So you’ve built your store on Shopify and realized that it’s a great platform for e-commerce businesses. The setup was easy, and you’re live now. Congratulations!

It’s time to go to the next step where you make the most of the Shopify ecosystem to get the additional revenue. And creating a Shopify Affiliate program for your marketing is a great way to make those extra bucks.

What is this, you ask? Well the Shopify Affiliate marketing program is a non-traditional form of digital marketing for your e-commerce store. As the demand for digital ads on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Google rises, so does the cost of marketing on these platforms. Similarly, while email marketing is still comparatively cost efficient, the open rates on emails are at an all-time low. In this scenario, where do you invest your marketing efforts to find high-quality traffic at the lowest costs.

Your go-to platform for this purpose will be the Shopify Affiliate Apps and other referral and loyalty program apps on the Shopify App Store. According to Shopify, their Affiliate program helps affiliates get $58 per user (on avg.). This is for someone who signs up for a paid plan. However, for every Shopify Plus referral, an affiliate can earn $2000.

It’s best to start with the Shopify Affiliate apps that can help you bring more clients into your e-commerce store. What’s brilliant is that you don’t pay till you acquire customers, in that, part of your revenue generated through an affiliate link goes to the affiliate and in that sense, it is a fool-proof marketing channel. The idea is that people who have their websites, will send you traffic through unique affiliate links. If the traffic converts, they receive part of your earnings.

Effectively what you are doing is setting up an external marketing team that sets up a vast network of channels, that uses anyone from influencers, to customers, to even partners to bring traffic to your e-commerce website.

Does it seem like a win-win situation yet? If yes, you probably want to know where to start.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Plug in any Shopify affiliate tracking app from the Shopify App store.
  2. Find affiliates who would want to participate. Existing customers are a good place to begin. You can extend your reach through email promotions and social media.
  3. Get your existing and incremental customers to refer you to friends and family or on their social networks.
  4. Perhaps you could become part of an affiliate network to connect with more affiliates and keep them abreast of information about your store

Next up, what are the best apps to engage with for a fruitful Shopify affiliate marketing program? Here’s our list, specially curated for you:

ReferralCandy

Apps like ReferralCandy not just help with building a larger customer base but also keep them continuously engaged, in an easy manner. The app has a ton of email and page pop-up templates, offered by Theme Editor, that can be customized to a great extent. It can easily be integrated with various marketing and sales apps like Mailchimp, that helps you go back to a familiar interface for your marketing efforts. It’s a great app to keep your sales records in check and to help store managers track their programs. Their customer support service is also perfect and ready to assist without fail, at any time.

Pros:

  • Great customer support.
  • All-in-on dashboard and enabled tracking for all referral programs, including social shares and revenue generated.
  • Fully Customizable branding of pop-ups and emails.
  • Cash or coupons can be given as reward.
  • Not much work required once up and running.
  • Great for large brands to use.

Cons:

  • You can’t create a nurture stream of referrals which are progressive based on how engaged a referrer is.
  • ReferralCandy is not the most cost-effective alternative of the list of Shopify Affiliate Marketing Apps.

Costing:

You pay $49 per month plus 5% commision for the whole package, once the 30-day free trial is over.

Affiliatly


Rated 4.9 on the Shopify App Store, Affiliatly is a great app for Shopify referral marketing, especially because of the unlimited referral orders that are present on this, even though the partners are limited. So it requires some level of monitoring of the number of referrers in the program. Each of these partners get’s his own admin panel where he can view his performance and other analytics. You may put up banners or other assets for the affiliates to use. If you notice any non-performers, it’s best to eliminate them from the program to add other potential referrers. Also, with the amount of control this app provides, you can even edit the affiliate payments if the corresponding customer asks for a refund. Payments can be made through Paypal or in the form of e-commerce store coupons.

Pros:

  • Packed with features and has a very user-friendly setup process.
  • It provides great marketing support to sell the products.
  • Payment can be made via Paypal or in the form of store coupons.
  • You manage both the whole affiliate network as well as individual affiliates together.
  • There is no limit on the overall sales numbers.
  • Great price-point, and support.
  • Ideal for small-scale businesses or companies that are starting up.

Cons:

  • While you can share banners and other collateral with the affiliates to help market, there is no analytics or data on which of those banners performed well.
  • You can not run any contests on the platform.
  • You do not get unlimited affiliates as part of this app.

Costing:

You pay $16 per month, once the 30-day free trial is over.

