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How to add affiliate products to Shopify

Last updated: April 01, 2024
This article has been written and researched by our expert Avada through a precise methodology. Learn more about our methodology





When you have already been running your online store for a while, you will have to concern about driving targeted traffic to your products and start to sell some. Then, you will have to invest a large amount of time and money to get started during this process, and this could be tough to figure out the next steps to further grow your business here. Then, there is an effective tool, which is called affiliate marketing, that is often overlooked by sellers.

As a matter of fact, when you figure out the way to create an affiliate program, your customers and advocates will then do your marketing for you. So, in this article today, I will show you all the essentials as well as the way to add affiliate products to your Shopify store.

Learn more: How to Sell Affiliate Products on Shopify

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is defined as a reward-based system, which is created to encourages partners to promote your products in exchange for a commission. You can understand affiliate marketing is like a partnership between a publisher who creates content and a seller who has the affiliate program hosted by an affiliate tracking platform.

When the publishers are approved to the affiliate program, that person can log in to the retailer’s affiliate platform to obtain unique product tracking links, which is now called affiliate links.

There are about 31 methods to run and get profit via affiliate links. You can put them within the written content, or utilize them to invent product listings, talk about them on podcasts, or even insert them into banner advertisements. When there is a visitor who clicks on one of those affiliate links, and then buys products from that merchant’s website, then, the publisher of this link will be given the commission from the seller for assisting them to sell a product.

how to add affiliate products to shopify

When a visitor clicks on a link, there will be a tracking cookie, which is located on the visitor’s web browser, notifies the seller which publisher sent the visitor to their site. However, these mentioned cookies are only valid in a period of time depending on the retailer’s decision.

Then, the publisher will only be paid in case the visitor buy that store’s products within that time period. Normally, one affiliate program will be paid through the flat dollar amount or the percentage of that store’s total sale. Also, the tracking behind affiliate links will be recorded automatically by the retailer’s affiliate platform.

Pros and cons of an affiliate store

According to the 2016 research from Business Insider, affiliate marketing has successfully driven up to 16 percent of all U.S. eCommerce sales. But the pros also comes with the cons. Here, I will present to you what are those benefits and drawbacks that an affiliate store might have:


  • More Affordable: When looking at the investment that you have to spend to build, publish and develop a normal eCommerce store, you will see a big amount of money that you have to pay here. Then, when looking at the fact that you almost don’t have to pay a thing to create your affiliate store because the affiliate programs are free, and there is no product inventory requires you to invest in.
  • Less Customer Service: When your customers get in any troubles, the affiliate retailers that you partner with will handle them all. These could be the shipping, returns, or general inquiries. As a result, you will not have to spend much time dealing with these customer services.
  • Brand Recognition: When you have your affiliate products from well-known brands in your store, then you will be able to enhance the trust from buyers as well as gain a bigger opportunity to turn your visitors into buyers.
  • More Offerings: When you insert the affiliate products into the mix of your existing eCommerce store, you will be enabled to enhance the product offerings and revenue as well even when you don’t have to invest much for expanding your product line.

how to add affiliate products to shopify


  • Lower Margins: You know that the commission rates here are provided by most physical product affiliate programs, which will not have the Wow factor for you in terms of generosity. Consequently, you might earn less on each sale than when you sell your own products.
  • Disjointed Experience: In case you have your products handled by more than one retailer on your site, then you will need to send visitors to multiple sites while they are completing their check out with different products. Then, there might have disjointed experience here. As a result, your customers might be frustrated, and your conversion rate can be severely hurt.
  • No Guarantees: On the other hand, when the number of brands that your affiliate store promotes is not diversified, then your income might bring a drastic hit in case your main retailer deletes you or decides to close down their affiliate program.
  • Product Upkeep: Although the fact that there are so many tools that you can utilize, but you are also required to do some manual work to keep your product links, descriptions, and images accurate and up to date as well.

how to add affiliate products to shopify

Why Affiliate Marketing is good for eCommerce business?

