Is Shopify affiliate marketing really as easy as they say?
In short: Yes!
You could literally be making money while doing *almost* nothing.
This is precisely why we’re going to explain why and how you should be leveraging the power of affiliate marketing to drive online revenue.
And the best part?
If you’re using Shopify, you’re in luck because this ecommerce platform already has a directory full of Shopify affiliate marketing apps to choose from and we have rated and reviewed the best of the best.
In this article, we’re going to:
Let’s jump right in!
Here’s a quick review of the best Shopify affiliate marketing apps, how much they cost, the pros and cons of each and our P2P rating. For more details, we have a comprehensive review below.
Best Shopify Affiliate Marketing Apps
Pros & Cons
UpPromote: Affiliate & Referral
Essentially, affiliate marketing uses individuals to promote certain brands and products in order to receive a commission on each sale that they refer.
Affiliates can be literally anyone from existing customers to influencers or other small marketing businesses, and they can promote a product through blogging, social media, or email among other methods.
The brilliant thing about affiliate marketing is that it’s a win-win situation for both parties. Affiliates earn a decent commission for their referred sales, clicks, or leads, while merchants enjoy a fairly low risk sales and marketing effort that can scale easily.
“Approximately 15% of the digital media industry’s revenue now comes from affiliate marketing.”
Incentives don’t even have to be cash payments because affiliates can also receive freebies or discounts in exchange – it really is that flexible.
For ecommerce businesses, this makes even better sense because you can also track the performance of your affiliates easily with an affiliate management solution.
Summary: What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing refers to the use of affiliates/publishers to promote a brand or business, in exchange for commission on every sale they generate. Affiliates can be anyone from customers to social media personalities, influencers, bloggers or other businesses.
In the U.S. alone, affiliate marketing spend reached 8.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2022, up from 5.4 billion recorded in 2017 according to Statista.com. This steady growth is set to continue and it is safe to say that affiliate marketing is well-worth investing in.
Affiliate marketing has also taken on a new life as the trend of influencer marketing has somewhat burst its own bubble, and marketers are going back to ‘old-school’ measurable methods. Influencer marketing has now fallen under the umbrella of affiliate marketing.
So, what are the most important benefits of affiliate marketing for ecommerce?
As a small business, it’s highly likely that you are your own sales team! Or you might have a small core team, but expanding is a costly affair.
Affiliate marketing allows you to connect with and reach many more people who will be selling or promoting your product in a short amount of time. Plus, with affiliate marketing, you only pay per conversion so you’ll steadily increase your ROI.
There are no lengthy processes involved in making a sale because affiliates are focused on the job – it’s their source of revenue so they are determined to generate revenue for you. This frees up a lot of time you would’ve otherwise used in managing an in-house sales team, so you can focus on growing your business.
“Almost 20% of established affiliates report making more than $1 million per year”
Affiliates will use any channel that works for them and for you. Therefore, you don’t have to get caught up in highly produced digital ads or campaigns.
Your affiliates could generate both brand awareness and conversions from multiple channels such as social media, email, online reviews, or blogging.
74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions.
Your affiliates are people, and you can leverage their reach and influence easily through an affiliate program.
Using shopify affiliate marketing apps makes tracking and measuring your campaign a breeze – because it’s all updated in real time and purposely built to integrate with your store.
With unique tracking codes for each affiliate, you’ll be able to easily track sales and pay out commissions – this can even be automated if you use the right tool.
Now that we’ve got you thinking about all the marvelous benefits of affiliate marketing, let’s get right onto our list of the best Shopify affiliate marketing apps you should be using.
Summary: The benefits of affiliate marketing
Refersion is one of the major players in affiliate marketing, and their end-to-end shopify affiliate marketing app brings together all those world-class features in one robust tool.
The app allows you to recruit, manage, and pay your affiliates with a personalised dashboard. Their shopify integrations allow you to automatically create unique coupon codes so you can track sales from any channel.
