What is Shopify affiliate marketing?
Driving traffic to your store via Google or Facebook ads is getting more expensive; and Instagram marketing usually takes time to generate serious traffic.
A great alternative source of traffic is affiliate marketing. After all, it’s free because other people send traffic to you via their own websites.
Essentially, you set up a team that may include existing customers, partners or even influencers and top bloggers from your industry – and they send their traffic to you.
What do you get? More traffic and more paying customers.
What do they get? Commission every time one of the visitors they send you buys something.
It’s a classic win-win-win for seller, referrer and buyer. You only need to pay the affiliate if you sell something, so there is really nothing to lose.
But some Shopify store owners are unaware of the possibilities presented by affiliate marketing and others don’t know where to start.
It’s actually a pretty simple process:
- Install a Shopify affiliate tracking app.
- Locate affiliates who want to join your program – start with existing clients but extend it with email marketing reach-out programs.
- As new customers buy from you, invite them to be affiliates – new customers who love what you do are often the best source of referrals.
- Consider joining an affiliate network as a way to connect with more affiliates (membership is usually free as the network makes commission from the merchants).
- Keep affiliates informed about your store through newsletters, etc.
Including existing and new clients in this program creates a kind of “virtuous circle”. Loyal customers encourage referrals; and by encouraging them to join your affiliate program, it engages them and secures your existing base, as well as potentially growing it.
Here are six Shopify affiliate apps that can increase customer loyalty and help you introduce a successful affiliate marketing program in your ecommerce business…
So let’s learn about the loyalty app and more.
The 6 best Shopify affiliate and loyalty apps
We reckon the following Shopify affiliate, referral and loyalty apps are the best on the Shopify app store. They’re listed in no particular order…
Pricing: Ranging from free (up to 800 monthly orders) to small business plans at $159 per month and advanced plans at $699 per month (up to 4000 monthly orders).
Main pros: A fully customised, data-driven loyalty program that works seamlessly across mobile, desktop and in store. Helps businesses increase customer engagement, retention and customer lifetime value. This increases purchase frequency, improves customer retention and encourages referrals. Easy to set up, tracks your referrals and requires little management once up and running.
Main cons: The emails it sends out are a little basic but it integrates with MailChimp and other email management software. More integrations with other software would also be useful.
Find it on Shopify: Loyalty Lion
Pricing: $49/month base fee plus 5% commission (less as you grow). 30-day free trial available.
Main pros: Dedicated referrals management app for businesses looking to track referrals and sales, and reward referrers without added loyalty features. Fully customizable branding options for emails. Offer cash, coupons, or special gift rewards for referrers. All-in-one dashboard allows tracking of key metrics such as referral results, revenue and number of social media shares. Little administration required once up and running. Used by some very large brands.
Main cons: No stage-based referral incentives (where frequent referrers who send many people can aim for greater rewards). There are cheaper alternatives and pricing increases significantly for enterprises.
Find it on Shopify: Referral Candy
Pricing: From $16/month (unlimited visitors, tracking requests, orders, and sales but limited to 50 affiliates) to $129/month (unlimited affiliates). 30-day free trial available.
Main pros: Full-featured Shopify affiliate app that enables easy setup of an affiliate program. Manage and track your affiliate network, while managing each affiliate’s individual account. Can create artwork to help affiliates promote your products. Other features include discount code tracking, per visitor rewards, recurring commissions, two-tier affiliate levels, and gift card payouts. Pricing, functionality and support are ideal for small start-up stores.
Main cons: No visibility of which banners are most effective in driving affiliate traffic and inability to host contests; no extra marketing support and only two-level payouts may be limiting for some stores.
Find it on Shopify: Affiliatly
Pricing: From $29/month (up to 1000 unique visitors per month/unlimited affiliates) to $149/month (up to 25,000 unique visitors per month) or higher for enterprise. 30-day free trial available.
Main pros: Puts you in front of LeadDyno’s exclusive affiliate and influencer network. Once affiliates sign up, you can automate emails, management and rewarding them. Mobile app helps you manage affiliates on-the-go. Live chat support if you have any problems and other key features include discount code tracking, recurring commissions, affiliate-specific commissions, automatic Shopify refund sync, two-tier affiliates levels, multiple stores, etc.
Main cons: Potential for more integration with other software and you may need assistance finding your way around the dashboard. Product-specific commission rules and more payment options would be another plus.
Find it on Shopify: LeadDyno
Pricing: $89/month (unlimited affiliates and monthly visitors but limited to 130 affiliate orders per month). Custom pricing for higher requirements. Free 14-day trial available.
Main pros: Allows you to track referral orders with referral links, coupons, emails, or SKUs from a central dashboard. Ability to offer different commission rates for individual affiliates or products – segment affiliates and influencers by offers. Excellent branding options for influencers and affiliates, with customizable registration pages. Provides a free listing on the Refersion affiliate marketplace. Ideal solution for medium-sized and high-ticket stores.
Main cons: May be a little advanced for beginners and start-ups, who may find difficulties with setup and configuration – compared with other solutions listed. No built-in search feature for specific products. Automatic approval of conversions requires contacting support to undo.
Find it on Shopify: Refersion
Pricing: $47/month. 15-day free trial available.
Main pros: Easy to set up and integrate into your store; allows you to quickly create and manage your affiliate and referral marketing program. User-friendly dashboard to manage affiliates. Includes free marketing tools like social media sharing widgets, email templates and banners. Discount codes and coupons and other smart rewards for referrers. Multi-tier referral program possible. Easy sign up for affiliates and commission payouts by PayPal. Good customer support.
Main cons: Doesn’t support extra coding for specific or custom tracking needs. No support for recurring affiliate earnings. Requires an external email program to email affiliates.
Find it on Shopify: Omnistar Affiliate Software
Find it on Shopify: Tapfiliate
Set up your referral program with Shopify affiliate & loyalty apps…
If you’re not running your own in-house referral or affiliate program, you’re leaving money on the table.
All the tools are there to help you. And you can even try them for free.
No excuses. Setting up your Shopify loyalty, referral or affiliate program should be a priority…