Affiliate marketing on Shopify
You’ve launched your online store, managed to drive targeted traffic to your product pages, and made some sales. What next? Well, now would be a good time to grow your business.
One strategy to do this is by affiliate marketing through an effective affiliate program. This strategy basically turns your customers into your brand ambassadors who will help market your brand for you.
In this article, we dive into what affiliate marketing is and how to sell affiliate marketing products on Shopify.
What is affiliate marketing anyway?
Affiliate marketing is a strategy where you encourage customers and partners to promote your products in exchange for a reward which can be in the following forms: points, monetary, discounts, vouchers, gifts.
What usually happens is, your customer, a brand advocate or a marketer, signs up for your affiliate program and brings in visitors via a referral link. Any sales generated from those links, earn your affiliate a reward.
It’s a cost-effective, low-risk way to drive more prospective customers into your Shopify store.
Who are affiliates?
Affiliates are customers or marketers who serve as your brand advocates. They do this by promoting your products or services to their audience through a referral program. This is usually done through a referral link that they post on their social media, blog or website. In exchange for promoting your brand, you can reward them with a commission, discount, vouchers or gifts.
Most affiliates are people whose personal values and own personal branding align with your brand’s. Best examples are skincare and beauty bloggers and influencers for beauty brands. If your brand is a beauty brand and your affiliates are beauty bloggers, you are targeting the same audience (beauty enthusiasts) so it all fits. Your affiliates' audience and network needs to match your own brand’s to make this strategy more effective.
You will need to attract the right affiliates by offering the right affiliate program. When you’ve attracted the right affiliates, what they need to do is now promote your products to their audience and bring in potential customers to your store.
Benefits of Affiliate marketing for Shopify merchants
Low risk, high reward
Since you only pay affiliates when they make a sale, the risk is very low as compared to doing numerous FB, IG or Google ads.
According to Business Insider, affiliate marketing drives up to 16% of eCommerce sales in the US, making it one of the top-4 sources of eCommerce sales. It is effective because most buyers will visit different websites and compare prices. They also want to see and hear from other people (which may or may not be your affiliates). These people that buyers see are who you need to target as affiliates.
Builds trust and credibility for your brand
Similar to how influencer marketing works, your affiliate partners already have an established audience with whom they can promote your products to. This audience already trusts them and in turn will trust your brand.
Affiliate marketing works because your affiliates are seen as real people as opposed to ads which buyers may not always respond to. But if someone they know is recommending a product, they are more inclined to react positively.
It increases your reach
Once you have established your affiliate program, you should have an arsenal of affiliate partners to promote your Shopify store across the internet.
This is really an investment to build your online presence and generate awareness for your brand to people who are more likely to purchase. As opposed to advertising to a thousand people who may or may not even click on your ad, affiliate marketing takes a more personal approach. The buyers’ trust in the affiliate helps their purchasing decision. Plus, the established audience of your affiliates can help increase your reach.
How to make an affiliate program
Identify your business goals
You first need to identify what your goals are so you can establish the parameters of success for your affiliate program. Some possible goals are:
- Increase brand awareness & reach
- Increase conversions
- Increase traffic on your Shopify store
Identify how many affiliates you will be targeting
When you’re new to Shopify, target a reasonable number of affiliates to do your program. The more affiliates you have, the more time and energy is required to manage. You will also need to forecast the amount of resources you are prepared to invest.
It’s best to target affiliates who are most closely aligned with your niche. This is to refrain from having affiliates who convert fewer sales as this would not be an effective use of resources.
There are Shopify apps you can use to limit the number of affiliates you have. Just choose the one that best fits your needs.
How do you reward your affiliates?
Stronger incentives like commissions can make your affiliate program more appealing. However, if you are unable to portion out a budget for this then you could try to check what else you could provide that your affiliates would also benefit from.
Your affiliate marketing program needs to be mutually beneficial but also makes people want to join it. If you have a large enough profit, offering generous rewards can be attractive. But if you’re just starting out maybe start with a discount, gifts, or a points system.
Shopify Affiliate Apps
Just like there are many apps that boost your Shopify store’s performance, there are also Shopify affiliate apps you can use to help boost your sales and create an effective affiliate program.
The hard part is deciding which app to use since there are so many. Here are a few we found that might be helpful:
An affiliate app with a similar UI to the Shopify system, users will easily be able to adapt to it. Just like Shopify, it is also a page builder with a drag and drop system. The app also allows you to build your own web pages, and even offers high-quality customer support just like the eCommerce platform.
They also make the process easy for beginners. Sign up, get approved and wait for the confirmation email. Once you have that, you can access your affiliate dashboard. You’ll be able to get referral links here and also track how many merchants you have referred. The app rewards via commissions which are calculated and transferred within the 1st week of the next month.
This app works great since it allows merchants to work with an unlimited number of partners. Though it is a paid plan, the basic one allows you to track up to 30 affiliate orders. With this app, you’ll be able to set commissions depending on the product, generate coupons for affiliates to share to their audiences and also gain access to 5,000 potential affiliate partners and more.
Omnistar makes use of a Shopify influencer software technology that makes it easy for merchants to increase sales through the creation of a referral program. This is why Omnistar is a preferred affiliate software for many Shopify store owners. Merchants can easily set up and integrate it into their Shopify stores thanks to its user-friendly interface. The app boasts having smart rewards for affiliates, highly rated customer service and free marketing tools.
Affiliate marketing with other platforms
Apart from attracting affiliates, you can also opt to be an affiliate yourself and sell affiliate products on Shopify. These are some of the ways to do so:
- Curate products from multiple merchants
- Curate products from Amazon
- Make an affiliate store
- Create an affiliate store with products from Amazon
Some Shopify sellers enable products coming from different retailers by changing their theme’s code so that the Add to Cart button is replaced with a button that has an affiliate link.
- Replacing to Add to cart button with an email link or contact form
- Customizing Check Out button for affiliate links
- Swapping out the Add to Cart button by Amazon affiliate link and What is the best method?
Now that you’ve learned more about affiliate marketing and its benefits, it’s time to get started with setting up an affiliate program on your Shopify store. We hope that this article helped you gain more clarity on affiliate marketing and you can put this new knowledge to the test.
If you need help in creating an affiliate marketing program, setting it up or installing an app, contact your Shopify experts here at Webinopoly.
Here at Webinopoly, we create solutions that can help entrepreneurs like you build and expand your online business. We can help you with anything from customizing your pages to making you your own custom theme.
Webinopoly is an Award-Winning Digital Agency and are experts in Design, Setup, Development, and Marketing. Our services range from building your Shopify store to theme customization, website development, migration to Shopify, SEO, and marketing.
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He is an author, entrepreneur & founder of Webinopoly & multiple IT companies. Moe has been featured multiple times as one of top Shopify experts, Entrepreneur Magazine says he is a “Shopify Wizard” one of the 100 most brilliant Shopify Experts.Learn More