Shopify Partner Program - What Is It and How Does It Work?
Shopify has developed an out-of-the-box ecommerce solution, helping entrepreneurs and small businesses quickly launch and manage their online stores. In addition to the no-coding platform, emerging brands can leverage the Shopify Partner Program, an exclusive network of creatives in freelance or agency situations. The program is a win-win—ecommerce owners focus on selling products while tasks like website design and digital marketing are left to the experts.
Below, we'll examine the Shopify Partner program by detailing examples of resources that are available, how to join it, and the benefits it can provide for creators and entrepreneurs alike!
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What is the Shopify Partner Program?
In 2023, the global ecommerce market is expected to exceed $6.3 trillion, with online sales breaking the 20% threshold of all retail purchases for the first time. Brands increasingly turn to ecommerce to reach new customers and grow their businesses. However, launching a digital store requires more than business skills. Even with a platform like Shopify, venturing into ecommerce can be a steep and costly learning curve for entrepreneurs. That’s where partners come in.
The Shopify Partner Program is a membership network of experts skilled in ecommerce and digital marketing, such as software developers, designers, marketers, and agencies. Members help ecommerce owners set up stores, solve store problems, migrate products from different platforms and grow their businesses. Apart from getting access to a new range of customers, partners enjoy the following benefits:
- Access to exclusive resources to complete tasks related to Shopify more efficiently.
- Information about the latest trends and best practice examples
- Networking opportunities with others in the digital community.
Members can join forums, attend events, and participate in webinars to stay connected. Partners also get access to tools like Shopify Plus Enterprise Solutions and Shopify Experts Marketplace that allow them to find new customers easily.
Types of Shopify Partners
Today, the Shopify ecosystem is massive and hosts more than 1 million merchants. The needs of those merchants vary from store to store, so the program consists of several types of partners. Here are a few examples:
Most online sellers don't want to waste time coding their store from scratch. Through Shopify Partners, businesses have access to:
- Developers who can create custom themes for stores
- App developers who can build store integrations and customize existing apps to fit the merchant's needs
- Web developers who can create custom pages and design user experiences from the ground up
Developers also make apps that you can use to improve your store functionality. You pay a small fee to use the app, which is passed on to the developer as Shopify Partner Commission.
Marketers help merchants promote their products to buyers. They include:
- Search engine optimization (SEO) professionals who know how to optimize a store for search engine rankings
- Social media gurus who can create campaigns that engage customers on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter
- Content strategists who specialize in creating targeted content that attracts visitors and converts leads into sales
With the right tools in place, marketers drive more traffic to stores while increasing the average order value of each customer.
Affiliate marketers use their websites and social media accounts to promote other businesses. In exchange for a commission, they drive traffic to stores through referral links and special offers.
The Shopify Partner Program provides access to educational resources and tools for affiliates like:
- Analytics dashboards that track the performance of campaigns in real-time
- Integrations with affiliate networks like Commission Junction or Amazon Associates
- Tools for creating custom coupon codes and tracking sales
With the right strategies, affiliates generate leads while increasing brand awareness.
Professional photographers help merchants bring products to life. Through Shopify Partners, businesses have access to services like:
- Product photography for capturing images of items with a high-end look and feel
- Lifestyle photography to excite customers by showcasing your products in action
- Video production to create engaging content that showcases the brand and attracts customers
With quality product photos, stores can stand out from competitors while ensuring potential shoppers get an accurate representation of what they're buying online.
An appealing design is essential to the success of an online store. With Shopify partnerships, you can collaborate with:
- Graphic designers who create logos and help define a brand's visual identity
- UX/UI professionals who specialize in creating user-friendly interfaces for stores
- Motion graphics artists who bring products to life with animations and interactive elements
With the right design team in place, merchants showcase their products in a way that attracts customers while making sure they have a great experience browsing the store.