In 2016, there was a research from Business Insider, they stated that the U.S eCommerce sales had been driven to increase 16 percent by affiliate marketing. At the same time, there is also evidence that affiliate marketing has helped the Wirecutter create 150 million dollars in its online sales in 2015 by only utilizing the referral links for a large collection of products that they feature. The fact has been proved, an eCommerce business can gain more profits with the Affiliate Marketing program.

How to add affiliate products to Shopify?

First, you should know about what the affiliate store is. In that store, there will be the publisher’s content with product listings that looks like a real eCommerce store. But instead of listing out that store’s products for sale, the publisher needs to list other merchant’s products and then redirect visitors to their sites using his affiliate links. And there are two main ways to insert the affiliate products to your Shopify store.

The first method is to replace the Add to cart button with an email link or a contact form. There are four main big steps that you need to do:

1. Create a new product template

The very first step is to create a custom product template for your product.

  • Step 1. Open Themes

First, of course, you have to log in to your Shopify admin account. From the main page, navigate to your Online Store, and choose to open Themes.

how to add affiliate products to shopify

  • Step 2. Choose Edit code

Then, just select the theme that wants to make changes here by clicking on the Actions button, and choose for the Edit code option after that.

how to add affiliate products to shopify

  • Step 3. Select Add a new template

You will be directed to the Templates section, it’s where you need to hit a click on Add a new template button.

  • Step 4. Create the product template

how to add affiliate products to shopify

In the end, you need to finish creating a new product template section by filling the information including selecting product from the drop-down menu. And then, name your template requires-contact. Lastly, choose the Create template button.

2. Hide the Add to cart button

Next, you have to hide the Add to cart button of your store. Basically, you will have to open your product-template-requires-contact.liquid section file and find the code and then make some changes. There has already been an article on our website that instructs you to Hide the Add to cart button in Shopify. The detailed process is all here for you to follow.

In this section, you have to input any content that you want to show instead.

  • Email link

Step 1: Add the HTML code

Below the Liquid {% endcomment %} tag that you added in the last step, you need to insert a new line to be inserted the HTML code for an email link:

<a href="mailto:{{ shop.email }}">contact us</a> if you are
interested in this product.

Step 2: Click Save

That’s it, then just choose Save to finish adding an email link here.

  • Contact form Step 1. Choose page.contact.liquid

Open the Templates directory, then choose the page.contact.liquid button.

Step 2. Find the Liquid tag

In the file which is shown, you must find for the Liquid {% form 'contact' %} tag by typing its name in the searching bar.

how to add affiliate products to shopify

Step 3. Copy all of the code

From the Liquid {% form 'contact' %} tag to the Liquid {% endform %} tag, which is shown on the screen, just copy these lines and include the Liquid form tags in the code that you copy.

Step 4. Open your new product.requires-contact.liquid file

Then, open the Templates directory to go back to your new product.requires-contact.liquid file.

Step 5. Paste the code

From here, you need to find the closing </form> tag in this file. Then insert a new line below it in order to paste the code for your contact form.

Step 6. Copy and paste the div tag code

Next, just copy the code that you have just pasted in the HTML div tags. There is the class attribute that is included in the div tag code. By doing this way, it can make sure that you have your contact form renders correctly on the page.

  • For the new line above {% form 'contact' %}, just paste this code line: <div class="form-vertical"></div>
  • For the new line below {% endform %}, just paste this code line: </div>

Step 7. Click Save

In the end, don’t forget to click Save.

4. Assign your new template to a product

When the template is finished, then you should assign it to these products that you want to hide the Add to cart button.

  • Step 1. Open Products

Go back to your Shopify admin, and open the Products section.

  • Step 2. Choose the product

Choose the product that you want to hide the Add to cart button by clicking on its name.

how to add affiliate products to shopify

  • Step 3. Select your new requires-contact template

Under the Theme templates on the product page of your Shopify admin, find and select your new requires-contact template from the Template suffix drop-down.

  • Step 4. Click Save

Finally, it’s done! Just click the Save button and now you have successfully added the affiliate products to your Shopify store.

Using Spreadr App to curate products from Amazon

This Spreadr App is created by the Thalia team to dropship Amazon products or earn affiliate commissions. This app would work best for importing products from Amazon to your Shopify store with just some clicks. From over a million products available on Amazon, you will be able to import any product to your product catalog.

