How To Start An Affiliate Program On Shopify

How To Start An Affiliate Program On Shopify

So you want to start an affiliate program on your Shopify store - but how can you issue discount codes, track commissions and let affiliate track their performance?

In this article, we'll get you setup with an affiliate program - no technical wizardry required!

By the end, you'll have a portal similar to this:

Where affiliates can sign up and select their own discount code to share with their audience.

What is an affiliate program?

An affiliate program is a marketing strategy where affiliates promote your product in exchange for a reward or compensation.

You can increased traffic and sales, and the affiliates gets rewarded based on their performance.

Who are affiliates?

Affiliates are anyone promoting your store. This can be big or small - affiliates don't need to have millions of followers to create revenue for you!

Affiliates are also sometimes called ambassadors, brand ambassadors or partners.

They can advertise your product wherever their following is - Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, TikTok or anywhere else they have a following.

Remember small affiliates can perform very well - their following is usually more close-knit and their followers typically trust them more.

Should you use affiliate marketing?

Almost all businesses can benefit from affiliate marketing!

Affiliate marketing is great because you pay when you get results.

Unlike with paid ads, where you pay for views and clicks, but not revenue.

It also allows your top customers to start getting rewarded for being loyal promoters.

Install ConvertOut Affiliates & Ambassadors

The first thing you'll need to do is install ConvertOut.

ConvertOut is an app available here on the Shopify app store.

It lets you track commissions, automatically generate codes for affiliates and track payouts.

To install the app, simply click the Add app button in the Shopify app store.

Follow the on-screen instructions to get the app installed.

Setup ConvertOut

Once you've installed ConvertOut, you'll land on this screen where you'll set your discount and commission percentage:

The commission percentage is what you will pay your affiliate. The discount percentage is what the customer gets if they use an affiliate code.

Make sure that after the discount percentage and the affiliate's commission, that you are still profitable.

After you've set your program percentages, it's time to customize the look of your portal:

Upload your logo and portal welcome image.

It's recommend your logo be 400x100 with a transparent background. It's recommended your portal be 1000x1000.

On the next screen you'll double check that everything looks good.

Once you're satisfied, click next and you'll be lead to the billing screen.

On the starter plan, there is no monthly fee and you are only charged when an affiliate makes a sale for you.

Congrats! You've got your affiliate program working on your Shopify store.

Now it's time to start recruiting affiliates.

Add Affiliate Program Link To Shopify Navigation

Now it's time to share your sign up link with the world.

The first place to add it is your Shopify navigation.

To add an external link (such as an affiliate portal) to navigation, go to Online Store > Navigation.

Then you can select your Footer or Main menu.

The main menu appears at the top of your store and will get more views. The footer appears at the bottom of your Shopify website.

I recommend the Main menu, but it depends on the layout and styling of your store – so you’ll have to decide what makes sense for your business.

Once you’ve selected a menu, click Add menu item and type in a name for your link. I’ll use “Become An Ambassador”.

In the link field, paste in your link. 

Make sure to click the link after you’ve pasted in it or it won’t work. 

See the red box in these screenshots:

Then click the green Add button.

Afterwards, you should end up with something like this:

Congrats! You’ve added an external link to your Shopify store navigation!

Growing Your Affiliate Program

Now it's time to recruit affiliates to join your program.

There are many different ways to do this including:

  • Your existing customers
  • Email newsletter list
  • Social media
  • Cold outreach
  • Paid advertisements

To learn more in-depth about each of these methods, you can read my article here on growing your affiliate program.

Good luck!

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