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Insider's Guide to Partners.Shopify: Unlock Hidden Gems!

By A Kishore Aksharthan on 3/4/2024 · 10 minute read

Shopify’s eCommerce platform is designed with a unique approach to support the success of its merchants. The Shopify Partners Program creates an ecosystem comprising designers, marketers, developers, and affiliates, all aimed at bolstering the success of over a million merchants.

This diverse group of experts provides a broad range of services to Shopify merchants, including store themes, apps, tailored marketing advice, and Shopify fulfillment partners. This distinctive strategy offers support to merchants while fostering a community committed to continuous learning and mutual success.

The benefits of joining the Shopify Partners Program are explored alongside potential challenges that should be considered.

What do Shopify Partners do?

Shopify Partners specialize in enhancing the online presence of Shopify merchants. They offer essential services for merchants looking to increase their reach, streamline the shopping experience, or improve conversion rates. These Shopify partners are poised to deliver strategic assistance across various facets of online business.

The Shopify Partner Program is segmented into four primary categories:

  • Shopify Developers - These are the experts in Shopify store development armed with a thorough understanding of the Shopify platform. They craft innovative apps designed to engage shoppers and amplify sales. Whether it’s integrating a new feature like print on demand or refining your website’s functionality for better performance, Shopify Developers have the solutions.
  • Shopify Designers - This group takes charge of the visual aspects, from compelling graphics to cohesive branding strategies. Shopify Designers provide consultancy on captivating design elements for your store and create unforgettable advertisements, often collaborating closely with developers.
  • Shopify Marketing - These experts focus on identifying your target audience, crafting effective campaigns, and optimizing marketing strategies to attract suitable prospects. They play a critical role in guiding these prospects through the marketing funnel to enhance customer conversion rates.
  • Affiliate Marketing on Shopify - This category welcomes influencers, content creators, and individuals capable of referring their entrepreneurial circles to the Shopify Partner Program as affiliate marketers. Leveraging word of mouth, which remains a highly trusted referral method in online sales, contributes significantly to consumer sales, with a notable impact on annual consumer spending.

Each category within the Shopify Partner Program is dedicated to providing specialized support to cater to the diverse needs of Shopify merchants, aiming for substantial growth and success in their online endeavors.

Levels of Shopify Partnerships

Within the Shopify ecosystem, multiple partnership opportunities are available, each catering to a broad range of skills and capacities.

  • Shopify Partners marks the beginning phase of engaging with Shopify merchants. Through this program, participants gain access to unlimited test stores for experimentation and learning, various marketing materials, insights into new features, and entry into a global collaborative community. Commissions are earned through client referrals, theme designs, or app launches.
  • Shopify Plus Partners is designed for developers, designers, and marketers known for their superior quality, performance, service, and support provided to Shopify merchants. This predominantly includes agencies, systems integrators, and enterprise consultants. Nevertheless, individual developers or designers capable of delivering comprehensive solutions for merchants can also achieve this status.
  • Shopify Fulfillment Partners stand apart from the Shopify Partner Program as members of the Shopify fulfillment network. They may or may not be involved in the Partner Program separately.

Features of the Shopify Partners Program

A review of the Shopify Partners Program indicates that it offers extensive support and opportunities for professionals in various fields. This includes areas such as development, design, eCommerce marketing, and affiliate marketing. The features are designed to support success. Key features provided are:

  • Unlimited free development stores, allowing endless experimentation with themes, storefronts, and functionalities
  • A user-friendly interface for partnership accounts, featuring straightforward navigation through buttons, pages, links, and forms, complemented by strong customer support to assist at every step
  • Comprehensive on-site resources that encompass How-To articles, live chat, phone, and email support, alongside access to the Shopify Academy, Polaris design tools, and exclusive discounts on useful software

Shopify Partner earnings

Shopify Partner earnings

Participation in the Partner Program comes at no cost, benefiting both the participant and Shopify.

Earnings vary depending on the partnership chosen, with Shopify receiving a commission for each app, store theme, or digital product offered within the program.
Here are a few examples:

1. Developer Partner

  • Product or Service Offered: Shopify App
  • Commission Model: 20% goes to Shopify

2. Developer Partner

  • Type of Shopify Partner: Developer Partner
  • Product or Service Offered: Shopify Theme
  • Commission Model: Options include a 30% commission with all support and bug fixes managed by the developer, or a 50% commission where bug fixes are handled by the developer and support by Shopify. Exclusivity applies.

3. Marketing Partner (Experts Marketplace)

  • Product or Service Offered: Digital Marketing Services (includes campaign management, strategy development, and audience engagement)
  • Commission Model: 10% commission deducted from partner payouts, paid bi-monthly

4. Design Partner (Experts)

  • Product or Service Offered: Graphic Design Services (includes logo creation and color scheme optimization)
  • Commission Model: 10% commission deducted from partner payouts

The program not only allows for earning potential but also offers extensive support, access to valuable tools, tutorials, and a comprehensive library of instructional articles, highlighting the significant value of becoming a Shopify Partner.

Benefits you can expect from the Shopify Partners Program

Benefits you can expect from the Shopify Partners Program

The attractiveness of the Shopify Partner Program goes beyond mere free access. It is significantly bolstered by extensive support systems designed to facilitate quick and efficient startup and revenue generation. Highlighted below are some of the prime benefits associated with the Shopify Partners Program.