Shopify App Store Rating: 4.7 Stars / 761 reviews
UpPromote: Affiliate & Referral is an ideal option for all-size businesses. Especially, the app offers free plan if you’re looking to start your Shopify affiliate marketing strategy without any upfront cost.
You can easily group your affiliates in program(s) with a specific commission structure. Also, you can setup auto-tier commission and lifetime commission to incentivize your team.
The app supports you to build an affiliate team with unlimited affiliates on all plans. Furthermore, you can convert customers into affiliates via a post-purchase popup, or let affiliates invite others with multi-level marketing (MLM) feature. What differs between UpPromote and other apps is that you can list your offer on UpPromote marketplace to approach more ambassadors.
Shopify App Store Rating: 4.9 Stars / 1342 reviews
Social Snowball is an automated affiliate marketing app designed specifically for Shopify stores. It automatically converts all store customers into affiliates and encourages them to promote your products by assigning personalized promo codes/links.
Moreover, Social Snowball shows the coupon code at the end of each purchase, on the “Thank You” page, making customers more likely to share the product they just bought.
We particularly like their minimal approach to everything. For example, the affiliate forms Social Snowball creates for non-customers (who’d like to join your affiliate program) can be filled in a few seconds.
You can pay your affiliates in two clicks using one of the six simplified payout methods. And its minimal dashboard lets you keep track of everything.
Shopify App Store rating: 5.0 stars / 32 reviews
As one of the most popular Shopify affiliate marketing apps around, LeadDyno is a favourite among small businesses. A really great benefit of using LeadDyno is that you’ll not only get to use a great marketing tool, but also gain access to their large affiliate network for free.
Shopify App Store Rating: 4.5 Stars / 569 reviews
GoaffPro is a great choice if you’re just starting up because their shopify affiliate marketing app offers quite a generous free plan. You can convert existing customers into affiliates through a customised portal, set up product-level commissions, track sales through multiple methods, generate coupons, and manage payments through PayPal.
Shopify App Store Rating: 4.8 Stars / 376 Reviews
Referral marketing is part of affiliate marketing. Others might argue that it is a separate strategy, but we’d like to think of it as part of the affiliate marketing landscape.
What differs between referral and affiliate marketing is the relationship between the referrer and the end customer, these two are usually connected by family, friendship or other shared interests. Other than that, referral marketing works the same as affiliate marketing.
ReferralCandy is one of the most popular choices among shopify affiliate marketing apps and they are a pioneer in the affiliate marketing space. To date, they’ve generated millions of dollars in referral sales, so if you’re looking for a “Rolls Royce” of apps, this is one of them.
ReferralCandy also offers an affiliate marketing mode so you can also reach out to affiliate partners.
Shopify App Store Rating: 4.9 Stars / 813 reviews
Affilatly allows fully customizable affiliate management software. With this Shopify affiliate app, you can create custom links to let your affiliates share your products with ease. This platform lets you build branded registration forms and get email notifications to stay ahead of your program.
Shopify App Store Rating: 4.7 Stars / 121 Reviews
Providing affiliate management software for aviation businesses, agriculture, mining, and railways, OmniSTAR is a basic Shopify affiliate marketing app. With one paid plan, this software is ideal for startups. The configuration is quick and easy, and the super responsive customer support is available 24/7.
Shopify App Store Rating: 4.7 Stars / 32 Reviews
MLM by ShoutOut is a completely free affiliate marketing software with basic features. This beginner-friendly affiliate tool lets you manage and pay your affiliates with ease. While this isn’t the top platform for high-level affiliate management, it’s ideal for individual marketers and startups.
Shopify App Store Rating: 4.6 Stars / 83 Reviews
Simple Affiliate is one of the best Shopify affiliate marketing apps, and all it’s users agree! Boasting five stars, this platform is seamless to use, and you can launch your campaign in a few minutes. The customer support is superb and so are the features. This platform is 100% in-house so you don’t have to manage your affiliates through external portals.
