How to Set Up an Affiliate Program For Your Shopify Store (2023)

Driving visitors to your ecommerce store –and then converting them into customers – is always a hard task. And, with more ecommerce competition than ever before, it’s only getting harder.

Marketing and advertising budgets are often stretched to get the best possible results –but one thing that can often yield a good ROI is affiliate marketing.

If you’ve got a Shopify store already set up –or you’re thinking about building one soon –then affiliate marketing can be a great way of driving the right kind of traffic to your website.

So read on –we’re unpacking everything you need to know about setting up an affiliate program for your Shopify store!

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a rewards-based system that encourages chosen partners to promote your store and products to their audience. In exchange for this promotion, your partners will earn a commission.

Partners–which can be anyone from publications and influencers to fellow industry marketers –will be able to set up their own referral link to your website.

This allows you to track the success of their referrals, and – for each purchase made off the back of clicking on their referral link –a partner will earn a small commission on the sale.

Affiliate marketing is usually a win-win option for all parties. Partners get to promote products they use and earn commission, whilst you drive traffic and sales to your website with no upfront cost (and only a tiny commission to pay!).

How to Set Up a Successful Affiliate Marketing Program

Setting up an affiliate marketing program is simple. Simply follow the steps we’ve laid out below, and you’ll have one up and running in no time.

1. Select Your Products

The first thing you need to do is decide which of your products you want to include in your affiliate program. You may want to include all of them, or instead opt to include specific categories or products only.

The best thing to do is to include your products that have the best AOV (Average Order Value). After all, a 5% commission on a £100 product is much more appealing to a partner than a 5% commission on a £10 product.

You can tweak which products you feature in your program as you progress based on sales and success rates –so don’t worry too much if you’re not 100% sure which ones you want to include right now.

2. Decide Your Commission Rates

Once you’ve selected which products to include in your affiliate program, you’ll need to decide on your commission rates.

Usually, brands will offer a cash reward for referrals and sales, and – let’s be honest, – this is always the best incentive. If you’re not keen to offer cash, there’s still the option to use vouchers or money-off future purchases, depending on how many referrals a partner generates.

If you decide to offer a cash-based commission, there are two ways for you to determine the rate:

  • Percentage – You offer a set percentage of the price of the item (e.g. 5%)
  • Flat-rate – You set a flat rate for each sale (e.g. $1 per sale made)

3. Choose an Affiliate Management App

There are multiple affiliate marketing apps that make setting up your affiliate program quick and easy. Below, we’ve listed some of the affiliate apps available in the Shopify app store for you to choose from.

  • UpPromote – UpPromote is the top-rated affiliate marketing app in the Shopify app store. From within the app, you can create custom commission rates, as well as find more affiliate partners for your store.
  • LeadDyno – LeadDyno expertly integrates with your Shopify store, and offers a personalized dashboard for each affiliate partner. From here, you can track the success of their referral links, and –in just a few clicks –engage, track and pay your affiliate partners.
  • Refersion – Not only does Refersion let you track and pay your affiliate partners, but it also gives you access to over 5000 potential partners. This makes it super easy to find new affiliates and influencers for your Shopify store.

How to Set Up an Affiliate Program For Your Shopify Store (1)

How and Where to Find Affiliates

Once you’ve set up your affiliate marketing program, you need to start recruiting affiliate partners.

Here, you’ll want to ensure that you’re selecting the right kind of partners for your store. They need to be relevant to your brand and products, as well as have an engaged and substantial audience. After all, it’s no use selecting a partner who doesn’t even have an audience to refer to you!

So where can you find affiliates?

1. Affiliate Websites

Affiliate network websites have a host of affiliate partners ready and waiting to sign up to your program. The entry requirements are usually pretty simple for affiliate networking sites, and –once you’ve signed up –you’ll be able to invite affiliates and influencers from various different niches to join your program.

2. Social Media

Announcing your affiliate program on your social media channels is a great way to drum up interest in your program. Invite your followers to learn more about your program (we recommend creating a dedicated page on your website full of information about it) and encourage them to apply.

3. Email Marketing

If you already have an email list set up, make sure you use it when trying to source affiliate partners. Send out an email explaining the program, how it works, what the commission rate is, and the type of people you’re looking to recruit.

How to Measure the Success of your Affiliate Marketing Program

Like with any element of your marketing strategy, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your affiliate marketing program’s performance and measure its success.