How to Become a Shopify Partner
Incredibly, this network of skilled professionals is open to anyone and completely free. There is no subscription or fee attached to joining the Shopify Partner Program and no specific requirements beyond being a professional in the ecommerce space. If you can provide services to store owners—here’s how to join.
1. Create a Shopify Partner Program Profile
Visit the Shopify Partner Program page to create a profile. You'll be asked to create a Shopify ID and supply a few basic pieces of information, including an email address.
2. Confirm Your Email Address
Once you've set up your profile, the company will send an email to confirm the address. Click on the link in the email, and you'll be taken back to your profile page, where you can start exploring all of the resources available.
3. Create Your Partner Account
At this point, Shopify will ask for more information to best tailor the program to your needs. You will have to provide:
- Business name
- The primary reason for becoming a Shopify Partner (i.e. building apps, affiliate referrals, selling as a merchant)
- Other ecommerce platforms you have worked with (i.e. BigCommerce, Magento, Lightspeed)
Once you have provided this information, you must also read and agree to the Partner Program Agreement, which outlines the terms and conditions of being a Shopify Partner.
4. Open Your Partner Dashboard
Once accepted, you can access the Shopify Partner Program Dashboard. Here, you can view resources and opportunities available through the program, as well as get started on building your first store or app.
5. Get Started
The first time you open the dashboard, you'll be asked to select the primary way you will be using the program:
- Working to build a new store
- Working to improve an existing store
- Building apps for the Shopify App Store
Once you've selected the option that best suits your needs, you will be taken to the appropriate page where you can start your journey as a Shopify Partner!
How Ecommerce Owners Benefit from the Shopify Partner Program
More than 30% of merchants rely on Shopify partnerships for help every six months. If you own a Shopify store, here are some of the advantages you can get:
Partners are well-versed in the ecommerce industry and can provide valuable knowledge to help you succeed. They can help with tasks like setting up themes, customizing design elements, creating content for marketing campaigns, and optimizing stores for SEO. Instead of learning these skills from scratch, you can call on the experts to launch and manage successful stores.
Improve Your Store
With more and more merchants opening their doors daily, standing out from the competition is essential. The Shopify Partner Program provides members with access to exclusive tools and resources that help them optimize their stores for success. You can also use a tool like Shopify Finder to find new and innovative, high-demand, high profit products for your Shopify store. You’ll get access to insights on 50+ million Shopify products and 100+million AliExpress products that cover 40+ countries (AliExpress data available under a PRO plan).
Trends and best practices in the ecommerce industry are constantly changing, and staying on top is essential for any business. If you fall behind, you could miss out on valuable opportunities to reach new markets, reduce customer acquisition costs, and increase revenue. The Partner Program gives members and store owners access to the latest news and insights to help keep their stores up-to-date.
The Shopify Partner Program is an excellent channel for creative professionals to expand their skills, build meaningful relationships, and stay on top of the latest trends. It provides members exclusive resources to help them create successful online stores for their customers. Whether you're an experienced seller or just starting in ecommerce, hiring a Shopify Partner is a great way to grow your business!
People Also Ask
How to get help as a Shopify Partner?
With a huge knowledge base filled with guides, tutorials, and blog articles, as well as a community forum available to all Shopify Partners, it is easy to get help. You can also contact the Partner Support team directly at any time for assistance.
Who are Shopify Experts?
The perfect partnership is at your fingertips with Shopify Experts. It is a marketplace of vetted, experienced professionals who specialize in Shopify-related tasks such as design and development, marketing, SEO, content strategy, and more.
What is the Shopify Plus Partner Program?
Shopify Plus Partner Program gives you access to a huge library of integrations, introduces you to a catalog of experts, and provides research, insight, and support to feed your growing brand. The Shopify Plus Partner requirements include ongoing positive feedback from existing merchants, adherence to best practices, and active participation in the community.
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If you are an ecommerce owner, you may wonder if it’s worth investing in a Shopify partnership. The fact is that professionals can lift your site and help you boost sales in those critical early days. Otherwise, you may end up making common ecommerce website mistakes and leaving money on the table.