Shopify App Store Rating: 5 Stars / 32 Reviews
Buzzbassador is one of the most favorable Shopify marketing apps for micro-influencer marketing campaigns. You can forget messy forms, and focus on branded registration forms that drive quality affiliates. Businesses can track their campaigns in real time and send payments effortlessly.
Shopify App Store Rating: 4.9 Stars / 89 Reviews
Summary: Best Shopify Affiliate Marketing Apps
With so many apps offering “one-click” options, it’s becoming even easier to get started with affiliate marketing on Shopify. However, there is some ground work that needs to be done in order to really make the most of your marketing tools.
Here are a few important steps to keep in mind when you’re building your affiliate program:
Define what your sales and marketing objectives are and what kind of affiliate commission you are willing to offer. This can be discounts, free products, coupons, or other incentives.
Then look at what kind of budget range you can afford and what features are a high-priority for you.
For some businesses, all they need is a straightforward affiliate marketing tool, while others might require additional communication features such as bulk emailing, automatic payouts, custom dashboards and so on.
Once you get your wish list of features and have defined your commission structure, you’ll be able to pinpoint the right app for you.
Now that you’ve outlined your basic affiliate strategy, it’s time to find the right marketing tool. Here are a few quick ways you can start researching:
Once you’re ready to trial or purchase an app, you simply have to login to your Shopify account, navigate to your chosen app’s listing page and click on “Add app” – then follow in the instructions to set up.
Decide on how and why you’ll be communicating with your affiliates.
Email communication is usually the best way to onboard new affiliates and keep in touch throughout the campaign.
Certain emails can be automated through your Shopify affiliate marketing app, and some require more of a personal touch (such as onboarding emails, customer support, payment queries and so on).
You can also promote your affiliate program on social media, on your website or by other marketing channels.
With the right tool in place, you can start to recruit your ideal affiliates.
It’s important that you clearly define what criteria you’re looking for and what you are willing to pay out, and what you are paying out for: sales, clicks, leads, and so on.
You can use your affiliate marketing app to find affiliates on their owned networks, or you can start with your own customer base (as with referral marketing).
Track performance and manage your affiliate program with ease using the dashboard provided by your affiliate marketing tool.
Using the analytics and insights you receive through the app, you can optimize your affiliate program even further.
While having a diverse marketing mix is always a good strategy, we really believe that affiliate marketing should be a big part of that effort.
While there are quite a few apps that perform similar tasks out there, it’s important to get the most out of your monthly fees. Therefore, we recommend doing your research on each app.
Use articles like these to help you narrow down the search, and sign up for as many free trials and software demos as possible to give you the best opportunity to “try before you buy”.
For small businesses just starting out: GoaffPro for their generous free plan.
For enterprise-level businesses, looking for a robust end-to-end solution: Refersion for their established, fully end-to-end Shopify affiliate marketing offering.
Yes! Shopify can be integrated with most of the affiliate management software, so you can easily set up and launch your affiliate program. In order to find the best affiliate solutions for Shopify, check out our list of the best Shopify friendly affiliate apps.
The best Shopify apps to streamline your affiliate marketing campaign are: Refersion, LeadDyno and GoaffPro. Go and check out our article for the top 6 Shopify apps and see how to build a successful affiliate marketing program.
Get in touch with other companies within your niche market, to find out what commission rates they currently offer affiliates. Then browse through their terms and conditions sign up page. This will go a long way in helping you determine a competitive affiliate commission rate. For further details, take a look at our Shopify affiliate marketing guide, covering all you need to know for your affiliate campaign.
Once you have found a suitable marketing tool for your affiliate program, you can then start recruiting affiliates. Start by connecting with affiliate networks and directories, such as ClickBank and ShareASale. Here affiliates are more likely to come directly to you, then you needing to go out and search for them. See our full, step by step guide on how to find and recruit the right affiliates for you.
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