16 Apr 2022

Shopify 101, What is Shopify Affiliate Marketing

Shopify 101, What is Shopify Affiliate Marketing

What if there was a faster, viral and effortless way to increase your eCommerce revenues?

One of the most popular ways for eCommerce companies to increase their revenue outcomes is to design a well oiled Shopify affiliate program. To give you a heads up - 53% of Amazon’s revenues come from affiliate marketing. The great news is, you too can implement this strategy for your own Shopify website.

You must have heard some tidbits about this marketing practice, maybe your competitors implement one, and just wondered what it is all about.

Our guide presents you with all you need to know about Shopify affiliate marketing; from definitions to important terms to how it works out for your eCommerce website.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a practice where a business gives out commissions to external entities like customers or websites for marketing products for them. These commissions are typically released when new customers are brought in or sales are made by these external entities.

Affiliate Marketing Terminologies

Affiliate Marketing Terminologies

Certain terms are popularly used within the affiliate marketing space and to improve our discourse on the topic, you need to have an understanding of them. These include:

  • Product Creator
  • Affiliates
  • Affiliate Link
  • Affiliate Networks
  • Consumers

Product Creator

The product creator is you; an eCommerce business looking to offer commissions to entities if they successfully promote or make sales on your products. You are also known as a merchant and could be an individual or a company. In some cases, like the Amazon Associates program, the merchant may not be the product creator.


Affiliates are the external entities that promote a merchant’s products or services for a commission. Whether individuals or companies, affiliates aim to make as much money from merchants as possible by helping to bring in as many customers as possible. Techniques used by affiliates to accomplish their goals range from SEO blog posts to videos to email marketing and online ads, among others. The amount of commission gotten from merchants is based on the structure agreed upon.

This is a link with a unique ID that connects an affiliate account to the merchant and its earnings. Affiliates share this link and urge potential customers to click on them through CTAs. When a click is made, the customer’s activities are tracked and sales or conversions from it are registered.

Affiliate Networks

Affiliate networks are third-party intermediaries that help merchants administer affiliates and activities on their respective affiliate links. Affiliate networks are not necessary elements within an affiliate program but where you as a merchant don’t have the resources or time to constantly track and verify activities on affiliate links, they do it for you. These networks even take care of payment disbursement to affiliates.


Consumers are the customers on whom affiliate marketers intend to make conversions. The more consumers an affiliate marketer and associated affiliate link convert, the more commissions gained from the merchant.

Benefits Of Shopify affiliate marketing

Benefits Of Shopify affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing spend is poised to grow to a whopping $8.2 billion by this year, 2022. With more awareness about it being spread, this spending is expected to keep on increasing. It is one peculiar marketing practice that presents benefits for all parties involved.

For affiliates, they get a chance to make money without any major capital investment on products or services. All they need to do is promote products and convert consumers through their affiliate links. This does not mean that affiliate marketing is free for affiliates though. Cost is determined by the marketing mediums used by the affiliate.

When it comes to you as an eCommerce business, Shopify affiliate marketing gives you a chance to make those passive eCommerce sales without adding efforts via traditional marketing strategies. The affiliates do the work for you and you just make sure your products or services are good enough to convert potential customers and retain them for future recurring sales.

Is Shopify affiliate marketing Right For Your Shopify website?

As enticing as the idea of letting people do the marketing work for you is, it isn’t a good business model for every Shopify business.

Affiliate marketing equally means paying successful affiliates out of your profit margin generated on each sale. This then implies one thing; for Shopify stores with low-profit margins, affiliate marketing does not do you great good. A low-profit margin means you are not assured of any profit at all if you start paying other individuals out of it.

However, apart from businesses with low-profit margins, there aren’t a lot of easy ways to tell if affiliate marketing is a good choice for you or not. If you are interested in the idea and don’t want to get it wrong, one way to stay safe is to check if businesses in your niche or industry also run affiliate programs.

By looking up the affiliate programs of competitors or other businesses in your niche on search engines, you want to see how the practice has helped in sustaining sales for them. The longevity of the affiliate program means it has some form of effectiveness. You then use this to decide on whether you want to engage in it or not.

Quick Step-By-Step Guide In Creating Shopify affiliate programs

Here is a quick guide to creating an affiliate marketing campaign through your Shopify website.

Choose A Product With High Average Order Value

The first step is to choose a product from your Shopify website you want your affiliate marketers to promote. In doing this, you want to go for a product that brings you a lot of value and profit, so you don’t gravely affect your overall profit margin.

Determine A Structure For Commissions

Now, you want to determine the best type or form of commission for your products. Commissions are either given in a percentage of the total sales or a flat rate. For Shopify websites, Shopify expert HeyCarson says average commissions range from 10% to 40% of sales based on your industry.

Select An Shopify Affiliate Marketing App

Shopify affiliate marketing software programs make the whole process a whole lot easier. By integrating them into your program, you easily track and manage every activity going on within it.

Hire Your Affiliates

Whether through strict requirements or by accepting anyone who seeks to promote your products or services, you recruit your affiliates. This is popularly done through the following mediums:

  • Your Shopify website
  • Social media platforms
  • Email marketing
  • Affiliate networks

Monitor Your Program

It is time to keep tabs on your Shopify Affiliate Program’s performance. Here, you also want to maintain strong communication with affiliates, recognize techniques used by top affiliates, and advise other affiliates on how to improve. A successful Shopify affiliate marketing program is bred from continuous monitoring and improvements.

Start A Shopify affiliate program If It Is For You

Do you have a high-profit margin on a lot of products and services? Do you see a lot of businesses within your niche implementing the use of affiliate marketing programs? Then getting involved in this marketing technique shows great promise. Running a lucrative Shopify affiliate program also helps in building a trustworthy brand.

Shopify Affiliate marketing can truly be a booster in your eCommerce transactions while also building the required trust among influencers and their followers. Get started today!

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