Shopify Affiliate Program: Overview, Payout, Pros, and Cons

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase an item, I may earn a commission. See my terms of service for details.


Online retail and e-commerce are hot topics. Digital nomads everywhere discuss subjects like e-commerce software, marketplaces, and drop shipping. A desire to enter e-commerce is supported by global sales that have surpassed $2.3 trillion. Similarly, affiliate marketers want to jump on the e-commerce bandwagon by promoting e-commerce software, apps, themes, plugins, and related products and services. For affiliate marketers, Shopify might be their way to riches.

Shopify is a leading cloud-based, multi-channel commerce platform designed for businesses of all sizes. Merchants/sellers use Shopify to create, set up, and operate their stores across multiple sales channels including web, mobile, social media, brick-and-mortar, and pop-up shops. The platform also provides merchants with a powerful back-office and a single view of their businesses. Shopify POS (point-of-sale) is an in-store application for iOS and Android devices. Shopify is engineered for reliability and scale, making enterprise-level technology available to every type of merchant.

Shopify Company Logo

  • Founded by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake in 2004
  • Headquarters: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Five offices across North America
  • 800 active Shopify stores
  • 100 billion worth of sales

Pricing & Plans

There are no setup fees. Monthly and annual plans are available with a 14-day free trial. Shopify has five plans:

  • Shopify Lite, $9/month
  • Basic Shopify, $29/month
  • Shopify, $79/month
  • Advanced Shopify, $299/month
  • Shopify Plus
Shopify Affiliate Marketing Program

Shopify’s affiliate program is open to everyone. The program is self-hosted and uses proprietary affiliate tracking software. Let’s review the pros, cons, commission rate, cookie length, payout threshold, and other pertinent details.

  • Pros

Shopify is the market leader. Forget BigCommerce and other pretenders. Shopify is the go-to solution to realize your e-commerce goals and make your dreams of competing with Amazon a reality. It has a lot of things going for it including a cool brand, efficient and user-friendly software, fantastic content and guides, and its Shopify Academy.

Shopify pays high commission rates on most plans. For each referral who signs up for a paid plan, you’ll receive a 100 percent commission on the first and second payment. For example, a Basic Shopify plan will net you $58 ($29/month x 2 = $58). The 200 percent commission applies to all plans except Shopify Plus. For Shopify Plus, you will earn $2,000 per conversion. For conversions in specific countries, Shopify occasionally pays more, for instance, 300 percent.

The program has a 30-day cookie. Sales attribution starts when a person clicks on your link and signs up for a free trial within 30 days. If the user becomes a customer after the trial period, you’ll earn a commission. Shopify’s 30-day referral period meets the industry standard.

The payout threshold is one sale. One conversion is all it takes to get paid, and the commission is sent to your PayPal account.

Shopify’s affiliate portal is user-friendly and easy to navigate. The affiliate dashboard is clean and straightforward. Affiliate activity data and statistics are available on the homepage.

The affiliate landing page is satisfactory. Aside from missing cookie length details, Shopify’s landing page hits the mark. It’s basic but covers everything you need to know. The resources tab links to its help center/knowledge base for more information.

Shopify BannerAffiliates get banners and creative resources that are appealing and to the point.

Publishers can create links for tracking purposes. You have the ability to create links with unique identifiers, for example, campaign name, content, source, medium, and two subs.

The program has an affiliate marketing manager. I like to see that a merchant/advertiser has assigned someone to support publishers. In some programs that I participate in, it’s difficult to reach the affiliate manager or get a response promptly. Shopify’s affiliate manager is on the ball. The few emails that I’ve sent have been resolved quickly.

Shopify offers an affiliate marketing course for beginners. Once you log in, you can enroll in an affiliate marketing fundamentals course, which takes around 45 minutes to complete. It covers promoting your links and marketing strategies. Give credit to Shopify for creating a course to help new and experienced affiliates.

  • Cons

Deep linking is available, but a bit disorganized. Deep linking is the practice by which an affiliate creates a link to a specific page on the merchant’s site. For example, instead of using a generic homepage affiliate link, I deep link to an article that relates to my post. Deep linking increases conversion and sales potential. Shopify affiliates can deep link by adding their IDs to URLs and blog posts, for example,[ID/Your_Unique_Referral_Handle]

Deep linking as a feature isn’t obvious when logged in. The “Create affiliate link” option above the dashboard isn’t for deep linking; it’s for campaign attribution. Deep linking is discussed in posts, but you must know where to look, for example, the article Getting Started as a Shopify Affiliate covers deep linking. Someone unfamiliar with deep linking might miss this strategy and the potential to convert more users.

A 30-day cookie is good, but a 45 to 90-day cookie would be much better. A person must signup for a free trial within 30 days of clicking your link for you to receive credit. However, store/business planning can take a while in which case the referral period might expire before the user signs up. A longer conversion window would benefit affiliates.


Final Word

Can you make $1,000 a month? You can and more. Shopify is a market leader with an excellent and rewarding affiliate program. It pays high commission rates, and its affiliate tracking software is efficient. It supports affiliates with a course, marketing insights, and live chat.

Should you promote Shopify? I would make Shopify a mid to high priority. I’ve made money as a Shopify affiliate and receive payouts regularly. Therefore, I encourage you to join its program.

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Chad Tennant

Chad is an online marketer, content creator, and advisor. His primary goals are to help businesses and individuals achieve growth and financial success. Learn more at

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