If you’re in the retail business, you’ve probably heard about Shopify’s affiliate marketing options. You may be wondering whether you should set up an affiliate program for your own business.

Platforms like Shopify have changed the face of retail, and companies will need to adapt to the new rules of the game to be successful. Today, more and more businesses are relying on affiliate programs to boost their sales. Studies show that affiliate marketing is driving over 15% of online retail sales in the U.S. — and that number is likely to keep on going up.

Interested in understanding how affiliate marketing works? Keep reading to learn how to set up an affiliate program on Shopify

What Exactly Is an Affiliate Program?

An affiliate program acts as a kind of partnership. You allow other people to sell your products through affiliate links on their website. In return, you offer them a small commission for each sale they make.

Who can you partner with? You might want to partner with another business in a related area. For example: If you sell crackers, propose a partnership with a business that sells cheese. That way, customers who visit their website to buy cheese will see your crackers and buy them, too. It’s a one-stop shopping experience for customers and a win-win for you and your partners.

Businesses sometimes partner with bloggers in the industry or with marketers and advocates. The primary goal is to team up with someone who’s got a sizeable following in your field so that you can educate their followers about your product.

Is an Affiliate Program Right for Your Business?

Even if you don’t know exactly how to set up an affiliate program on Shopify, you should consider it. An affiliate program can transform your business. It can open up new markets for you and expose new people to your products. 

However, it’s worth learning the basics of the process to figure out if an affiliate program is right for your company. When your partners sell one of your products through their website, you’ll have to pay them a commission — a percentage of the profit you make from the sale or a flat sum for each sale. That’s going to cut into your bottom line. 

If you’re a small business with a tight profit margin, you might not be ready to start paying commissions on sales. It might be a better idea to wait until you’re bigger before turning to affiliate marketing, especially if you already see decent sales through your website.

How Do You Set up an Affiliate Program on Shopify?

On the other hand, an affiliate program might be a great way to accomplish your goals if you’re ready to expand. Does this sound like you? If so, check out our three-step plan to set up an affiliate program.

1. Find the Right Affiliates

You can’t have an affiliate program without affiliates. Your first step should involve building partnerships with the right people.

This is the time to leverage your social media contacts, email lists, and connections with others in your field. At this stage, you’ll want to get the word out to everyone you can. Let them all know that you’re setting up an affiliate program and that you’re looking for people to help you sell your products.

Make sure you make your terms as upfront and as clear as possible. Let your prospective partners know what you’re planning to offer them in return for sales. 

Think of these questions as you decide on the specifics of your affiliate program:

  • Are you thinking of giving partners a percentage of the profit from each sale?
  • Would you rather pay partners a flat fee?
  • Would you prefer to offer them free products or a discount on purchases from your site?

Figure out what works for you and your affiliates, then get things in writing. 

2. Use the Right App to Link Your Affiliates 

Shopify makes it very easy to build your affiliate programs. There are several approved apps that you can use. These apps can walk you through adding partners and help with Shopify affiliate marketing — by handling partner payouts, allowing you to create affiliate links on Shopify, and more.

LeadDyno is one of the best apps you can count on to help you create an affiliate program on Shopify. It features a straightforward and intuitive interface that allows you to easily customize the way your affiliate program works. You can set up the kinds of commissions you’re comfortable with and decide how you want to compensate your partners for their sales.

On top of being user-friendly, LeadDyno integrates seamlessly with your existing Shopify processes. Affiliate payouts can be made through a range of options — from PayPal and Coinbase to Dwolla and more. With an online tool like this, you can concentrate on running your business. You won’t waste time worrying about the fine details of running your affiliate program.

3. Maintain a Strong Relationship With Your Affiliates

Running a great affiliate program is an ongoing process. This isn’t something that you can just set up and then forget about. You’ll have to stay in touch with your affiliates and make sure that the partnership is running smoothly.

Check on your affiliates regularly to see what’s working and what isn’t. Make sure that your affiliates know about any special offers you’re launching. Inform them of any changes to your inventory and stock. You might also want to provide your affiliates with graphics, hashtags, and other marketing material to accompany sales of your products.

After all, your goal should be to create a seamless and consistent brand message across platforms — whether the content is coming from you or your affiliates.

Ready to Start Growing with an Affiliate Program?

Affiliate marketing has a proven success rate in today’s market. Most customers carry out a lot of online research before they make a purchase. That research often entails reading blogs and social media posts. Wouldn’t it be great if your customers could buy your products right on the sites where they carry out their research?

If you’re ready to expand beyond your current market, affiliate partners may help your business grow. Now that you know how to set up an affiliate program on Shopify, it just might be the right solution for you. try LeadDyno today — we can help.

Ready to get started?

Launch or grow your affiliate program with LeadDyno.