  • The Shopify Partner program offers competitive pricing and a commission model that benefits members right from the start, with free account setup and attractive commission rates.
  • Membership includes access to the Shopify Academy, which offers online courses and certified training for deeper insight into Shopify and business growth tactics.
  • Members of the Shopify Partner program get exclusive deals on software critical to business expansion, easily accessible by navigating to the ‘claim perk’ option within the member account dashboard. Following the prompts allows for quick acquisition of software at reduced rates.

Steps to becoming a Shopify Partner

Step 1 - Learn about Shopify Partners

Visiting Shopify’s partner page is highly recommended, where one can browse the blog, review various guides, and look for meetups in their vicinity. Nowadays, many events are organized virtually. Events are an excellent avenue for networking and delving deeper into the specifics of the partner program.

Step 2 - Join the Shopify Partner Program

Join the Shopify Partner Program

To sign up, individuals need to provide their first and last name, email address, and create a password. It’s advised to opt for a strong password that encompasses letters, numbers, and symbols to bolster security. Additionally, activating multi-factor authentication is recommended for enhanced protection. After these steps, clicking ‘Create account’ will trigger a verification email.

Step 3 - Verify your email address with Shopify

The link provided by Shopify for email verification comes with a 24-hour expiry period. It is essential to click on this link before the time limit expires.

Upon following the link, users are directed to a page featuring a blue ‘Confirm email’ button. Clicking on this button will redirect users to a subsequent page, where they are required to select their next step. Here, the choice should be ‘Shopify Partners’, then proceed by opting for ‘Create an Account’.

Step 4 - Complete the form

The account creation form asks for business details, and all fields should be filled unless noted as ‘optional’. After entering the required information, users should scroll down to select their ‘business goals’, which helps in choosing the type of partnership.

Further down, a list of eCommerce platforms is presented. Selecting the relevant platforms indicates to the service provider the types of tools and resources that would be most suitable for the user’s business.

Lastly, users are advised to read the Partner Program Agreement accessible via the link at the bottom of the page and indicate their agreement by clicking the box to the left of these terms. The process is completed by pressing the blue ‘View your dashboard’ button.

Step 5 - Your Shopify dashboard

Upon accessing the Shopify dashboard, selection of Shopify Partner Programs is available. Identifying the programs that align best with personal interests or business goals is the first step, followed by applying through the available option.

A brief form will then need to be completed, explaining the reasons for wanting to join the chosen program.

It is important to note that gaining certain credentials may be necessary before acceptance into the programs. This can be achieved through taking advantage of the free courses offered by the Shopify Partner Academy, selecting those that match individual learning interests or professional needs.

Lastly, making money with Shopify

Participants of Shopify Programs start earning once accepted. Once a minimum target of $25.00 is reached, payments are issued bi-monthly through PayPal. Balances below $25.00 are retained until the next payment period or until they meet or exceed $25.00.

Shopify Experts and Shopify Plus Explained

Shopify Experts include professionals part of Shopify’s Partner Program who specialize in areas other than creating digital products for the Shopify App and Theme store. Their expertise spans across Digital Marketing, email campaign creation, content production, and graphic design among others. If one possesses skills that can aid Shopify merchants in achieving their online sales objectives, joining the Shopify Partner Program could benefit both the professional and Shopify’s global community.

The experts marketplace serves as a conduit connecting Shopify merchants with both agencies and freelancers. Shopify assures a competitive commission rate for the services provided by experts through this platform.

Shopify Plus offers an enhanced version of the familiar Shopify platform, specifically tailored for enterprise businesses. It includes features such as unlimited staff accounts, personalized support, and the capability to handle 10,000 transactions per minute without compromising on the seamless experience.

Switching to ‘plus’ retains the same user-friendly editor, dashboard, and access to the help centre, ensuring a smooth transition. Shopify Plus stands out by offering advanced functionalities like configuring multiple shipping rates and options, full website integration, and the customization of the shopping experience for each customer using Shopify Flow based on their browsing habits and purchase history.

Pros and Cons for Shopify Partners

The Shopify Partners Program and its developed ecosystem offer more advantages than disadvantages for its members.

Pros:

  • Competitive pricing and earnings framework
  • Extensive access to diverse tools
  • Exceptional user experience with intuitive functions
  • Robust customer support
  • Comprehensive online courses and certified training for business enhancement through Shopify Academy
  • An extensive collection of documents providing essential information
  • Effective support materials for client promotion, including marketing guides
  • Benefits designed to assist business expansion
  • Ease of learning and usability
  • Access to a wide variety of apps and themes

Cons:

  • Certain tools come with basic features that necessitate upgrades
  • The Liquid programming language used for templates might pose a challenge for learners

Is it Worth Becoming a Shopify Expert?

Shopify stands as a global frontrunner among eCommerce platforms, continuously attracting a growing number of merchants courtesy of its user-friendly and straightforward features and functions. Its adaptability and scalability significantly boost its appeal for various merchants.

The platform’s growing popularity, paired with its user-friendly nature, underscores the future demand for individuals proficient in Shopify. Mastery in Shopify offers a promising avenue for business growth for both independent freelancers and established agencies. There exists a wide opportunity to advance one’s business and skills while drawing in new clients, specifically Shopify merchants, which remains unparalleled.

For those seeking to enhance their repertoire in digital marketing, graphic design, web development, design, or affiliate marketing, specializing in Shopify emerges as a wise choice.

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