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How to Sell Affiliate Products on Shopify in 2024

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

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This article will deeply dive into selling affiliate products on Shopify, helping store owners to improve conversion rates and boost higher growth.

Definition of affiliate marketing

definition of affiliate marketing

The definition of Affiliate Marketing is an online sales tool for online sellers to increase sales. By targeting the same audience, the Affiliate Marketing will help the Shopify store owners to earn a commission. The online stores are easy to get more sales by recommending the relevant product. Without creating their own products at the same time, it is possible for affiliate marketing to earn more sales revenue.

It is easy for online merchants to put Affiliate Marketing to share their information on blogs, social media and websites by involving referring a product. Through the unique links associated with their recommendation, there are many commissions that Affiliate Marketing brings to online sellers. Their business will net with their healthy income based on their performances. By utilizing different marketing channels, Shopify store owners can promote their content.

Considered as one of the most popular ways to make money online, Affiliate Marketing can be a passive income for online merchants. In order to make a commission, the strategy as an individual partner with a business by referring visitors or readers. The bloggers can use affiliate marketing from selected companies to have an affiliate network. By placing a link, button or banner within a post, the ecommerce sellers to make money from affiliate products or services.

Why Consider Selling Affiliate Products on Shopify?

Why Consider Selling Affiliate Products on Shopify?

Affiliate marketing is currently a form of business that generates significant passive income for ecommerce merchants. And Shopify is an all-in-one platform that substantially supports this model.

Lower Upfront Costs

  • No Product Creation: Using Shopify for affiliate marketing means you don’t need to produce, store, or ship products. This reduces upfront costs, allowing you to start your business with minimal investment.
  • Low Operating Costs: Operating an affiliate marketing venture on Shopify is cost-effective. Expenses typically include a Shopify subscription, domain name, and advertising, which are often less than the costs incurred by standard online stores.
  • Scalability: Since you’re not handling product creation and management, you can focus your resources on enhancing marketing and expanding your affiliate business. Growth becomes more straightforward without product-related responsibilities.

Diversification of Income

  • Multiple Revenue Streams: Promoting products from various partners as an affiliate diversifies your income. This creates multiple smaller revenue streams, ensuring more stability in your overall earnings, rather than relying solely on one product or market.
  • Flexibility: Shopify lets you add many different affiliate programs or products to your online store. This flexibility enables you to experiment with various ideas and products, optimizing your approach to maximize earnings.
  • Cross-Promotion: In your Shopify store, you can promote affiliate products alongside your own, especially those that complement each other. This collaborative approach can amplify sales, creating a team effort to boost your sales and make more money.

Reduced Risks

  • No Inventory Risk: Affiliate marketing frees you from the concerns of storing or managing products, eliminating the risk of unsold inventory. It’s like avoiding clutter in your garage from items that might not find buyers.
  • Market Trends: With affiliate marketing, you can swiftly adapt to market trends or shifts in consumer preferences. If a promoted product loses popularity, you can seamlessly transition to another without significant setbacks.
  • Lower Marketing Risk: Promoting existing products allows you to watch their success and demand before investing heavily in advertising. This approach minimizes the risk of spending on items with low demand.

How Affiliate Marketing Works

Affiliate marketing is a business model based on commissions.

How Affiliate Marketing Works

Here’s how it typically works: A third party, which can be a popular website or a well-known influencer, promotes products or helps a company find potential customers. When a person buys something through their promotion, the third party gets a commission or a share of the sale.

There are a couple of well-known affiliate marketing program models:

  • Pay-Per-Something: In this affiliate model, partners earn a one-time payment when a referral takes actions like clicking a link or making a purchase. Many companies selling physical or digital products prefer this approach, such as Sendinblue.
  • Revenue Share: This model is often chosen by long-term service providers or when promoting products with varying prices. Amazon’s affiliate program is a notable example.
  • Hybrid: Some affiliate programs offer a blend of pay-per-something and revenue-share commission structures, presenting various commission plans. This is typically seen with large companies that provide diverse services, such as Fiverr.

How to Sell Affiliate Products on Shopify

How to Sell Affiliate Products on Shopify

Now, we have to dive deeper into these two affiliate marketing methods on Shopify and figure out how to use them effectively for your online store.

Method 1: Sell Affiliate Products on Your Shopify Store

Sell Affiliate Products on Your Shopify Store

Instead of promoting your store, consider selling affiliate products on your Shopify store for commission-based profits. Let’s explore it.

Join an Affiliate Program

As a Shopify store owner with a dedicated customer base and specific product lineup, it’s crucial to integrate affiliate products that match your store’s theme. This ensures they resonate with your audience and don’t go unnoticed.

It’s vital to choose an affiliate program in line with your store’s strategy, making both your products and affiliate items cohesive.

Amazon Associates is a popular choice for Shopify owners, offering commissions up to 10% and a vast product selection. However, for broader partnerships, platforms like Affiliaxe or DFO Global are worth exploring. Boutique affiliate programs tailored for online stores can also be an option.

