Affiliates 101: What is the Shopify Affiliate Program and How Can You Successfully Apply


Affiliate marketing is a buzzword that seems to be everywhere—from Instagram sponsored #ads to your favorite blogs, influencers everywhere are taking advantage of this distinctly 21st century form of entrepreneurship.

But affiliate marketing isn’t limited to celebrities and those with millions of followers. As someone working in the commerce industry, there’s plenty of opportunity for you to get involved with affiliate marketing, with the Shopify Affiliate Program. In this post, we’ll look at what it means to be a Shopify Affiliate, and how you can successfully apply to the program.

You might also like: How to Grow Your Affiliate Marketing Efforts: Develop an Audience-First Paid Media Strategy.

What is the Shopify Affiliate Program?

In this program, leaders in the commerce industry partner with Shopify to inspire and educate merchants to begin their entrepreneurial journeys.

This partnership is beneficial for all parties. Affiliate marketers earn a commission from Shopify for the merchants they bring onto the Shopify platform, by sharing their unique referral link with their audience. We provide affiliates with educational tools, resources, and one-to-one affiliate management and guidance to help grow their businesses and expand their influence.

Affiliates’ audiences get in-depth educational content to start their entrepreneurial journeys on the right foot. And Shopify gets high-quality leads to continue making commerce better.

To make sure aspiring entrepreneurs are getting quality advice when choosing to use Shopify, we vet all our affiliates through an application process. To help you understand the different types of affiliates, what we look for in affiliate applications, and how you can set yourself up for success as an affiliate marketer, read on.

You might also like: 5 Content Angles That Only Affiliates Can (and Should) Create.

Who are we looking for in this program?

Affiliates come in all different forms, and provide value to their audiences in many different ways. We are excited to partner with ambitious entrepreneurs no matter their industry, day job, or geographic location.

The biggest thing we look for in applicants is how they will use their affiliate link to provide value to potential Shopify merchants. Usually, this means creating learning experiences designed to help their audiences discover Shopify and start their own store.

We’ve seen affiliates do this in a number of interesting ways. Affiliates can create practical tutorials, courses, and in-person speaking or workshop events to share their knowledge. Merchants can then use this content as a guide to follow along at their own pace, and launch their own business.

Creating educational content in this way is especially impactful when your knowledge comes from your own personal experiences with entrepreneurship. For example, dropshipping business owner Ezra Firestone developed a full course focused on teaching merchants to use content marketing to grow their businesses.

Ezra Firestone’s content marketing course.

Mohamed Ali Aguel, another of our affiliates, shares the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship through his Facebook community Momentum Marketing Tribe. He explains to his community how he supported himself through high school and university with Shopify—and uses the lessons he learned to help his audience find success, too.

Mohamed Ali Aguel sharing his story.

Affiliates work in many different ways. Whatever your style, we want to hear about it!

Become a Shopify Affiliate

Use your voice to inspire entrepreneurship around the world. Whether you’re an existing partner or new to the Shopify Partner Program, apply to become a Shopify Affiliate and earn commission by referring your audience to Shopify.

Apply now

How to apply to the Shopify Affiliates Program

Now that you know what we look for in affiliate, you are ready to apply.

Although the questions are brief, take your time filling in the affiliate application—it’s how we assess your fit for the program. Brag about your experience and share your grand plans to collaborate with Shopify! Here are some tips when doing so:

  • Identify where you will primarily promote Shopify. You may want to promote Shopify on your company’s website, in your podcast episodes, or as a lesson in your video course. Make sure the URL you provide is active, spelled correctly, and is not blocked by a password. Also, share with us the engagement you see on the channels where you plan to promote Shopify, and how you drive that engagement. Describe how you will promote Shopify. Are you launching a blog series about pop up shops? Are you creating infographics about the dropshipping process? Take time to share how past experiences make you extra qualified to promote Shopify in this way. We’ll ask you to provide sample content to demonstrate how you will promote Shopify, so share examples or links to past work where you can.

  • Describe your past experiences in digital marketing. Don’t worry—we aren’t looking for fifty years of digital marketing experience! We just want to know what your experience is with other partner programs or with digital marketing.

  • Tell us about your audience. Where are they based, what are they interested in, what language do they speak, and what’s their experience with entrepreneurship? The more you can share with us about who you promote to, the better resources we can provide you to help educate them about Shopify.

  • Describe your experience and skills with Shopify or other ecommerce platforms, and how you plan to promote Shopify. Help us to understand your knowledge about Shopify and how you can educate your audience to become successful entrepreneurs themselves.

Detail is key in your application. We want to learn as much as we can about your business, so be sure to use examples and provide links where you can.

Getting approved

We’ll take up to 15 business days to review your application. No matter what the outcome of your application, we’ll get back to you to let you know what we’ve decided.

If you’re approved, we’ll send you an email with resources to help you get started as a Shopify Affiliate. This will include information on your Affiliate Manager, who will be your go-to resource for information on Shopify, guidance on growing your business, and insight on how to broaden your impact.

Own your expertise as a Shopify Affiliate

The Shopify Affiliates Program is an opportunity for educators, thought leaders, and influencers in the ecommerce field to share their expertise with a community of entrepreneurs. If that sounds like you, then apply today—we’re always excited to hear about your unique perspective and diverse experiences, and how you can help merchants build their businesses with Shopify.

By partnering with us, you’ll get exclusive content, one-to-one guidance, and exciting commissions to bring your business to the next level. Click the button below to start your journey.

Apply to be an affiliate

Grow your business with the Shopify Partner Program

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