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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 affiliates get a 30-day conversion period. 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 will earn a commission. Shopify’s 30-day referral period is standard and sufficient.
Shopify’s program is high paying one that pays a 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 affiliate dashboard is clean and user-friendly. Shopify features an affiliate portal that is easy to navigate. Affiliate activity data and statistics are available on the homepage.
Affiliates get banners and creative resources that are appealing and straightforward.
Affiliate support is quick and efficient. I’ve dealt with my share of bone-headed affiliate managers who think they are doing you a favor by resolving your inquiries. Yes, these underachievers exist and shouldn’t be affiliate managers. By contrast, Shopify affiliate managers are on the ball. The few emails I’ve sent have been resolved quickly with excellent advice.
Shopify has an affiliate marketing course. Once logged 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.
E-Commerce Software Affiliate Programs
If Shopify’s program isn’t to your liking or your application gets declined, you can capitalize on other top e-commerce affiliate programs. Merchants typically list their affiliate programs in menus found at the top or bottom of pages.
- 3dcart – 300% commission
3dcart helps business owners create, operate, and maintain successful online stores with relative ease and efficiency. 3dcart offers 200+ features and 100+ supported payments. Learn about the 3dcart affiliate program.
- BigCommerce – 200%
BigCommerce is a leading cloud e-commerce platform for established and rapidly-growing businesses. They enable companies to grow online sales with less cost, time, and complexity than on-premise software. Learn about the BigCommerce affiliate program.
- EasyStore – 20%
EasyStore is a user-friendly e-commerce platform to create stores and sell products online. Learn about the EasyStore affiliate program.
- Ecwid – 20%
Ecwid is a powerful, secure, and easy-to-use shopping cart solution that gives you a fully functioning shop on your WordPress website. Learn about the Ecwid affiliate program.
- LemonStand – 200%
LemonStand helps fast-growing retail brands and subscription e-commerce companies create beautiful online stores. Learn about the LemonStand affiliate program.
- Ontraport – 25%
Ontraport is a marketing automation platform that includes CRM, email marketing, e-commerce, landing pages, campaigns, membership sites, analytics, and more. Learn about the Ontraport affiliate program.
- SamCart – 40%
SamCart is a web-based checkout platform that features conversion-optimized checkout templates and capabilities that are designed to maximize profits. Learn about the SamCart affiliate program.
- Volusion – 200%
Volusion is a leading e-commerce solution for online businesses. Their shopping cart software includes features for product merchandising, site design, search engine optimization, online marketing, and order processing. Learn about the Volusion affiliate program.
- WooCommerce – 20%
WooCommerce is a fully customizable, open source e-commerce platform built for WordPress. You can sell both physical and digital goods in all shapes and sizes, offer product variations, multiple configurations, and instant downloads to shoppers. The WooCommerce affiliate program is available through WordPress.com.
- Yahoo! Small Business – Up to $1,005
Yahoo! Small Business offers e-commerce platforms, web hosting, domain search, and a website builder. Learn about the Yahoo! Small Business affiliate program.
Shopify‘s platform resonates with hundreds of thousands of online entrepreneurs. They offer robust software and apps and support users with an array of educational resources. Their affiliate program is very appealing, and affiliates should join it.