Add Affiliate Product Links to Shopify Store

Once you get approved as a part of Amazon Associates or any other chosen affiliate programs, it’s time to send those shoppers over there.

Placing affiliate products on your store is practically the same as featuring your own products, you only need to manage the affiliate links. You will receive custom links generated to track incoming sales from your website.

Sell Affiliate Products on Your Shopify Store 2

Here is how you place affiliate links on your products:

  1. Download the Outlink app.
  2. Go to Online store -> Themes -> Actions.
  3. Click Edit code and scroll down to Sections, and find product-template.liquid file
  4. Find the Add to Cart button and include a link to your affiliate product in Outlink file field underneath.

Always remember that your affiliate links are crucial for deciding the success of your affiliate program. Don’t misplace or forget them; they are essential for creating profits.

Take Care of Store Optimization and Promotions

Now that you’ve expanded your store’s selection, it’s crucial to ensure that your store performs exceptionally well and reaches a broad audience.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Create Great Product Descriptions: Ensure your product descriptions are excellent. Shoppers should feel your genuine belief in the affiliate products’ value, which can boost conversions.
  • Optimize Loading Speed: With numerous products come multiple images. Speed up your store by optimizing these images, enhancing user experience, and elevating search engine rankings.
  • Follow SEO Best Practices: Boost your store’s search engine visibility by ensuring quick loading times, accurate meta tags, proper JSON-LD, and addressing broken links. Implementing these SEO best practices will increase organic traffic to your store.

Method 2: Set Up an Affiliate Program on Shopify

Set Up an Affiliate Program on Shopify

This Shopify affiliate marketing strategy is highly favored by Shopify store owners, attracting more visitors and boosting sales with the current product offerings.

Choose Product(s) to Promote

The first step is to choose which of your products you want to promote through the affiliate marketing campaign.

Depending on how many different products you have in your store, you should include all of them. But, it’s a good idea to focus more on more expensive products because:

  • Affiliates make money from their efforts. If you’re offering a 5% commission, they’ll be more interested in promoting products that cost $100 rather than $10.
  • If you use a pay-per-sale model, offering it for low-value products won’t be profitable.

In short, think about your products and create a Shopify affiliate program that attracts affiliates and is profitable for your business.

Have a Vision of Your Affiliate Business

Before detailing your Shopify affiliate program or recruiting affiliate partners, it’s crucial to clarify your goals for your Shopify affiliate business. Here are some questions to help you with this process. Answering them will guide you towards a well-suited affiliate marketing model for your Shopify store:

  • Target Audience: Who is your ideal customer to attract to your store through this affiliate marketing program?
  • Ideal Affiliate Partner: What affiliate partner can help you effectively reach your target customers?
  • Affiliate Marketing Model: Are pay-per-sale or revenue share models more suitable for the types of affiliates you’re targeting, and why?
  • Store Growth Expectations: Do you anticipate significant growth and acquiring new customers through this affiliate marketing program?
  • Revenue Expectations: What level of sales do you need to consider the affiliate marketing program profitable?
  • Short and Long-Term Objectives: What immediate steps are required to launch a successful affiliate program for your Shopify store, and what ongoing management steps will ensure its success?
  • Marketing Channels: How will you attract the right affiliates who align with your store’s vision and goals?

Answering these questions, your vision for your affiliate marketing program will naturally take shape. Next, we will explain the specifics of Shopify affiliate marketing.

Plan Affiliate Pricing and Commissions

Setting your prices is a vital part of your Shopify affiliate program, impacting its success for both you and your affiliates.

You should choose between percentage and flat-rate commissions by assessing the products and calculating potential profits under different models. Most Shopify stores go with percentage-based commissions, typically around 10%. This is common across industries; industry-specific averages are found in a TargetCircle article.

Remember, a hybrid commission model is also an option, especially if your product price range is wide, making your affiliate program attractive to a broader partner base.

Use a Shopify Affiliate Marketing App

Shopify provides various affiliate marketing apps to assist online merchants in product promotion. These apps cater to the entire affiliate marketing process, from setup to management. However, it’s vital to select one that aligns with your store’s needs.

Consider these recommendations:

  • Social Snowball automates affiliate program setup, instantly converting customers into affiliates post-purchase. It prompts them to share their affiliate link by presenting a message on the post-purchase page.
  • UpPromote is a versatile, automated affiliate app. It supports multiple affiliate programs, offers customizable commission tiers, and adjusts product rates based on promoter efficacy.

Recruit Affiliates

Attracting affiliates for your store requires a two-sided strategy: appealing commission plans and products, while ensuring reasonable profit margins and attracting the right affiliates. To kickstart your affiliate program effectively, use these channels:

  • Social Media: Share your affiliate program through targeted ads or within your social network.
  • Your Store: Create a conversion-optimized landing page to turn interested shoppers with websites or social influence into affiliates.
  • Affiliate Networks: Seek potential affiliates proactively on platforms like ShareASale, where partnership proposals are listed.

As your list of Shopify affiliate partners grows, showcase testimonials about your program on your landing page and in your emails to attract more interest.