As a result, you will be able to have the complement of your store and make it bigger and more valuable. At the same time, it can help your visitors view and buy the products, or orders completed by Amazon. Also, you will be able to track orders and commissions on the dashboard on your own here.

When you have decided to install Spreadr, and having completed the installing part, here are some steps you should take to curate products from Amazon to your Shopify store.

First, you should open the Amazon product page and copy its Affiliate link here on the link bar.

how to add affiliate products to shopify

Then, navigate to the Home page, there will be a section for you to paste the link in.

Step 3. Click Add Product

Simply hit a click on the Add Product button to continue the adding process.

how to add affiliate products to shopify

Then, it will take some time to load. Wait until it informs you that the process is successful.

Step 4. Click View

From here, you have successfully added your product from Amazon to the Shopify store. Your product will be displayed here, you can click to the View button to see how it is shown.

how to add affiliate products to shopify

Step 5. Choose View on Amazon

how to add affiliate products to shopify

Then, you can choose the View on Amazon button to see what it looks like on Amazon.

Best Shopify Affiliate apps for your store

There are multiple affiliate apps that can be installed to take you through a process of running an affiliate program offered to your business. I will show you some recommendations for the affiliate marketing apps available in the Shopify App Store to consider installing.

1. Refersion

The Refersion: Affiliate Marketing app, which is created by Refersion, Inc as an incredibly powerful tool to manage, track, and grow your affiliate marketing program. This app is a fully-loaded affiliate, also an influencer marketing platform that enables you to launch in just a couple of minutes.

Plus, it is such a referral platform with more than 100 reviews and many five star ratings, which makes it become one of the apps that you should have. What is more, your business can be scaled with this app as you can start out on a free plan, then calculate the demand to expand your affiliate offerings, and upgrade to a paid plan after that.

how to add affiliate products to shopify

2. LeadDyno

The LeadDyno Affiliate Marketing app is absolutely an easy Influencer and Affiliate Marketing app designed by LeadDyno. With this app, you will be helped in setting up Affiliate Website right away to start bringing affiliates onboard, at the same time, start to recruit eCommerce affiliates and influencers without any cost.

Plus, this app is integrated with your Shopify store and highly customizable as well. You can choose to pay for your affiliates automatically or get the “one-click” approval using PayPal, Dwolla or even Coinbase.

how to add affiliate products to shopify

3. Omnistar

The Omnistar Affiliate Software app is what will help you increase your traffic and sales with the affiliate software made easy. There are thousands of business owners currently utilize Omnistar as their preferred affiliate software.

It also has the 15-day free trial option to test the efficiency of Omnistar. Best of all, you will have the support from the support team of this app as their goal is to ensure that you are successful with your affiliate and referral marketing programs.

how to add affiliate products to shopify

4. Affiliatly

The Affiliatly Affiliate Marketingby overcode is such a Affiliate tracking app with great price for users. It is designed with an incredibly clean interface, and the ability to customize everything about the app to realize your ideas and make the program your own. Moreover, there is also the Affiliatly’s 30-day free trial available to bring you a feel for how it works. Best of all, the created team is now constantly improving the app and adding new functionalities to bring you a more amazing affiliate program to perfectly suit your needs.

how to add affiliate products to shopify

5. Enlistly

The Enlistly app is another popular affiliate program app for your Shopify store to managing affiliate easily. On Enlistly, you will be fully supported with things like custom commission rates based on affiliate, as well as the transaction type. This app only requires you to pay 9.99 dollars to get a clean interface, Unique Affiliate URLs as well as the unique affiliate registration URL to share everywhere.

how to add affiliate products to shopify


On the whole, understanding the effectiveness of your affiliate program is essential for any sustainable success. Beginning with an affiliate store can save more to generate a traditional eCommerce one nowadays. Just simply remember to pick a niche, optimize your website and market your store to your own prospective customers, then the more traffic you can direct to retailers, the more commission you will earn.

The content above is all I want you to know about in adding affiliate products to your Shopify store, it’s your turn to get started! If you have any troubles happens while practicing, just let us know so that we can try our best to help you fix that.

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.