Shopify’s Affiliate Program Will Be Amazon’s New Rival

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Shopify intends to take on Amazon by entering the affiliate marketing business directly.

Shopify is an eCommerce monster, powering a significant share of online shops. With over one million retailers using this platform, Shopify has allegedly approached major publishers, including Vox Media, Buzzfeed, and Complex, trying to get them to sign on to the new program.

This is, of course, game-changing news for Shopify users. However, it is also another jab at Amazon’s near-monopoly ownership of the affiliate marketing field.

Why Would Shopify Enter the Affiliate Marketing Market?

What Should You Know to Succeed in Competitive Affiliate Marketing?

Simply said, affiliate marketing is a multibillion-dollar industry. It provides a potentially lucrative revenue stream for publishers, especially if the publishers can refer potential buyers at scale on relatively high-ticket items.

Consumer tech, for example, is an excellent fit for affiliate marketing, with 60% of consumers purchasing gadgets on Prime Day 2020. As a result, Amazon generated a startling $10.4 billion on Prime Day 2020.

Given the scope of the opportunity, it makes sense that Shopify would exhibit at least a passing interest.

Amazon Dissatisfaction

You’ve probably heard suggestions that people avoid spending their money with the world’s largest retailer, citing labor rights, the environmental and social implications of Amazon’s business, and simply to keep Bezos’ monster business from growing any larger.

Amazon revealed that its earnings increased by 44% in the first three months of last year, and that earnings increased by $5.8 billion in the first nine months of 2020.

Meanwhile, Shopify may offer a friendlier, gentler affiliate marketing face than Amazon.

While some large organizations use Shopify’s platform, such as Kim Kardashian’s KKW Beauty and Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics, the majority of Shopify merchants are small enterprises.

“Shopping in small outlets” is very popular right now, with side hustles and sustainable shopping being popular on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok.

Affiliate linking to a Shopify merchant rather than Amazon would also avoid the problematic scenario that many publishers are currently in, where they are both criticizing Amazon for a variety of reasons while also giving the firm potential buyers for little to nothing.

How Shopify Affiliate Marketing Will Operate?

Publishers will be able to use the new program to embed links in articles, videos, and other types of content that will direct readers to products from any of Shopify’s merchants, whether they are Kim Kardashian or a small jewelry designer.

Surprisingly, the new project will allow publishers to build their own Shopify-powered web stores. This implies that readers will be able to buy things from retailers who use Shopify’s platform without ever leaving the publisher’s website.

It is unclear what transaction percentage Shopify would receive from any affiliate transactions, but allegedly, Shopify would negotiate tailored prices with publishers. Also, based on early rumors, publishers would be able to bring in brands with whom they already deal but who do not currently connect with Shopify.

Is Shopify’s Affiliate Program Beneficial to Small Businesses?

Shopify has only chosen a few retailers for the program at this time. However, if the initial collaboration is proven successful, it seems virtually certain that Shopify would expand the program to include more retailers.

The opportunity to get affiliate marketing agreements with large publishers might significantly expand the reach of small enterprises.

Finding the big publishers, on the other hand, will require a lot of effort. Social media marketing and PR will remain a significant promo source.

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Elizabeth Sramek
Elizabeth is a Senior Content Manager at Scaleo. Currently enjoying the life in Prague and sharing professional affiliate marketing tips. She's been in the online marketing business since 2006 and gladly shares all her insights and ideas on this blog.
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