Shopify Affiliate Marketing: 11 Best Apps + Full Guide for 2023 [Updated]

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:

  • Introduce you to the benefits of affiliate marketing.
  • Showcase our top Shopify affiliate marketing apps.
  • Go through the steps you need to take when setting up your own affiliate marketing program.

Let’s jump right in!

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    Quick Comparison: Top Shopify Affiliate Marketing Apps

    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

    Pricing

    Pros & Cons

    P2P Rating

    Refersion

    • Free Trial: 14 Days 

    • Paid Plan: $99 /month 

    • Pros:

    • No coding required

    • Easy to launch

    • End-to-end shopify affiliate marketing

    • Cons:

    • US-based support only

    • Only tracks up to 130 affiliate orders p/month

    • Lowest tier is out of reach for many small businesses

    4/5

    UpPromote: Affiliate Marketing

    • Free Trial: 14 Days 

    • Grow Affiliate: $21.99 /month

    • Professional: $69.99 /month

    • Enterprise: $139.99 /month

    • Pros:

    • Free plan available

    • Easy to set up

    • No coding required

    • Cons: 

    • Limit approve/deny and the number of referral orders for Free plan.

    5/5

    Social Snowball

    • Free Forever

    • Snow Day: $99 /month

    • Blizzard: $499 /month

    • Pros:

    • Free plan available

    • All customers become affiliates automatically

    • Easy to set up

    • Easy for affiliates to join

    • Personalized coupon codes

    • Very quick and easy payouts

    • Cons: 

    • On the FREE plan, there is a 15% charge

    5/5

    LeadDyno

    • Free Trial: 30 Days 

    • Starter: $49 /month

    • Plus: $129 /month

    • Pro: $349 /month

    • Premium: $749 /month

    • Pros: 

    • Unique affiliate dashboards

    • Free access to their affiliate network

    • Mobile app for affiliates

    • Cons:

    • US-based support only

    • Requires some technical ability to set up

    • The first tier might be a little pricey for small companies

    4.5/5

    GoaffPro

    • Free Forever

    • Premium: $24 /month

    • Pros:

    • No coding required

    • Unlimited affiliates, and uncapped revenue

    • Generous free tier can run a full affiliate program

    • Cons:

    • Some customers noted a slow response time to queries

    • Free plan to the paid option is a costly upgrade

    4.5/5

    ReferralCandy

    • Free Trial: 30 Days 

    • Premium: $59 /month

    • Plus: $299 /month

    • Pros:

    • No coding required

    • Automated payouts

    • Customisable incentives

    • Cons:

    • Sarting fee might be out of reach of smaller companies

    • Customizing certain templates isn't intuitive

    5/5

    Affiliatly

    • Free Trial: 90 Days 

    • Starter: $16 /month

    • Advanced: $24 /month

    • Pro 1000: $59 /month

    • Pro Unlimited: $129 /month

    • Pros:

    • The customer support is helpful and responsive

    • The free trial is much longer than other platforms

    • You can track royalties and other custom partner programs

    • Cons:

    • Poor online resources

    • There’s no database of affiliates 

    4.5/5

    OmniSTAR

    • Free Trial: 15 Days 

    • Basic: $47 /month

    • Pros:

    • Quick and easy configuration

    • The customer support team is responsive and helpful

    • Users find the features highly valuable

    • The pricing is affordable 

    • Cons:

    • You may find a lot of technical issues with this platform

    4.5/5

    MLM

    • Free!

    • Pros:

    • Many users say this app makes complicated tasks easy

    • The interface is clear and appealing

    • You don’t need technical knowledge for this platform

    • It’s the perfect app for marketers 

    • Cons:

    • You may run into technical issues

    • It’s too basic for high-level campaigns 

    • Cons:

    • You may run into technical issues

    • It’s too basic for high-level campaigns 

    4.5/5

    Simple Affiliate

    • Free Trial: 14 Days 

    • Basic: $14 /month

    • Professional: $29 /month

    • Enterprise: $249 /month

    • Pros:

    • This app is easy to use and navigate

    • Super friendly and responsive customer support

    • It’s easy to customize this app

    • Cons:

    • The software tends to lag 

    4.5/5

    Buzzbassador

    • Free Trial: 14 Days 

    • Launch: $39 /month

    • Build: $79 /month

    • Scale: $229 /month

    • Plus: $499 /month

    • Pros:

    • The functionality is amazing 

    • Users say the customer support is impeccable 

    • It’s easy to configure and edit your campaign

    • Cons:

    • The user interface is complicated 

    4.5/5

    What is Affiliate Marketing?

