The Power of Affiliate Marketing
The business landscape is changing all the time. It responds to new technologies, but it also has to respond to generational shifts in social dynamics – and in recent years we have seen a massive shift in the way people prefer to communicate.
TikTok, YouTube Shorts, Snapchat… with every passing year, short-form video content is further cemented as the medium of choice for many millions of consumers. And the rockstars of that world are the social media influencers.
To look at it another way, marketers have always known the unrivalled power of word-of-mouth referrals. Nothing beats it. So it follows that rather than investing purely into traditional advertising, a powerful recommendation from influential social media personalities can have a massive impact on your reach and conversion rate.
This is exactly where Shopify are turning their attention too – with the recent Shopify Collabs app.
How the Shopify Collabs App Works
Shopify Collabs lets you manage a whole team of affiliate influencers with ease. The app is free to install, and it integrates seamlessly with your Shopify dashboard. Collabs launched first in the US and Canada, and now it has been fully integrated into Shopify UK too.
Let’s break down the process of how it works.
Finding your affiliate partners
There are two ways to get started with Shopify Collabs – by sending out invitations to specific collaborators you want to work with, or by posting your commission offers to the Collabs Network and seeing who replies.
Either way, you should make a Collabs landing page for your brand so that potential affiliates can see what you’re about, and what you’re offering. Shopify Collabs gives you a lot of power to customise your application page, to better reflect your brand’s style and values. Put your best products on display, and pitch an offer! For example, you might offer a pair of premium trainers to an influencer who’ll review them on their high-profile Instagram account. Or maybe that tech-TikTokker can have a year of discounts in return for some regular coverage across their channels. Most likely, the bread-and-butter of your affiliate programme will be a commission model that allows influencers to earn a percentage on all the stock they manage to sell on your behalf, to their audiences.
Shopify’s database contains millions of influencers, covering countless specific and niche topics. You can search for brand-appropriate ambassadors by hashtags, keywords, or filter them by follower count.
Once you’ve set up your creator application page with products and perks, it shouldn’t be long before you’re reviewing applications and picking out your team of influencers to work with.
Managing (and incentivising) your Collabs team
This stage is really where the Shopify Collabs app comes into its own. Of course, affiliate marketing is not a new phenomenon – but previously, some brands have had entire departments dedicated to managing their relationships with brand ambassadors.
Emails, spreadsheets, address books… the Shopify Collabs app has evolved beyond it all. You can manage and track your affiliates, and the gifts you’ve sent them, directly through the app. Send out content codes or personalised download links to one, or to one hundred influencers, with just a few clicks.
From there you can more-or-less switch the system to autopilot. Shopify Collabs will integrate effortlessly with Shopify Flow, allowing you to automate payments, workflows and custom tasks. You can integrate Paypal too, for easy affiliate commission payments across borders. The process of managing even a large team of influencers becomes ridiculously simple. Meanwhile, commission payments are automatically rolled into your Shopify bill for streamlined accounting.
Shopify has always been a good platform for reporting, and Shopify Collabs is no different – you can access detailed reports breaking down sales, gifts redeemed and commissions generated and paid, all through a dedicated Collabs dashboard.
Enjoy the results
Collabs is designed to drive more sales, by giving your brand representation in the places where real people socialise, share and discover. Fashion or cosmetics brands, jewellery and crafts, tech companies, homewares and lifestyle retailers, outdoors gear and sportswear, health foods and supplements… it’s hard to think of many industries that wouldn’t benefit from the kind of attention that Shopify Collabs can bring them.
Shopify has delivered a package that combines enormous potential for new reach, with powerful analytics and seamless workflows. There has never been a better time to think about assembling your own affiliate street team.
Shopify Collabs App Integration
We have been working in the Shopify business for a long time now – and we think Collabs is going to be a gamechanger. It’s an exciting tool as it potentially opens up all kinds of new avenues for growth – while on the tech side, we’re happy to say that Collabs has been fully speed tested and shown to have no impact whatever on the normal functioning of your Shopify store.
The Shopify Collabs app is free to install, and can be easily integrated into your Shopify business suite. And if you’re not already using Shopify, we would love to help you set up Shopify Collabs as part of a new Shopify or Shopify Plus store, or integrated as part of your Shopify migration. Talk to us today, and let us know what you have in mind!
Collabs is yet one more reason why Shopify keeps earning its place as the industry leader, and we’re excited to see what you do with this powerful affiliate marketing tool.