The key to the success of your affiliate program is communication with your partners. Make sure that you’re regularly keeping in touch with them–usually via email –and you should make it your priority to ensure they understand all the requirements of your program.

These requirements can be anything from specific messaging, the use (or lack) of referral links to other websites, the frequency of posts, and social media hashtags.

When measuring the success of your affiliate marketing program, some of the key metrics to keep a close eye on include:

  • Total sales
  • Sales per referral link
  • Average order size per referral
  • Total number of affiliate partners
  • Amount of affiliate partners who have left the program
  • Payout-to-sales ratio

Pros and Cons of Setting up an Affiliate Marketing Program

Pros of an Affiliate Marketing Program Cons of an Affiliate Marketing Program
Zero start-up fees. Results don’t happen overnight, and it can take time to see referrals and sales.
Referrals act as word-of-mouth marketing for your brand. Affiliates can leave your program at any time if they aren’t seeing the kind of rewards they expected.
Introduces new audiences to your brand who may not have otherwise found you. You need to have enough budget set aside to afford the commission rates.
Affiliate partners are often well-respected and offer your brand credibility.

How to Set Up an Affiliate Program: Summary

Setting up an affiliate program for your Shopify store can be a great way of driving traffic to your website, and converting engaged users into paying customers.

One of the key benefits of an affiliate program is that –once set up –it requires little upkeep for you to keep making a solid return on your investment.

So let’s recap. If you want to set up an affiliate program for your Shopify store, you’ll need to:

  1. Select your products.
  2. Decide your commission rates.
  3. Choose an affiliate marketing app.
  4. Find your affiliates.
  5. Track your success.

If, after reading this article, you decide to set up an affiliate program for your Shopify store, be sure to let us know in the comments how it goes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely! There are various apps available in the Shopify app store that can help you integrate your affiliate marketing program with your Shopify store.

In order to start an affiliate program you need to follow these steps:

  1. Select your products.
  2. Decide your commission rates.
  3. Choose an affiliate marketing app.
  4. Find your affiliates.
  5. Track your success.

A successful affiliate marketing program selects the right affiliates and partners. They need to be relevant to your brand, and have a substantially-sized and engaged audience. The more referrals–and, in turn, sales –your affiliate marketing program makes for your Shopify store, the more successful it’ll be!

Nope! The great thing about affiliate marketing is that you don’t require a big budget to get started. In fact, the start-up costs are pretty much nil. All you’ll need to do is make sure you can afford to pay the commission % on any referrals and sales. That’s it!

Written by:

How to Set Up an Affiliate Program For Your Shopify Store (2)

Lucy Nixon Writer

I’ve been a content writer for Website Builder Expert since 2021. Through almost a decade in the digital marketing industry, I’ve built up knowledge on everything from growing ecommerce businesses to building websites.
I love breaking down tricky topics into digestible and engaging content for readers. Breaking down the jargon and uncovering the best platforms, tools, and strategies, I’m a meticulous researcher who’s committed to providing our readers with tips and advice that’s tried and tested.

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    How to Set Up an Affiliate Program For Your Shopify Store (7)


    How to Set Up an Affiliate Program For Your Shopify Store? ›

    Shopify does allow you to include affiliate marketing links on their website. They also make it easy for you to create your own affiliate marketing links using Refersion.

    Can I add affiliate links to my Shopify store? ›

    Shopify does allow you to include affiliate marketing links on their website. They also make it easy for you to create your own affiliate marketing links using Refersion.

    How much do Shopify affiliates make? ›

    For each signup, an affiliate can earn from $58 to $2,000 depending on the merchant user plan. The commission from Shopify is a one-time bounty payment equal to 200% of the merchant's monthly subscription fee for general plans (Basic, Shopify, Advanced); and equal to $2,000 for Shopify Plus subscription.

    Is there a Shopify affiliate program? ›

    The Shopify Affiliate Program supports educators, influencers, review sites, and content creators to educate their audience about entrepreneurship with Shopify and earn commission for their referrals.

    How do I start affiliate marketing with no money on Shopify? ›

    1. Find a niche. The best way to succeed in affiliate marketing is by establishing yourself within a niche. ...
    2. Choose an affiliate program. ...
    3. Decide on a traffic source. ...
    4. Create content to build trust. ...
    5. Grow an audience. ...
    6. Respond and chat with your audience.
    Feb 1, 2022

    Is Shopify affiliate program free? ›

    The program is free to join, and enables you to monetize your audience and earn commissions from each new Shopify merchant referral.

