitting the program
  • Payout-to-sales ratio
  • Overall cost for affiliates’ services

Grow Your Shopify Store With GenovaWebArt

If all this sounds new and complicated for you, GenovaWebArt will readily land you a helping hand. Our team has already developed profound expertise in developing, designing, supporting, and scaling 200+ Shopify stores globally.

One of our recent cases is Ten Thousand, the American sportswear store. For this client, we’ve developed an app, integrated it with Shopify, and set it up for effective sales. Now we continue maintaining the app on an ongoing basis and help Ten Thousand in expanding the business to new markets. Come to us and get professional help!

Final Thoughts

Shopify affiliate marketing is an excellent method of attracting more traffic to your e-commerce store, letting it grow in sales as well as raise your company’s trust. Use our guide as a list of hints to acquire more new customers and boost your revenue.

For more assistance in using Shopify for affiliate marketing, address GenovaWebArt! We provide a vast range of Shopify services to make your online store confidently scale and expand to global markets.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the commission rates typical of affiliate marketing on Shopify?

There are two options you can usually use for rewarding your partners — the flat rate for each sale or a fixed percentage of the item’s price. Choose what is more cost-saving for you.

Where to find affiliates for my Shopify store?

Normally, you can inform others about your open affiliate program through email marketing, social media posts, your website, and specific affiliate network sites such as Omnistar.

What are the cons of affiliate marketing for my Shopify store?

We’ve covered the benefits in our article, but it’s just to say a few words about the possible challenges. First, you won’t get quick sales boosting results — affiliate marketing takes time. Second, you need a budget, as the commission rates can sometimes be high. Third, there’s a chance the affiliates can leave the program.

What is the marker of successful affiliate marketing with Shopify?

The primary indicator of a successful affiliate program is the percentage of increased sales by the referral links. For this aim, cherrypick affiliates very mindfully.

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