LeadDyno

Rated 4.5 on the Shopify App Store, LeadDyno is just the right tool for promoting your Shopify e-commerce store. Once you install this app, you can easily set up an affiliate marketing campaign within minutes. You can easily identify the right affiliate marketers for your e-commerce store by getting access to their community.

Pros:

  • Exclusive network of affiliate marketers and influencers including bloggers.
  • Great customer support in the form of live chat.
  • The entire process of running the campaign is fairly automated.
  • Various incredible features such as the ability to sync Shopify refunds, track discount codes, give recurring commissions etc.
  • You may also segregate the affiliates into two levels based on their performance and reward them accordingly.

Cons:

  • The dashboard is not very easy to use and as a first-time e-commerce marketer, you might need some help navigating it.
  • There is a need for more payment options.
  • If there was a way to pay commissions based on the product, it would’ve made the platform more sophisticated.

Costing:

You pay anywhere between $29 per month to $149 per month based on the number of unique visitors, once the 30-day free trial is over. The prices can be higher for larger enterprises.

Refersion

This is one app that should be part of the marketing strategy for your online store, because it is so fully functional in managing your partner program, that it will most likely help you achieve the marketing growth you are looking for. It is super easy to connect with your store, add the required branding, identify the best affiliates for the job (over 5000 potential affiliates are already part of the system) and decide on a commission percentage and payment gateway. All this can barely be done in 15-20 mins.

In fact, if you have any affiliates that you’d like to add from your personal network, you could ask them to sign-up easily. This sign-up page will be featured with your custom branding and form-fields that matter to you.

Then, using their personal affiliate dashboard, they can track their affiliate sales to see what more needs to be done, and so can you.

Pros:

  • Lets affiliate marketers see their earnings based for transparency using referral link tracking.
  • Lets you charge different commission rates based on the product.
  • Lets you use a central dashboard to track various orders of referrals with unique referral links, SKUs, etc.
  • Automated campaign triggers may be set up to, for instance, in the form of sending out coupon codes based on a given result.
  • Over 5000 partners are already available to work with.
  • Great for medium and large enterprises.

Cons:

  • Does not offer a built-in search feature for the product.
  • There is automatic approval of conversions set up by default. In order to disable that, you must contact support.
  • The dashboard is not very easy to use and as a first-time e-commerce marketer, you might need some help navigating it.

Costing:

You pay $89 per month with unlimited affiliates and monthly visitors, once the 14-day free trial is over. The prices can be higher for larger enterprises. Additionally, there is a limit of 130 affiliate orders per month.

Omnistar Affiliate Software

Omnistar affiliate software is perhaps the best among the list to connect directly with the social media platforms. It also lets you assign promo codes/coupon codes very easily for social sharing by the affiliates. A great feature is that it lets you send surveys to identify your most loyal customers, to check your Net Promoter Score, and let’s you convert customers into promoters very easily.

Pros:

  • Very easy to navigate and set up.
  • Affiliate management is made easy through it’s dashboard.
  • Good quality of customer service.
  • Possibility of setting up multi-level referral programs, thus remunerating referrers based on their level of engagement.
  • It has marketing integrated within the system, in the form of social media widgets, banners etc.
  • Easy commission payouts through Paypal.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t offer too much customization and don’t allow for custom tracking requirements to be fulfilled.
  • There is no email marketing platform integrated. Needs to be connected separately.

Costing:

You pay $47 per month, once the 15-day free trial is over.

Shoutout

This is that app which will help you up your online store game by instantly converting it into an MLM store. You can easily choose a flat rate for commission payment or give a different reward based on a multi-level system for the referral marketers.

Pros:

  • Unlimited number of sales by affiliates.
  • Ability to mobilize a powerful set of influencers.
  • There is a great level of automation that can be employed.
  • Unlimited number of automatic coupon codes can be generated.
  • There are no hidden fees or costs associated with the app, even in the payment process.
  • Customized and personalized dashboards are available for you to incorporate your brand’s elements.
  • There are multiple resources available online to create a great marketing campaign.
  • Payments to affiliates managed through Paypal.

Cons:

  • Can be a lot for first-time users and some people may not feel the need for so many features.

Costing:

You pay $29 per month, once the 7-day free trial is over.

Conclusion

If you’re still not convinced about the need for affiliate marketing for your Shopify e-commerce store, you are probably not making the most of your marketing efforts. In some sense, it’s important to set up a Shopify loyalty and affiliate marketing program, to magnify your sales and make your customers, your advocates.