How do I choose which Shopify affiliate app to use?

If you're reading this post, it's because you've built (or are building) an e-commerce store on the Shopify platform and would like to launch an affiliate program for your store.

First off, that's great! Having an affiliate program for your Shopify store can be a powerful way to spread the word about your brand and build a customer base. But at this point, you're already sold on the idea of having an affiliate program, so I'll spare you the reasons why this can be such an effective and profitable marketing channel. Instead, let's talk about how to compare Shopify affiliate management apps and see which one is best for your business.

We've compiled a list of every Shopify affiliate app available. And guess what? We've compared and reviewed all of them so that you don't have to! If you're interested, we've also narrowed them down to our Top 3 Picks. Otherwise continue reading and we'll breakdown our process for how we choose which affiliate app is best for each store.

How To Choose An Affiliate App

Step 1 – Make a list of everything you need the software to do. First and foremost, define the capabilities that you know you'd require the software to handle. For example, how you'd like to track sales and actionable triggers, available methods of paying affiliates, integration options, etc.

Step 2 – Educate yourself about the features that all the apps offer. The best way to do that would be to review our Shopify affiliate app comparison chart. As you read through that information, add to your list any features you discover that you may not have known were possible.

Step 3 – Take your list and notate which items are mandatory and which you could live without. You'll need to choose an app that fits within your budget. And sometimes (but not always), that means sacrificing features that aren't mandatory for your affiliate program.

Step 4 – In addition to your budget, consider your plans for growth. You’ll want to choose an app that satisfies your needs today while also thinking about the immediate future. Switching affiliate software after you’ve already built a large affiliate base is a pain. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but it’s not something you want to plan on doing. It’s best to begin with a software that you can grow with in the foreseeable future.

Step 5 – Narrow it down to your top few choices. Then read the company's websites, checkout their documentations, and even take the time to e-mail the companies any questions you still have. Typically I e-mail every software company I'm interested in working with to test their response time. If a company doesn't respond promptly to sales questions, how good can I expect their support to be after I'm a customer?

Step 6 – Consider your technological skills. Will you be installing and managing the software yourself or do you have a developer? Some of the apps are easier than others to install and come equipped with code-less one-click installation options. How easy the software is to install and manage are important factors to consider.

Step 7 – Lastly, install and test the software on your site, or on a demo store before going all in. Load a sample affiliate using one of your alternate e-mail addresses and test the software from both ends (as the affiliate manager and as an affiliate). That will show you how easy it will be for your affiliates to use. I always like to test how software works from the perspectives of all users.

Step 8 – Rinse and repeat, if necessary. After testing an app, you may discover that some features are more or less mandatory than you originally thought. That's okay! Revise your list and go from there.

And there you have it! Taking these steps will help to determine the best Shopify affiliate software for your store.

If it seems like a lot of work, it's because it honestly is. And that was my motivation for building this website. I reviewed and tested every Shopify affiliate software available and published my research onto this website to save you the trouble of having to do it yourself.

Take a look at our comparison chart and our Top 3 Picks. And if you still need help deciding, we offer a free service where we evaluate the needs of your affiliate program and recommend which software would be best for your store. Fill out this short questionnaire an we'll get back to you quickly with a recommendation based on your needs and budget. And if you'd like, we'll even install the software for you for free!

This is one of the many free and paid Shopify services we offer our clients. Click that link to learn more about our Shopify services.

Good luck with your affiliate program! Contact us if we can be of assistance to you.

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