    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.”

    BusinessInsider.com

     

    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. 

    The Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

    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. 

    Statista


    Affiliate marketing spending in the United States from 2010 to 2022(in billion U.S. dollars) via Statista.com

    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?

    1.Scale Quickly with a ‘Remote’ Sales Team

    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.

    2.Affiliates are Focused on the Job

    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”

    HubSpot

     

    3.Multi-Channel Marketing

    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.

    4.Leverage Word-of-Mouth Marketing

    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.

    5.Easy to Measure and Manage

    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

    1. Scale quickly with a ‘remote’ sales team.
    2. Affiliates are focused on the job.
    3. Multi-channel marketing.
    4. Leverage word-of-mouth marketing.
    5. Easy to measure and manage.

    11 Best Shopify Affiliate Marketing Apps

    1.Refersion

    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.

    Pros:

    • End-to-end shopify affiliate marketing
    • No coding required
    • Easy to launch
    • Customisable affiliate commissions at product-level

    Cons:

    • Lowest tier is out of reach for many small businesses
    • Only tracks up to 130 affiliate orders p/month
    • US-based support only

    Price:

    • Free Trial: 14 Days 
    • Paid Plan: $99 /month 

    Website: refersion.com

    Shopify App Store Rating: 4.7 Stars / 761 reviews


    2.UpPromote: Affiliate Marketing

    UpPromote: Affiliate Marketing 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, 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, 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.

    Pros: 

    • Free plan available
    • Easy to set up
    • No coding required
    • Access to UpPromote marketplace to reach even more potential affiliates
    • Offer multiple commission programs, life-time commission, auto-tier commission
    • Pay your affiliates AUTOMATICALLY via PayPal integration, or pay store coupon using Store Credits

    Cons:

    • Limit approve/ deny the amount of referral orders for Free plan.

    Price:  

    • Free Trial: 14 Days 
    • Grow Affiliate: $21.99 p/month
    • Professional: $69.99 p/month
    • Enterprise: $139.99 p/month

    Website: https://apps.shopify.com/affliate-by-secomapp

    Shopify App Store Rating: 4.9 Stars / 1342 reviews


    3.Social Snowball

    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.

    Pros:

    • Free plan available – unlimited affiliates
    • All customers become affiliates automatically
    • Easy to set up for Shopify merchants
    • Easy for affiliates to join the affiliate program made with Social Snowball
    • Personalized coupon codes make users more likely to share your products.
    • You can pay your affiliates in two clicks!

    Cons:

    • On the FREE plan, you’ll have to pay 15% of the revenue generated by Social Snowball.

    Price:

    • Free Forever
    • Snow Day: $99/month
    • Blizzard: $499/month

    Website: SocialSnowball.io

    Shopify App Store rating: 5.0 stars / 32 reviews

    4.LeadDyno

    Video via LeadDyno

    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.

    Pros:

    • Unique affiliate dashboards
    • Mobile app for affiliates
    • Free access to their affiliate network

    Cons:

    • US-based support only, and this can lead to delays in responses
    • It requires some level of technical-savviness to set up
    • The first tier might be a little pricey for small companies

    Price:

    • Free Trial: 30 Days 
    • Starter: $49 /month
    • Plus: $129 /month
    • Pro: $349 /month
    • Premium: $749 /month

    Website: leaddyno.com

    Shopify App Store Rating: 4.5 Stars / 569 reviews


    5.GoaffPro

    Shopify affiliate marketing - Goaffpro
    Image via Shopify

    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.

    Pros:

    • Generous free tier allows you to run a full affiliate program
    • Unlimited affiliates, and uncapped revenue
    • Create and send welcome emails
    • No coding required

    Cons:

    • Some customers noted a slow response time to queries
    • The jump from free plan to the paid option could become a costly upgrade for some

    Price:

    • Free Forever
    • Premium: $24 /month

    Website: https://goaffpro.com/

    Shopify App Store Rating: 4.8 Stars / 376 Reviews


    6.ReferralCandy

    Video via ReferralCandy

    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.

    Pros:

    • Powerful end-to-end affiliate marketing features
    • Fully customizable emails with pre-designed themes
    • Automated payouts
    • Customizable incentives (discounts, cash payouts, gifts etc.)
    • Detailed, deep analytics
    • No coding required
    • Built-in Affiliates Mode to reach out to influencers

    Cons:

    • The steep starting fee might be out of reach of smaller companies
    • Customizing certain templates does require a certain level of tech-savviness and might not be very intuitive to use

    Price: 

    • Free Trial: 30 Days 
    • Premium: $59 /month
    • Plus: $299 /month

    Website: referralcandy.com

    Shopify App Store Rating: 4.9 Stars / 813 reviews


    7.Affiliatly

    Source: Shopify

    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.

