Shopify is one of the biggest and most popular ecommerce platforms out there, with countless businesses using it to sell a huge variety of products and services. But did you know that owning an online store isn’t the only way to make money on Shopify?
In this article, we’ll explore the Shopify Partner Program. We’ll cover everything, from exactly what the program entails – and who can join – through to the various levels of membership, and exactly how you can sign up.
So, want to get more from your Shopify expertise? Read on to find out how.
The Shopify Partner Program is a platform that can be used by developers, designers, marketers, and other affiliates who use and are familiar with the Shopify platform to build ecommerce websites, themes, and apps.
Typically, Shopify Partners can make money in several ways:
- Receiving a commission for referring paying clients to the Shopify platform
- Developing Shopify stores for clients
- Creating apps and themes for Shopify stores, and then publishing – and selling – them in the Shopify App and Shopify Theme marketplaces
The three options here offer flexibility, and allow everyone from savvy affiliate marketers to smart web developers to make money through the partnership program.
Anyone can apply to be a Shopify Partner. However, the program has been created to help specific experts make the most of – and monetize – their skills. These particular skill sets and job roles include:
- Developers – by developing stores for customers or publishing apps on the App Store
- Designers – by designing stores or themes for customers
- Photographers – by theming stores with specific imagery for customers
- Affiliate Marketers – by referring people to use the Shopify platform
- Bloggers/Influencers – by referring people to use the Shopify platform
When you first start researching becoming a Shopify Partner, you’ll run into three different terms: Shopify Partner, Shopify Plus Partner, and Shopify Expert. Although all these terms cover a lot of the same ground, there are defining factors of each that’ll help you decide which one’s right for you.
As we’ve already discussed, a Shopify Partner is someone who monetizes referrals, website creation, or app development through the Shopify Partner platform.
Shopify Plus Partner
This is an advanced version of the Shopify Partner Program, where members help Shopify owners to build world-class ecommerce websites. Unlike the typical Shopify Partner Program, this program is targeted at design & development agencies, digital marketing companies, systems integrators, and enterprise consultants.
A Shopify Expert is an elite-level Shopify Partner, who has had substantial experience with the Shopify platform, and had their work reviewed and verified by Shopify.
Shopify Experts gain access to greater resources, such as learning and development programs. They also earn a place on the Shopify Expert Marketplace, which means they can usually charge more for their services.
There are many benefits to becoming a Shopify Partner. Shopify Partners can:
- Create recurring income by referring people to Shopify
- Generate regular income from building websites
- Earn cash by building apps and themes
- Gain access to an unlimited Shopify store, which allows them to test apps, themes, and beta features
- Learn more about creating apps and themes for Shopify through the partner academy
- Increase their authority – and prove their competency – with Shopify certification, and the ability to add Shopify Partner branding to their website
- Find new customers by building a portfolio and being featured on partner directories
- Collaborate on stores without limiting customers’ staff access
- Obtain support from Shopify when they need it
It is simple to apply to become a Shopify Partner. Simply follow the steps highlighted below:
1. Go to the Shopify Partner Program website
2. Enter your email into the ‘Enter your email address’ box and hit ‘Join now’
3. Create an account or sign in to your account
4. Click the ‘Confirm email’ button in the verification email
5. Select ‘Shopify partner’ and ‘+ Create new partner account’
7. Enter the relevant details
8. Read and agree to the terms of the program
9. Hit ‘View your dashboard’
10. Once you’re on your dashboard, you’re ready to get going with the Shopify Partner Program – congrats!
It’s the big question you’ve probably asked yourself when reading this guide – how much might you be able to earn as a Shopify Partner?
Below, we outline the various ways you can make money on the Shopify Partner program, and how much cash you might expect to rake in:
Setting up a Development Store
You’ll earn a 20% cut of the user’s monthly subscription fee for as long as they remain a user. For example, if your customer becomes an ‘Advanced Shopify’ subscriber at $299 per month, you’ll receive $59.80 every month that their subscription continues.
Generating Affiliate Referrals
You’ll earn two month’s worth of ‘bounty payment’, which is equal to the merchant’s Shopify subscription fee. For example, if someone signs up for a ‘Basic Shopify’ membership at $29 per month, you’ll snag a payout of $58.
Developing Shopify Apps
You’ll earn 80% of the total revenue from sales. For example, if you publish an app on the Shopify App Store costing $99, you’ll receive a one-time payment of $79.20 every time someone purchases it.
Of course, how much you make on a recurring basis depends on the type of commissions you earn, as well as their quantity. Those who commit significant time, effort, and skill to the Shopify Partner Program could expect to see considerable profits. However, others may just invest small proportions of their time in the program, as a supplement to their main income.
It’s clear that becoming a Shopify Partner is a relatively straightforward process. We can also see that how much money you can make from becoming a partner depends on your approach, your skills, and your commitment.
The platform provides users with a suite of tools for uploading publishing themes and apps, allowing them to work on customer websites and create trackable referral links.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be able to access the Shopify Partner dashboard. From here, you can publish themes and apps, access customer websites for development purposes, and create referral links. You’ll also be able to track your success and income through the dashboard.
Commissions vary widely. For example, when you set up a development store for a customer through the site, you’ll receive an ongoing commission of 20% of that customers monthly subscription fee. Referring customers to Shopify via a tracked link will earn you two months’ worth of that member’s fees.
One of the biggest potential earners is developing and publishing Shopify Apps on the App Store, for which you’ll receive 80% of every purchase.
Ultimately, however, the amount of money you can make as a Shopify Partner will depend on the amount of time, effort, and energy you invest in it.
However, the program has been developed specifically for those with extensive skills in design, coding, and affiliate marketing. For this reason, freelancer and specialist designers, developers, photographers, affiliate marketers and influencers/bloggers are amongst those who see the most success – and earn the most money – through the platform.