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.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a leading cloud-based, multi-channel commerce platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses. Merchants can use the software to create, set up, and operate their stores across multiple sales channels, including web, mobile, social media, marketplaces, brick-and-mortar locations, and pop-up shops. The platform also provides merchants with a powerful back-office and a single view of their businesses. Shopify point-of-sale (POS) 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. As Shopify states, they are “The e-commerce platform made for you. Whether you sell online, on social media, in-store, or out of the trunk of your car, Shopify has you covered.”
Features and User Stats
- Create a fully customizable website, online store, and blog
- Get unlimited bandwidth, product inventory, and customer data
- Sell on Pinterest and Amazon
- Accept credit cards instantly with Shopify Payments
- Save time and money with Shopify Shipping and discounted rates
- 24/7 customer support
- Fulfill orders in a single step
- Track sales and growth trends
- 1 million active users
- 600,000 businesses
- $63 billion sold on Shopify
Pricing and Plans
Shopify gives a 14-day free trial. There are no setup fees, and annual plan discounts are available. They have 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 an affiliate marketing program. Program approval occurs between three to five business days. Once approved, you can access your affiliate links. Let’s look at the program’s pros and cons.
Shopify affiliates get a 30-day cookie window. When a visitor clicks on your affiliate link, you will be credited with the lead if the visitor signs up for a free trial within 30 days. If after the free trial ends the lead becomes a customer, you will earn a commission. The 30-day referral period is standard and sufficient.
Shopify’s program is high paying one that offers 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 pay 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 a panel that is easy to navigate with your key affiliate metrics located on the homepage.
They offer 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. Shopify affiliate managers are on the ball. The few emails I’ve sent have been resolved quickly with excellent direction.
Shopify provides an affiliate marketing course. Once logged in, you can enroll in an affiliate marketing fundamentals course, which takes between 45 to 60 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. On the plus side, affiliates can deep link by adding their IDs to URLs and blog posts. For example,
However, deep linking as a feature isn’t obvious when logged in. The “Create affiliate link” option above the dashboard isn’t for deep linking. 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 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 thirty days of clicking an affiliate’s link to receive credit. However, brainstorming, research, and planning can take a while in which case the conversion window may expire before the user signs up. A longer conversion window would benefit affiliates.
E-Commerce 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.
- 3dcart – 300% per referral
3dcart helps business owners create, operate, and maintain successful online stores with relative ease and efficiency. 3dcart currently powers more than 17,500 global merchants, and its support team is always available, at no additional cost. Learn about the 3dcart affiliate program.
- BigCommerce – 200% per referral
BigCommerce is a leading cloud e-commerce platform for established and rapidly-growing businesses. They enable companies to grow online sales with 80 percent less cost, time, and complexity than on-premise software. Learn about the BigCommerce affiliate program.
- Ontraport – 25% recurring per account
Ontraport is a complete 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% per sale
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% per sale
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% per sale on themes and plugins
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, and even sell affiliate goods from online marketplaces. The WooCommerce affiliate program is available through WordPress.com.
Dropship Affiliate Programs
You might also consider promoting dropship affiliate programs since many online retailers operate drop ship e-commerce businesses.
- AliExpress affiliate program
- Inventory Source affiliate program
- SaleHoo affiliate program
- Wholesale2b affiliate program
- Worldwide Brands affiliate program