    Pros:

    • The customer support is helpful and responsive
    • The free trial is much longer than other platforms
    • You can track royalties and other custom partner programs

    Cons:

    • Poor online resources
    • There’s no database of affiliates 

    Price: 

    • Free Trial: 90 Days 
    • Starter: $16 /month
    • Advanced: $24 /month
    • Pro 1000: $59 /month
    • Pro Unlimited: $129 /month

    Website: https://www.affiliatly.com/

    Shopify App Store Rating: 4.7 Stars / 121 Reviews


    8.OmniSTAR

    Source: Shopify

    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.

    Pros:

    • Quick and easy configuration
    • The customer support team is responsive and helpful
    • Users find the features highly valuable
    • The pricing is affordable 

    Cons:

    • You may find a lot of technical issues with this platform

    Price: 

    • Free Trial: 15 Days
    • Basic: $47 /month

    Website: https://www.omnistar.com/

    Shopify App Store Rating: 4.7 Stars / 32 Reviews


    9.MLM

    Source: Shopify

    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.

    Pros:

    • Many users say this app makes complicated tasks easy
    • The interface is clear and appealing
    • You don’t need technical knowledge for this platform
    • It’s the perfect app for marketers 

    Cons:

    • You may run into technical issues
    • It’s too basic for high-level campaigns 

    Price: 

    • Free Forever!

    Website: https://www.shoutout.global/

    Shopify App Store Rating: 4.6 Stars / 83 Reviews


    10.Simple Affiliate

    simple affiliate
    Source: Shopify

    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. 

    Pros:

    • This app is easy to use and navigate
    • Super friendly and responsive customer support
    • It’s easy to customize this app

    Cons:

    • The software tends to lag 

    Price:

    • Free Trial: 14 Days
    • Basic: $14 /month
    • Professional: $29 /month
    • Enterprise: $249 /month

    Website: https://simple-affiliate.com/

    Shopify App Store Rating: 5 Stars / 32 Reviews


    11.Buzzbassador

    Source: Shopify

    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. 

    Pros:

    • The functionality is amazing 
    • It’s easy to configure and edit your campaign
    • Users say the customer support is impeccable 

    Cons:

    • The user interface is complicated 

    Price: 

    • Free Trial: 14 Days
    • Launch: $39 /month
    • Build: $79 /month
    • Scale: $229 /month
    • Plus: $499 /month

    Website: https://www.buzzbassador.com/

    Shopify App Store Rating: 4.9 Stars / 89 Reviews

    Summary: Best Shopify Affiliate Marketing Apps

    1. Refersion
    2. UpPromote: Affiliate Marketing
    3. Social Snowball
    4. LeadDyno
    5. GoaffPro
    6. ReferralCandy
    7. Affilatly
    8. OmniSTAR
    9. MLM
    10. Simple Affiliate
    11. Buzzbassador

    5 Steps to Build your Affiliate Program in Shopify

    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:

    1.Outline How Your Affiliate Marketing Program Will Work

    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.

    2.Pick the Right Affiliate Management Tool

    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:

    • Look at what tools your competitors are using
    • Read online reviews and ratings
    • Sign up for trials and demos to get a better sense of how the tools work and judge your comfort levels

    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.

    3.Set Up Your Communication Plan

    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.

    How Pooch Perks markets their affiliate program on their website. Image via poochperks.com.

    4.Recruit Your Affiliates

    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).

    Shopify affiliate marketing - example
    The Vianetic uses an application form to recruit affiliates. Image via TheVianetic.com

    5.Track, Measure, Manage and Optimize

    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.

    The merchant dashboard on Refersion. Image via Shopify.

    Final Thoughts on Shopify Affiliate Marketing

    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”.

    Our Top Picks from Our Review of the Best Shopify Affiliate Apps

    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.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I launch an affiliate program for my Shopify store?

    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.

    What are the best Shopify apps for affiliate marketing?

    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.

    How to determine the commission I should offer my affiliates?

    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.

    How to find and recruit affiliates

    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.

    References

    99Firms: 23 Affiliate Marketing Statistics to Help You Up Your Game

    BigCommerce: Word of Mouth Marketing in 2020

    E-commerce CEO: E-commerce Affiliate Marketing: The Ultimate Guide 

    Refersion: Can You do Affiliate Marketing on Shopify? 

    Shopify: Affiliate Marketing: How to Turn Product Recommendations into Passive Income