When you want to increase sales, it’s great to have other people promote your store and products. That’s what affiliate programs are about: you find people (affiliates) who like your products and want to promote them. There are two ways to work with affiliates: they can add a link on their website that will send customers to your store, or they can add your entire online store to their website. With either option, all orders will appear in your store control panel where you can then process them. As a result of affiliate marketing, you get more sales and affiliates get a commission for each sale or each click to your store from their website.
To run an affiliate program, you can use apps from the App Market. These apps will help you track how many customers each affiliate brings you, calculate and pay out commissions automatically, get unique links for your affiliates, etc. If you are just beginning and want to test out affiliate marketing, you can add your storefront to your affiliates’ websites with a special affiliate ID. If you choose this option, you can do affiliate marketing without the apps from the App Market, but you will need to track the affiliate’s sales and calculate commissions manually.
The most common way to work with affiliates is by having your affiliates put links or banners on their websites which redirect customers to your store. Thus, customers place orders on your website. These links or banners contain a special affiliate ID that will help you identify which affiliate brought you this customer. Then you pay out a commission to this partner for bringing you new customers.
Affiliates can use different methods to promote your store: they can write reviews of your products on their website, record videos or write guidelines on how to use your products, etc. Since they get commissions for sales, they will be motivated to show your products in the best light and encourage people to buy them.
You will need to use a third-party affiliate system that will help you track how many customers or sales affiliates bring you. Usually, these systems provide a dashboard where you can see your affiliates, how many customers or sales they bring you, calculate referral commissions, etc. Affiliate partners can also track their success from their end in such systems, and most importantly they can get their unique affiliate link there.
You can choose from the following apps in the App Market to run an affiliate program for your online store:
- LeadDyno: Easy Affiliate Marketing
- Affiliatly: Affiliate Marketing Software
- iDevAffiliate: Affiliate Tracking Software
Since your online store can easily be added to several websites at the same time, you can sell directly on affiliates’ websites. You can sell directly on your affiliates website by following these steps:
- Provide your affiliate partner with your store integration code.
- The affiliate places the store code on their website so your catalog appears there.
- Track orders placed through that website.
With this method of affiliate marketing, you will need to detect which website the order came from. To do that, you will need to add an ID (a unique, individual ID for each affiliate) to your online store embed code which you’ll then give to your affiliate partners. Referred orders will then be marked with this ID in your store control panel, so you can see how many customers each affiliate brings you and calculate their commission. You can also export orders with affiliate IDs or get the list of orders using the API. All of this is possible with your store's inbuilt tools. Learn how to set this process up in this article: How to track which storefront an order came from.
If you want to track sales on an affiliates’ websites automatically, you can use a third-party service. In this case, the affiliate ID generated by that third-party service for your affiliate partner should be added to the source code of the affiliate’s website along with your store's integration code. You will need to contact the affiliate service that you want to use to find out whether they can track orders with such a setup.