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Online retail and e-commerce are hot topics. Digital nomads everywhere are discussing subjects like e-commerce software, marketplaces, and Amazon FBA. A desire to enter e-commerce is supported by global sales that surpassed $2.3 trillion–a 24.8% increase over the previous year. Similarly, affiliate marketers want to jump on the e-commerce bandwagon by promoting e-commerce SaaS, 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 small and medium-sized businesses. 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 businesses of all sizes.
- Founded by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake in 2004
- Headquarters: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
- 1 million active users
- 600,000 businesses on the platform
- Billions sold on Shopify
Pricing & Plans
There are no setup fees, annual plan discounts are available, and there’s 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 has a self-hosted affiliate marketing program. Let’s review the pros and cons of the program.
Shopify is the market leader. Forget BigCommerce and other pretenders. Shopify is the go-to online store solution to realize your e-commerce goals and make your dreams of competing with Amazon a reality. Shopify has got a lot of advantages including a fun brand, efficient and user-friendly software, fantastic content, and the Shopify Academy.
Shopify pays a high 200 percent commission on most plans. For each referral who signs up for a paid plan, you will receive a 100 percent commission on their first and second monthly fees. For example, a Basic Shopify plan will earn you $58 ($29/month x 2 = $58). The 200 percent commission applies to all plans except Shopify Plus. You will earn $2,000 for each Shopify Plus referral. A 200 percent payout is fantastic and exceeds my minimum threshold of 30 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 is standard in the industry.
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 features an affiliate portal that is easy to navigate. The affiliate dashboard is clean and user-friendly. Affiliate activity data and statistics are available on the homepage.
The affiliate landing page is excellent. 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 the help/knowledge base for more information.
Affiliates get banners and creative resources that are appealing and straightforward.
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 I participate in, it’s near impossible to reach the affiliate manager or get a response promptly. The Shopify affiliate manager is on the ball. The few emails that I’ve sent have been resolved quickly with excellent advice. Affiliate support is quick and efficient.
Shopify has an affiliate marketing course. 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.
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, www.shopify.com/pricing?ref=[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 possible commissions tied to it.
A 30-day cookie is good, but a 45 to 60-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.
Shopify’s affiliate program is excellent. They’re a market leader and pay high commissions for sales. Their affiliate tracking software, portal, and creative assets are advantageous. They support affiliates with an affiliate course, marketing ideas to help increase conversions, and live chat. I’ve made money as a Shopify affiliate, so I encourage you to join the program. High commissions await you!