    What percentage should I pay affiliates? ›

    The average affiliate commission rate is between 5-30%. Most businesses start on the low side and raise their commission rates as the company grows. You want a rate that is enticing to your affiliate but affordable to your business.

    What is the average income for Shopify? ›

    A survey of 2,025 stores by Littledata in October 2021 shows that the average income or revenue per customer for Shopify was US$ 87. The report indicates that "anything more than US$ 187 would put you in the best 20% of Shopify stores for revenue per customer, and more than $290 would put you in the best 10%."

    What is the average affiliate payout? ›

    Percentage commissions are most common in affiliate programs, and the average affiliate commission rate is between 5–30%. If you sell a variety of products, percentage commissions may motivate affiliates to promote the products that lead to a higher average order value.

    How do I start affiliate marketing for beginners? ›

    How to get started with affiliate marketing
    1. Step 1: Choose your niche. Your niche is the category you want to talk about and promote. ...
    2. Step 2: Decide on a content platform. ...
    3. Step 3: Find affiliate programs to join. ...
    4. Step 4: Create great content. ...
    5. Step 5: Drive traffic to your affiliate site.
    May 25, 2023

    Is there a catch to affiliate marketing? ›

    There's no catch. Affiliate marketing is one of the most powerful ways to generate an income online.

    How to start affiliate marketing with no money? ›

    How to Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money in 2023
    1. Find an affiliate program and a niche.
    2. Decide your traffic channels.
    3. Target the right keywords.
    4. Create killer content that builds trust.
    5. Promote hard and grow your audience.
    6. Engage with your audience.
    7. Scale it up.
    Apr 6, 2023

    What are the 3 main types of affiliates? ›

    There are three main types of affiliate marketing: unattached affiliate marketing, related affiliate marketing, and involved affiliate marketing.

    How much can a beginner make in affiliate marketing? ›

    Beginner – $0 to $1,000 per month. Intermediate – $1,000 to $10,000 monthly. Advanced – $10,000 to $100,000 per month.

    Can I sell on Shopify without being a company? ›

    No. There is no requirement for having a business license to sell on Shopify. However, there are certain circumstances where a license is essential. For example, you might need one if the country/city/state or type of your business requires one.

    How do I promote my Shopify for free? ›

    Engage your audience on social media. With billions of active monthly users, social media platforms are one of the best places to start promoting your Shopify store. You can use social media to promote your brand for free (organically) or use their built-in paid advertising options.

    How much is Shopify commission? ›

    Shopify charges 2.6% + $0.30 per transaction for the Shopify account. These are the charges for online credit card transactions. A 2.5% transaction fee applies to in-person card transactions. If you use any payment gateway other than Shopify Payments, there's an additional 1% fee per transaction.

    How to make money on Shopify for free? ›

    Top Ways to Make Money on Shopify
    1. Set up an ecommerce store. ...
    2. Start dropshipping. ...
    3. Affiliate marketing. ...
    4. Monetize social media traffic. ...
    5. Flip Shopify stores. ...
    6. Become a Shopify expert. ...
    7. Develop custom resources for Shopify sellers. ...
    8. Freelance writing.
    Jan 30, 2023

    How do I create my own affiliate link? ›

    Here's how to make your own affiliate link:
    1. Join an affiliate platform. ...
    2. Log into your affiliate dashboard. ...
    3. Add affiliates. ...
    4. Create an affiliate link. ...
    5. Customize the URL. ...
    6. Define the promotion.
    Oct 28, 2022

    How do I make my affiliate program successful? ›

    10 Steps To Affiliate Marketing Success
    1. Create solid content.
    2. Track your success.
    3. Know your products.
    4. Engage your visitors.
    5. Concentrate on one niche.
    6. Provide information and help, rather than sell.
    7. Choose the right products.
    8. Always be testing and improving.

    Do affiliates get paid monthly? ›

    Most affiliate programs pay their affiliates once a month, but some also pay only when the affiliate's net earnings exceed a certain level. The most common affiliate payouts are: Once a month, on the 1st date of the month.

    How many followers do you need to get affiliates? ›

    With the rise of micro-influencers, even accounts with less than 2,000 followers can become great affiliates. However, a good number is 5,000 to 15,000 followers to expect a substantial sale from affiliate marketing. At the end of the day, look for high engagement rate vs. the number of followers.

