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02 ways to use Shopify for affiliate marketing

Today, selling products on Shopify is getting more and more popular. While running a whole business from scratch is complicated, there are ways to make money with eCommerce without carrying a big workload. 

Here comes affiliate marketing! 

This business model is considered effective by most online business owners. Influencer Marketing Hub research suggests affiliate marketing will drive 15-30% of e-commerce sales globally in 2023.

In this blog post, we will show you exactly how to do affiliate marketing using Shopify. There are 02 methods included: 

  • Sell Affiliate Products on Your Shopify Store
  • Set up an Affiliate Program on Shopify

Let’s get started!


What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a revenue-sharing marketing model in which an affiliate, such as a blogger, YouTuber, or influencer, promotes a business’s products or services to help them meet sales or marketing goals. When an affiliate promotes a product and someone buys it through their link, they get a commission. 

Here are some main commission structures:

  • Percentage of Sale: This is the most common type. The affiliate earns a set percentage of their total sales through their affiliate link. Rates typically range from 1% to 20%.
  • Flat Fee: The affiliate receives a fixed amount of money for each successful referral, regardless of the purchase amount.
  • Tiered Commissions: The commission rates may increase based on the affiliate’s performance. For example, an affiliate might earn 10% commission for their first 10 sales, then 12% for sales 11-20, and so on. This structure motivates affiliates to drive more sales.
  • Pay-Per-Something: In this less common model, the affiliate earns a small commission every time someone clicks on/signs up via/ etc.. affiliate link, regardless of whether a sale is made.

Can you do affiliate marketing using Shopify?

A normal business requires a lot  – you have to run your online store from start to finish: finding manufacturers, optimizing your store, running ads, inventory, customer support, and order tracking,…

Luckily, Shopify does allow online merchants to make money with your workload significantly reduced: affiliate marketing on Shopify. 

With Shopify, you can: 

  • set up your store and sell products from other companies, or 
  • can add affiliate products to your existing Shopify store to make more money. 

We’ll show you how to do both in the following parts. 

Option 1: Sell Affiliate Products on Your Shopify Store

Instead of selling your products, you can sell products from other companies on your Shopify store and earn a commission. This opinion is pretty popular in as a part of the Affiliate Revenue Model.

Here’s how to do it:

Join an Affiliate Program

There are 02 ways to join affiliate programs: Finding one on an affiliate network or finding an in-house affiliate program. 

Affiliate network acts as a middleman between publishers (affiliates) and merchants (advertisers). You can find companies that vibe with your store and start promoting them.  Here are some of the most renowned: 

  • ShareASale
  • FlexOffers
  • Rakuten Advertising 

Besides the giants above, you also can promote other Shopify stores. Try with BixGrow marketplace which lists advertisers from various niches! 


An in-house affiliate program is one that a company creates and fully owns itself, instead of relying on a third-party affiliate network. Most companies that run an in-house affiliate program are extremely popular. Here are some examples: 

  • Amazon Associates: it is the largest affiliate program in the world. You can promote products across various categories that match your store’s theme. 
  • Grammarly: Grammarly’s affiliate program targets writers, bloggers, and educators. Affiliates promote Grammarly’s writing tools and earn commissions.
  • Fiverr: Fiverr’s program allows affiliates to promote freelance services, such as graphic design, writing, and programming.

Please note that whether you join via a network or an in-house program, you need a well-established store and legitimate personal details to apply to the program. Your store will be considered as an affiliate business.  

Plus, it is totally okay if you want to promote a service, though a Shopify store is typically designed to promote physical products. 

Add Affiliate Product Links

Once approved, you’ll get special links to use on your store. Just add these links to your product pages like you would with your products. 

Instead of “add to cart”, a CTA button embedded with an affiliate link may look like this: 


There are various ways to embed your link – it’s pretty simple. You can check out this how-to video: How to Easily Set Up the Amazon Buy Button on Shopify with Advanced Method

Promote Your Store

Make sure your store is optimized for search engines and promote it to attract visitors.

Promote your Shopify store for free:

  • Social media: Engage with followers on platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
  • Content marketing: Create blog posts or infographics to attract customers.
  • SEO: Optimize your store for search engines.
  • Email marketing: Build a list and send targeted promotions.

For paid promotion:

  • Run ads on platforms like Google Ads or Meta Ads.
  • Partner with influencers to reach their audience. 