Track your Affiliate Performance

While some affiliates may not yield the desired results or use Shopify affiliate links correctly, it’s essential to measure success beyond just acquiring new partners. Regularly track each affiliate’s revenue and scrutinize any unexpected low performances.

In terms of tracking the overall program, most Shopify affiliate marketing programs should monitor:

  • Total number of affiliates and new sign-ups.
  • Total affiliate sales and sales per affiliate.
  • Total payouts and payouts per affiliate.
  • Payout-to-sale ratios and profit margins.

The Shopify affiliate also provide dashboards or dedicated pages that make accessing these metrics easier with just a single click. Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Track your Affiliate Performance

Selling affiliate products on Shopify can be profitable, but it comes with its fair share of challenges.

Overcoming Low Conversion Rates

  • Product Selection: You should choose affiliate products relevant to your niche with a proven high conversion rate track record. Also, researching customer reviews and ratings to ensure the product’s quality and appeal is suggested.
  • Compelling Content: You should create persuasive product descriptions and reviews, highlighting the benefits and features of the products and providing real-life examples or success stories.

How to Drive Traffic

  • Content Marketing: You should create SEO-friendly content catering to your audience’s needs and regularly post blogs, guides, and tutorials to boost organic search traffic.
  • Social Media Promotion: You should share affiliate products on active social media platforms.
  • Paid Ads: You should use Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or Instagram Ads for rapid audience expansion and optimize your ad campaigns to guarantee a profitable ROI.

Maintaining Ethical Standards

  • Transparency: You should offer balanced, candid product reviews, highlighting both strengths and weaknesses. Your audience will value your integrity, boosting your credibility.
  • Compliance: You should learn and adhere to local affiliate marketing laws and guidelines to ensure your marketing tactics align with these rules.

Tips for Success

Selling affiliate products on Shopify can be lucrative if you follow some key strategies.

Tips for Success

Choosing High-Quality Products

  • Select Niche Products: You should focus on a specific niche matching your target audience’s interests and look for products with a proven quality and customer satisfaction track record.
  • Review Affiliate Programs: Join affiliate programs with reputable merchants who offer competitive commissions and provide excellent support to affiliates.
  • Test the Products: Whenever possible, test the products yourself or gather feedback from reliable sources to ensure they meet the quality standards you want to promote.

Using Email Marketing for Promotions

  • Build an Email List: First, you create an email list of subscribers interested in your niche and offer incentives like eBooks, discounts, or valuable content in exchange for email sign-ups.
  • Segment Your List: Next, you should divide your email list into segments based on interests, behavior, and demographics, allowing you to send targeted promotions.
  • Automation: You should implement email automation sequences to nurture leads and send follow-up emails for abandoned carts or product recommendations based on customer behavior.

Improving SEO for Affiliate Products

Keyword Research: You should research thoroughly to identify relevant and high-traffic keywords. Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush are helpful tools. On-Page Optimization: You should optimize product pages for SEO by including relevant keywords in titles, descriptions, headers, and alt tags for images. Backlink Building: You should build high-quality backlinks to your product pages through guest posting, influencer collaborations, and social media sharing. Regular Updates: It’s essential to continuously update your content and product information to stay relevant in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Case Studies

Here are three examples of successful selling affiliate products on Shopify:

Kettle & Fire

Kettle & Fire

Kettle & Fire is a renowned Shopify store selling bone broth, also features a blog promoting affiliate products aligned with healthy living, including collagen supplements and cookware. This strategy enables them to earn commissions and offer valuable content to their readers.

Death Wish Coffee

Death Wish Coffee

Death Wish Coffee, famed for its potent blends, collaborates with other coffee-centric brands through an affiliate program. They showcase products like coffee grinders, mugs, and brewing equipment on their website, earning commissions from sales originating from their platform.

Fitness Gear USA

Fitness Gear USA

Fitness Gear USA offers specialized fitness equipment and gear. Additionally, they feature affiliate products such as supplements, workout attire, and accessories, enhancing their revenue diversity and meeting the comprehensive fitness requirements of their clientele.

FAQs:

Yes, Shopify supports affiliate marketing. On Shopify, you can easily set up an affiliate program for your own store or promote affiliate products. These two approaches offer flexibility in how you integrate affiliate marketing with your business.

To succeed in selling affiliate products, you need to understand your audience, join quality affiliate programs, strategically place links, and keep optimizing your online store.

The top choice for Shopify affiliate programs is Amazon Associates, which offers an extensive product range and attractive commission rates. However, you also consider alternatives such as eBay Partner Network, ShareASale, or Affiliaxe for broader affiliate partnership opportunities.

Shopify doesn't add extra charges for selling affiliate products on your store beyond your chosen plan.

Yes, it's permissible to include affiliate links in your Shopify store's blog posts. However, ensure these links are contextually relevant and add value to the reader's shopping journey.

Bottom Line

We believe you’ll easily find the best affiliate programs and trendy Shopify affiliates to sell in your Shopify store using the guide provided above.


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.