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Shopify Affiliate Marketing 101: How to Start and Succeed [2023]

by Amelia Pahm
Shopify Affiliate Marketing 101: How to Start and Succeed - OneCommerce

With the rising popularity of eCommerce, as a Shopify merchant, you know how so many entrepreneurs intend to open their own online business.

Want to help others start their store on Shopify while earning extra income for yourself? Look no further than Shopify’s Affiliate Marketing Program! As a Shopify Affiliate, you’ll have the opportunity to earn commissions by referring others to Shopify and helping others achieve their dreams of entrepreneurship.

Plus, you’ll also be growing your brand and accessing resources to support your content development and boost your referral traffic’s conversion rate.

We’ll discover all you need to know about creating an affiliate network for your Shopify business. Keep reading!

Based on your interest:

What Is Shopify Affiliate Marketing?

Shopify Affiliate Marketing is a way for entrepreneur, educator, influencer, or content creator to earn commissions by promoting Shopify to others.

The program is free to join and allows you to monetize your audience while earning commissions on each new Shopify merchant referral.

But will Shopify Affiliate Marketing be worth a shot?

It’s worth it! Shopify Affiliate Marketing benefits your business in a variety of ways.

Shopify affiliates can have opportunities to expand their audiences through Shopify and enhance their revenue immensely.

Plus, a report from Buyapowa suggested that 88% of consumers will trust recommendations from people they are familiar with.

This means it can further increase the effectiveness of affiliate marketing, as consumers are more inclined to shop for items and services that received a promotion from their favorite site owners, influencers, or simply family and friends.

shopify free trial

How Does The Shopify Affiliate Marketing Program Work?

1. Sign up for Shopify Affiliate Marketing Program

Before we get into the mechanics of how it works, keep in mind that Shopify has strict criteria for who may apply.

You must meet the following requirements to be approved for its affiliate program:

  • Maintain an active affiliate blog or website.
  • Have a well-known (and relevant) audience.
  • The content relating to Shopify’s services, such as blogs, videos, or online courses, has been published.
  • Have some prior experience with Shopify or another e-commerce solution.
  • You’ve read the Shopify Partner Program Agreement and accepted it.
💡 Small update:

Previously, Shopify had its affiliate program; but, as of June 2022, it is now powered by the Impact Affiliate Network. As a result, you’ll notice the Impact.com domain on the application forms instead of Shopify.com!

Alright, you’ve met all the requirements. Now let’s get you signed up!

Step 1. On the Shopify Affiliate Marketing Program landing page, click the Apply Now button.

Shopify Affiliate Marketing Program Website

Step 2. You’ll be redirected to the sign-up form on impact.com, where you need to create an Impact account (which takes around 5 minutes to complete).

This account will help you track your referrals and commissions. Read the Impact Terms of Service and Privacy Policy carefully, then provide information about yourself and your website required on the form.

❗ Impact carefully examines all applications, which might take up to two working days.

Step 3. If your application is approved, log in to your Impact account and join the Shopify Affiliate Program from the Campaign Marketplace.

You also need to provide your payment information and tax forms before you can receive commissions.

❗ Shopify will handle your application within five business days in most situations.

Shopify Affiliate Marketing Program sign up

Participate in Shopify Affiliate Marketing program

2. Commissions for the Shopify Affiliate Marketing Program

Shopify offers a generous affiliate program that rewards affiliates for referring new customers to its e-commerce platform.

Affiliates can earn money in different ways, depending on the type of referral they make:

  • For each referral who signs up for a paid Shopify plan (Basic, Shopify, or Advanced)

Affiliates receive a one-time bounty payment equal to 200%  off the merchant’s monthly subscription fee. This means that the commission amount depends on the plan chosen by the referral.

For example, if the referral signs up for a $29/month Basic Shopify subscription, the affiliate receives $58 in total. If the referral signs up for a $299/month Advanced Shopify subscription, the affiliate receives $598 in total.

  • For each net new merchant referred by Partner that signs a Shopify Plus deal

Affiliates receive a recurring commission of 20% of the Shopify Plus merchant’s monthly base platform fee (approx. $2000/month) on the billing store.