When to Sell Affiliate Products on Your Shopify Store

There are several aspects to consider whether to sell affiliate products on your Shopify store:

Fill gaps in your product line

Maybe you don’t currently offer a specific product category but see customer demand for it. Affiliate products can address these gaps.

For example: if you sell wearing items for pets but currently you don’t have anything wearable for small dogs then it’s time to affiliate with another brand!

Test new products

If you’re unsure about adding a new product line, promoting similar affiliate products can be a low-risk way to gauge customer interest.

You can test various relevant items to find your best missing piece without managing additional inventory along with other costs.

Monetize existing traffic

If your store already has a steady stream of visitors, you can leverage that traffic to earn commissions by promoting relevant affiliate products. This is especially true if your conversion rate on your own products has plateaued.

Improve your brand value

By carefully choosing high-quality affiliate products that complement your brand, you can enhance your store’s reputation as a trusted source within your niche. A quality deal may lead to a better customer-brand bond.

Option 2: Set up an Affiliate Program on Shopify

This is the most common way for Shopify store owners to do affiliate marketing. Here’s how to do it in seven simple steps:

Choose Your Program App 

On Shopify, merchants typically run affiliate programs with affiliate marketing apps. Those apps help with affiliate recruitment and management, affiliate link generation, performance tracking, promotion tools, and payment automation. 

A well-designed app may reduce significantly the time you need on program management.  

BixGrow: Affiliate & Referral Marketing is the top voted among 130 affiliate marketing applications on Shopify. The app gives you full control over your program with the minimum expense. 

Want to create your first program?

Select Your Products

To kickstart your affiliate program, start by choosing the products you want to include. While your store may sell a wide range of products, not every one of them is suitable for an affiliate program. 

02 factors explain why a product is not convertible:  

  • The product is simply not popular. It doesn’t mean they are not promotable. However, focusing on trending products leads to easy sales for affiliates, directly benefiting advertisers. 
  • The other reason is products bring low profit. A low ticket item may bring modest earnings and no affiliate wants to promote it. For example, if the standard commission rate is 5%, nobody will promote your 10$ item, which yields only 0,5$. So, choose something which is priced over average. 

In short, aim to create a program that’s appealing to affiliates while ensuring it’s financially rewarding for you.

Determine Commission Structure

A flat commission rate, e.g. 20% share for every affiliate sale, is the most common commission structure. However, it could even be more complicated than that, as merchants usually need to find various ways to motivate affiliates – and changing the commission rate is the most convenient way. 

There are some main types of commission structure:  

  • Pay-per-something: Affiliates get paid a one-time fee whenever someone clicks on your link, signs up, or makes a purchase.
  • Recurring commission: Affiliates earn a commission on every recurring payment a customer makes. This model is more common for subscription products or services.
  • Tiered Commission: Commission rates increase as the affiliate reaches sale (or lead) milestones.  
  • Advanced commission: Commission rate change depends on product types, affiliates, and even seasons. 

A big company’s affiliate program is often a mix of the above. A complex commission structure may maximize merchant profit and affiliate earnings. However, keeping the program on track requires tons of time and effort.  

Set up program details

It is crucial to define your program details aligning with the business goals. Here are some notes to help you with this process.

  • Payment terms: include payment methods, payment circle, payment threshold  
  • Communication channel: the main way by which Affilia te can connect with you.
  • Cookie duration: how long the sale is considered commissionable since the last affiliate link click
  • Promotion Restrictions: Define any restrictions or limitations on promotional methods, such as prohibited content or regions where affiliates can operate. 
  • Creatives: Provide affiliates with marketing materials such as banners, text links, product images, and email templates that they can use to promote your products/services effectively.
  • Tracking and Reporting: Explain how affiliate referrals will be tracked and how affiliates can access performance reports and analytics.
  • Support and Training: Offer resources, training materials, and dedicated support channels to help affiliates succeed in promoting your products/services.

Affiliate onboarding

Getting affiliates to promote your store involves a balance point between two important aspects:  

  • Affiliate benefits (commission plans and products) need to be attractive enough to draw attention to your new affiliate program. 
  • Reasonable profit margins and ensure that the affiliates you attract can bring in the customers you’re targeting.