    How often do affiliates get paid? ›

    Payouts are made 15 days after the end of the month of revenue being earned. For example, if you earn at least $50 with most payout methods or $100 with wire transfer on April 5th, the payout will be initiated 15 days after April 30th, which is May 15th.

    How much do successful Shopify stores make? ›

    Research has shown that an average Shopify merchant in the United States makes about $72 of profit from each customer–high-earning merchants on Shopify earn about $149 on a per-client basis, while low-earning merchants make a profit of about $44 per-client.

    How many Shopify stores are profitable? ›

    While the data is mixed, the best evidence we have suggest that only about 10% of Shopify stores succeed. Out of every ten startups, only one will last through the times and become successful. From what we know, this holds true both on Shopify and off of it.

    Can you make a full time income on Shopify? ›

    This is the goal that many first-time Shopify eCommerce merchants discuss with me before starting their first eCommerce site. Is it possible to earn a full-time income in 12 months, starting at zero? Yes, 100%.

    Can you make $10000 a month with affiliate marketing? ›

    In conclusion, affiliate marketing is a great way to make money online, and with the right strategy, you can earn $10,000 per month or more.

    Who is the highest paid affiliate marketer? ›

    2. Who is the highest-paid affiliate marketer? Pat Flynn is one of the successful affiliates who earned over $3 million. Almost 80% of his income comes through affiliate marketing.

    How much do Amazon affiliates make? ›

    Amazon affiliates get paid $100 to $20,000 in the Amazon affiliates program on average. The payments will depend on how many referrals you generate for Amazon. The Amazon affiliates program runs on a commission basis, which means you make a percentage of every sale you commission.

    What is an example of an affiliate? ›

    Affiliate marketing is when you sell somebody else's product online for a commission. For example, an entrepreneur or an established company may have a product or a catalog of products, either digital or physical. They let others promote and sell those products, paying them a commission every time they sell something.

    How do you drive traffic to affiliate links? ›

    Social Media. Simply maintaining an engaging presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms can increase organic traffic to your affiliate site. If your content is noteworthy and engaging you'll easily be able to convince people to click on your links.

    How much do beginner affiliate marketers make a month? ›

    Categorizing Affiliate Marketers by Earnings

    Beginner – $0 to $1000/per month. Intermediate $1000 to $10,000/per month. Advanced – 10k to $100k/per month. Super Affiliate – $100k+/per month.

    How many people fail at affiliate marketing? ›

    The allure of affiliate marketing is undeniable; who wouldn't want to make money while asleep simply by recommending products to others? While this is obviously said tongue in cheek, it's also important to note that as many as 95% of those starting out in this industry fail.

    Is affiliate marketing a good side hustle? ›

    Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn a full-time income while doing something you love. By selecting the right affiliate programs, creating high-quality content, and promoting products in a way that's engaging and informative, you can build a loyal audience and generate passive income for years to come.

    Is it hard to start affiliate marketing? ›

    Affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It requires time and patience to grow an audience and gain influence. You'll want to test different channels to see which connect best with your audience. Research the most relevant and credible products to promote.

    Can you make money on affiliate marketing without showing your face? ›

    Absolutely! Many successful affiliate marketers have built their businesses without showing their faces or revealing their identities. The key is to focus on the value you provide through your content, products, or services rather than relying on a personal brand or physical presence.

    Do you need a website to make money with affiliate marketing? ›

    In short, yes. It's definitely possible to start affiliate marketing without a website. In fact, there are different types of affiliate marketing, and although the one with a website is amongst the most popular, it's most certainly not the only one. Making money with affiliate marketing has a simple process.

    What is the easiest way to make money with affiliate marketing? ›

    How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing
    1. Create a Content-Rich Website.
    2. Get Targeted Traffic From Google.
    3. Promote Products That People Are Actively Searching To Buy.
    4. Promote Products That Sell.
    5. Promote Products That Offer High Affiliate Commissions.
    6. Optimize Your Affiliate Links To Get More Clicks.
    May 19, 2023

    What do affiliates want? ›

    Also known as a publisher, the affiliate can be either an individual or a company that markets the seller's product in an appealing way to potential consumers. In other words, the affiliate promotes the product to persuade consumers that it is valuable or beneficial to them and convince them to purchase the product.

    What are affiliate rules? ›

    The Affiliate Marketing Regulations, issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal banking agencies, generally require a company to provide a notice to consumers and an opportunity to opt out before an affiliated company can use certain information for marketing purposes.