Simply put, the affiliate would be able to receive around $400 per month (20% of $2,000). This commission would be paid to the affiliate every month for as long as the merchant remains a Shopify Plus customer.

  • Affiliates can also join the Shopify Partner program, which is designed for designers, developers, marketers, and affiliates who use the Shopify platform to build e-commerce websites, themes, and apps.

The partner program offers 3 additional ways to earn money:

      • Creating and selling themes in the Shopify Theme Store,
      • Creating and selling apps in the Shopify App Store,
      • Referring customers to Shopify.

3. How long does Shopify keep cookies?

Shopify has a typical cookie lifespan of 30 days.

To further understand this, if someone hits your referral link and signs up for a 14-day Shopify free trial over the next 30 days, you will successfully earn a one-time commission.

Your earnings as a Shopify Affiliate vary based on where the merchants you suggest are located.

4. Which payment methods are available to Shopify Affiliates?

There are 3 fundamentals you’ll need to know about how payment works for the Shopify Affiliate Marketing program:

  1. Shopify Affiliate Marketing program supports payment by direct deposit to your bank account or PayPal.
  2. The program requires a minimum balance of $10 before withdrawals can be made.
  3. Affiliates can choose to be paid when their balance reaches a certain amount or on a bi-weekly basis.

So, if you don’t have a PayPal account, you can still receive payments through direct deposit to your bank account.

Types Of Shopify Affiliate Programs

Naturally, there are different approaches to structuring your Shopify affiliate marketing program.

Features Shopify Affiliate Program Shopify Plus Affiliate Program
Target audience Individuals and small businesses that refer new merchants to Shopify Enterprise-level companies that sell high-volume stores to Shopify Plus
Commissions Competitive commissions for each new merchant referral Competitive commissions for each new high-volume store referral
Bonuses Bonuses for high-performing affiliates
Promotional materials Exclusive promotional materials to help affiliates succeed
Support Support to help affiliates succeed

How To Promote Your Shopify Affiliate Marketing Program

The final stage in achieving affiliate marketing success is to promote your program so that you can recruit referrals and begin generating sales. Once you’ve started your new affiliate marketing program, you should apply four major strategies.

1. Attract new Shopify merchants with a landing page or a blog post

Create a landing page or blog posts that showcase the benefits of joining Shopify as a merchant.

Explain how Shopify can help them start, run, and grow their online store, and what features and resources they can access. Include a clear call to action and your unique affiliate link to direct them to a Shopify landing page.

2. Turn Your Customers into Referrals

Reach out to your existing audience and invite them to try Shopify for free. You can use your email list, social media platforms, YouTube channel, podcast, or any other medium that you have.

Share your personal experience with Shopify, show some examples of successful Shopify stores, and offer them an incentive, such as a free trial, a discount code, or a bonus gift.

3. Find and Connect with Niche Affiliates

Find and connect with potential merchants who are interested in eCommerce or entrepreneurship. You can use tools like Google, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest to search for keywords related to your niche or industry and see who is creating or consuming content about them.

You can also join relevant groups, forums, communities, or networks where your target audience hangs out. Then, reach out to them via email, direct message, comment, or any other way that is appropriate and respectful. Introduce yourself, compliment their work, and pitch Shopify as a solution for their eCommerce needs.

4. Grow Your Affiliate Program with Collaboration

Collaborate with other Shopify affiliates or partners who have similar or complementary audiences to yours.

You can cross-promote each other’s products or services, co-create content, co-host events, or run joint campaigns. Moreover, leverage each other’s networks and referrals to grow your affiliate income.

💡 Need more unique strategies to promote Shopify Affiliate Marketing Program? Check out this article Best Tactics to Do Affiliate Marketing on TikTok!


Achieving remarkable results in affiliate marketing requires time, work, and devotion. Starting and managing a Shopify Affiliate Marketing program might appear intimidating at first. Even if you use a marketplace, there are a lot of moving pieces and chances for things to go wrong.

It’s also a competitive sector, so differentiating your affiliate program from the competition might be difficult. It does, however, provide several incentives and prizes to sweeten the sale.

Want to stay up-to-date with news and updates about Shopify? Don’t forget to check out OneCommerce Blog!

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