How to reach out to affiliates? Well, you can conder using such channels: 

  • Join Affiliate Marketplace: Sign up for platforms like BixGrow Marketplace. There is a wide range of affiliates looking for suitable programs. There are also affiliate communities on social media. 
  • Direct Email Outreach: Personalize emails to potential affiliates explaining your program’s benefits. Make sure to research their website or social media presence to tailor your pitch accordingly.
  • Social Media: Use LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook to connect with potential affiliates.
  • Content Marketing: Create valuable content such as blog posts, ebooks, or webinars related to your niche. Affiliates who have an understanding of your niches would prefer dedicated content and tend to reach out to your brand.  

Consider building a compelling affiliate program landing page that shows potential affiliates their affiliate, supported by testimonials from successful marketers.

Plus, keep in mind that affiliate training plays a crucial role in ensuring good performance for your business. You and your partners can both benefit from marketing training programs or resources, such as sales emails, ad copy, or banners, which they can use to promote your store to their audience. Don’t forget to provide them with these resources to help them effectively promote your business.

Track Performance

With affiliate program software, it will be easier and more flexible compared to an affiliate network to monitor program performance and track affiliate contributions.

Remember the goals you set for your program initially? It is time to focus on key metrics like revenue, conversion rates, unique sales, and average order value to assess program effectiveness.

To optimize outcomes, you can simply adjust commission structures or refine affiliate strategies based on performance data. 

With BixGrow, you can deploy multiple affiliate programs at once and do A/B testing as the app powers various program setups. 

When to set up an affiliate program on Shopify?

Because affiliate marketing is an effective model. It is a part of modern marketing and over 80% of companies launch at least 01 program.

So, it is advised to set up an affiliate program for your business – it is a low start-up cost with big potential in return. The return on investment rate (ROI rate) of affiliate marketing is 1,400%.

However, there are companies confused when it comes to the perfect time to launch their first program. Here are some preconditions that you need to ensure before setting up one:

You have table traffic and sales

Ensure that your Shopify store consistently attracts a steady stream of traffic and generates sales.

It is simply because having a solid customer base demonstrates potential sales for high-quality affiliates, making your program more attractive.

You have strong brand presence

A recognizable brand builds trust with your audience. Affiliates will be more interested in promoting your products.

A well-defined brand with a loyal following is essential to attract high-quality affiliates who share the same customer base.

You have resources to manage the program

Running an affiliate program, though does not require great financial investments, involves various ongoing tasks like recruiting affiliates, managing commissions, and tracking performance.

It may require an affiliate manager and careful calculation of the program budget.

You have a long-term growth plan

An affiliate marketing campaign can be enormous in scale. Indeed, it does not involve the brand’s planning only but also that of the affiliate.

Therefore, a program may last for years.

It takes time and effort to build a strong affiliate community, as well as a strong brand presence. So, consider if you’re committed to nurturing the program for the long haul.

Benefits of Doing Affiliate Marketing on Shopify?

Affiliate marketing on Shopify is a great way to grow your business and make money online. Here’s why:

  • It’s easy: Setting up an affiliate program on Shopify is simple and cost-effective.
  • It’s low risk: There’s little to no risk involved since you only pay your affiliates when they make a sale.
  • It’s budget-friendly: You only pay commissions when sales are made through affiliate links.  
  • It yields passive income: If you promote other Shopify stores’ products to your audience, you can earn commissions, which is a nice way to make money without much effort.
  • It works with other strategies: Using affiliate marketing alongside other marketing strategies can increase store visitors and sales.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Do Affiliate Marketing on Shopify?

Yes, you can! You can do it in 02 ways: sell affiliate products on your Shopify store and set up your own Affiliate Program on Shopify

How Do I Sell Affiliate Products on Shopify?

Just sign up for an affiliate program, get your affiliate links, and add them to your Shopify store like you would with any other product.

What Are the Best Affiliate Programs for Shopify?

Amazon Associates is a popular choice, but you can promote other Shopify stores via the BixGrow marketplace. 

Wrapping it up

Affiliate marketing is a smart way to make money online on Shopify, without the hassle of running a traditional online store. Whether you choose to sell affiliate products or set up your own affiliate program, Shopify has everything you need to succeed. So, why wait? Start making money with affiliate marketing on Shopify today!

I have been working in marketing for four years, passionate about creative writing and copy writing. Love to be alone at watersides, sip coffee, play games or read anything that is thought provoking.


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