    How long does it take to learn affiliate marketing? ›

    It can take anywhere from six to 15 months to begin earning good money from your affiliate strategy. The process may go quicker if you already have a digital marketing background and a large following on your social media or blog.

    How much money do you need to be successful in affiliate marketing? ›

    In general, there is no set number of how much money you need to become successful in affiliate marketing. $3000 for traffic + $500 for additional tools is a solid monthly budget that should help you grow from a beginner to an intermediate-level affiliate.

    Does Shopify report to IRS? ›

    Does Shopify report to the IRS? Yes, Shopify reports most account owners' business transactions to the IRS every year, in a form called the 1099-K.

    Do I need a tax ID to sell on Shopify? ›

    You need a sales tax ID number only if you determine that you need to charge taxes in a particular state.

    Can I sell on Shopify without collecting taxes? ›

    No, it is always your decision where and when to collect sales tax. Shopify will not start collecting tax on your behalf. Each state has its own rules for when you may need to collect tax and Shopify's sales tax insights can assist you in determining where.

    Can you add Amazon affiliate links to Shopify? ›

    Amazon Associate Connector App is specially designed for Shopify merchants who want to sell Amazon products on their Shopify store and earn significant affiliate commissions. With this app, you can import Amazon variants as separate Shopify products or in variant formats similar to those on Amazon.

    Can I promote Amazon affiliate links on Shopify? ›

    Create a product and add the Amazon affiliate link to the Tags option on the right side of the product window. Save the product with the link and preview your Shopify store. The Shopify product should now show a “Shop On Amazon” button that takes users directly to the product with your unique link.

    How do I add affiliate links to my website? ›

    Steps for implementing affiliate links
    1. Join an affiliate platform.
    2. Log into your affiliate dashboard.
    3. Add affiliates.
    4. Create an affiliate link.
    5. Customize the URL.
    6. Define the promotion.
    Oct 28, 2022

    How much do Amazon affiliates make a month? ›

    How much do Amazon affiliates get paid? Amazon affiliates get paid $100 to $20,000 in the Amazon affiliates program on average. The payments will depend on how many referrals you generate for Amazon.

    How much Amazon affiliate pay per click? ›

    Percentage of web visitors that clicks on your Amazon affiliate links = 10% Estimated conversion rate on Amazon = 2% Average commission fee for all products promoted = 5% Target total commissions for 1 month = $1,000.

    How to affiliate marketing for beginners? ›

    How to get started with affiliate marketing
    1. Step 1: Choose your niche. Your niche is the category you want to talk about and promote. ...
    2. Step 2: Decide on a content platform. ...
    3. Step 3: Find affiliate programs to join. ...
    4. Step 4: Create great content. ...
    5. Step 5: Drive traffic to your affiliate site.
    May 25, 2023

    What percentage does Amazon pay affiliates? ›

    Table 1 – Fixed Standard Commission Income Rates for Specific Product Categories
    Product CategoryFixed Commission Income Rates
    PC, PC Components, DVD & Blu-Ray2.50%
    Televisions, Digital Video Games2.00%
    Amazon Fresh, Physical Video Games & Video Game Consoles, Grocery, Health & Personal Care1.00%
    8 more rows

    How do I promote my Shopify store on social media? ›

    The first, most important, and least expensive way to use social media to promote your Shopify store is by posting organic content on your platforms. This can be anything from product highlights to customer reviews and user-generated content (UGC) to behind-the-scenes photos and videos of your business operations.

    Can I link my Shopify store to Facebook? ›

    You can connect your Shopify account with Facebook and Instagram by using the Facebook & Instagram app on Shopify. Once you have connected the accounts, you can create Facebook ad campaigns, gain helpful insights, and sell products on Facebook and Instagram.

    What can I link to Shopify? ›

    Shopify supports Integration with popular Social Media Channels and Advertising Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google, Tumblr, Pinterest, and even Analytics Tools like Google Analytics. They offer hundreds of Apps covering any function you'll want to add to your Shop from their Shopify App Store.

    Which website is best for affiliate marketing? ›

    Top 10 Affiliate Marketing Websites to Check in 2023
    • Shopify Affiliate Program.
    • CJ Affiliate.
    • eBay Partner Network.
    • Rakuten Advertising.
    • ClickBank.
    • Amazon Associates.
    • Flipkart Affiliate Program.
    • vCommission.
    May 22, 2023


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