5 Best Affiliate Marketing Apps for Shopify in 2021

Affiliate marketing is an effortless and inexpensive way to drive sales to your ecommerce store.

You don’t spend a dime in marketing. Instead, you offer affiliates a commission to promote your products, and they work on generating sales.

It’s like having a team of salesmen, who do the heavy lifting in exchange for a small percentage of your profits. Believe it or not, in the face of the current competition in the ecommerce industry, it’s a no-brainer choice.

But as your store grows and recruits more affiliate partners, you will find it tougher to manage commissions, tiers and numbers.

That’s where the best affiliate marketing apps for Shopify come into the picture.

If you plan to engage affiliates and influencers as partners, these apps will simplify the backend management and automate most tasks.

Let’s take a look at the best affiliate marketing apps for Shopify in the marketplace currently.

What are the best affiliate marketing apps Shopify?


1. Goaffpro

Top Rated Affiliate Marketing Suite

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Goaffpro is one of the oldest and most widely used affiliate marketing apps for Shopify. It has an average rating of 4.8 from 1401 reviews, which is excellent by any standards.

That has a lot to do with the ease of use and the plethora of features that this app brings to the table. From affiliate management in the backend, to customization to automated payouts for qualified affiliates, Goaffpro makes it set and forget in the true sense.

Let’s take a look at some of the key features of Goaffpro and how it makes life easier for businesses.

Key Features:

1. Easy Affiliate Management

Goaffpro makes it easy for affiliates to sign up on the website. There’s an option to allow existing customers to drive referrals. This means that they do not have to sign up separately. But if you want to convert a guest user into an affiliate, they can quickly login using their Google/Facebook account.

This means that more affiliates will sign up, since it skips the cumbersome details form and sign up process. Also, affiliates can quickly generate shortened links to promote products. It features an integrated referral link generator.

2. Custom affiliate portal

Goaffpro allows you to generate a secure, custom affiliate portal within your website. You can customize it from head to toe, to match the website’s branding. Customers do not have to leave the website ever to track their commissions, clicks and statistics.

3. An MLM Portal

One of the features of Goaffpro that stands out is the ability to turn the affiliate business into a multi-level marketing model, with distinct commissions at each level. You can provide the affiliate with all the tools they need to build a team with unlimited tiers below them.

4. Detailed Analytics

You can track the performance of each affiliate and the quality of the traffic they send to the store. Right from the origin of the traffic to the landing page, to the customer journey, this is a great way to track high performing affiliates and reward them.

The analytics module also features AI (Artificial Intelligence), which uses predictive analytics to spot trends and make suggestions. By the way, the analytics tool is also available for affiliates. Highly experienced affiliates can use this themselves to gauge the performance of their own marketing campaigns.

Pricing:

goaffpro-pricing

Goaffpro has a stellar free plan for small merchants and brands who generate less than 100 sales a day. The best part about the free plan is that you are not limited by the number of affiliates or sales you can generate. The only limiting factor is that you get a basic version of the affiliate portal.

You can still recruit an unlimited number of affiliates, mind you. The Premium Plan is priced at $24/month and offers a whole bunch of other features. Then there’s an enterprise plan for large brands which offers more customization than what you’d ever get, at $199/month.

Our thoughts about Goaffpro:

Regardless of the size of the operation or the complexity of the affiliate/MLM network you have envisioned, Goaffpro makes it easy to set it up. You just have to install the app and set the commissions.

The rest of the work will be done by the affiliates without having to jump through hoops for it. This is hands down, one of the best affiliate marketing apps for Shopify currently.


2. UpPromote

Powerful Integrations

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UpPromote is right up there with Goaffpro in terms of ratings. It has an average user rating of 4.9 from 1255 reviews, which is second to none. The feature set is on-par with Goaffpro too. But UpPromote offers some distinct features as well.

That’s what brings it to the second position in this list of best affiliate marketing apps Shopify. For starters, there’s support for more languages, which is mandatory if you are selling internationally in countries where English is not the first language.

The second and the more advantageous feature is that you can promote the affiliate program on UpPromote’s marketplace. We will touch more on this in a bit.

Key Features:

1. Multi Language Support

UpPromote supports 8 languages, which makes it easy for brands who sell internationally in countries that do not have English as their primary language. The affiliate dashboard will be displayed in the language as selected by you, by the affiliate, or auto detected by the software, based on the country of the visitor.

2. Accurate tracking for affiliates

Affiliate marketers are often wary of brands skimming from their profits, by underreporting sales and commissions. To this end, UpPromote gives you a plethora of tools that will build credibility in affiliates. They can use a postback url, or even use Facebook pixel, which is a foolproof way of tracking conversions and hits.

3. Detailed Analytics

UpPromote has one of the most comprehensive analytics modules that we’ve come across in an affiliate marketing software. It allows you to dial down into granular details about each affiliate and every visitor that lands on the site through a referral.

You can generate custom reports and use it to double down on the products/affiliates that are performing best.

4. One-Click Integrations

UpPromote makes it easy to seamlessly work with other Shopify apps. For instance, you can connect with Mailchimp/ Klaviyo for email marketing. Do you use the subscription apps to manage paid subscriptions? You can sync UpPromote with that too, allowing your subscribers to drive referrals.

In case there is an app that it does not work with, UpPromote offers an API that’s reasonably easy to tweak and customize.

5. Easy Affiliate Management

You can customize the affiliate campaign completely. Right from a custom affiliate portal with your website’s branding, to branded emails to alert and communicate with affiliates, there are many tools for effortless affiliate management.

Why, it also has an integrated chat feature where affiliates can directly connect with you. Also, you are not shoehorned into selecting a particular payment service to pay eligible affiliates. There are multiple payment options that you can choose from.

6. UpPromote Marketplace

Coming to one of the biggest advantages that you get with UpPromote. If you are a small store or a startup that does not have a steady influx of traffic yet, it can get difficult to find visitors who are willing to promote the program.

UpPromote has a dedicated marketplace which serves as a platform that connects affiliates with store owners. So, all you need to do is list your affiliate program, the commission tier and affiliates will sign up and start sending traffic. It’s a huge jump start as compared to generating sales and then finding people willing to promote the offer.

Pricing:

uppromote-pricing

UpPromote offers four tiered pricing plans. There’s a free plan which lets your affiliates make up to 200 referrals a month. There’s a growth plan priced at $19.99 which lets affiliates make up to 300 referrals and send out 300 bulk emails daily.

The Professional Plan is priced at $59.99 and increases the number of referrals to 600, while offering unlimited features otherwise.

Lastly, there’s the Enterprise plan at $119.99, which is the most feature rich plan, pretty much giving you all features that the service offers.

Our thoughts about UpPromote:

UpPromote offers some distinct advantages that you do not get even with Goaffpro. The pricing plans are a little tricky considering that they limit features and even the Pro Plan only lets you make 600 referrals a month.

But otherwise, this is one of the best affiliate apps Shopify that you can find.


3. Referral Candy

Intuitive Referral Nudges & Pop Ups

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Referral Candy is currently used by 30,000 Shopify brands including some big ticket brands like Sennheiser and Feed. It boasts of an average customer rating of 4.8 from 1531 reviews. Not bad at all and almost on-par with our first two picks.

Goes without saying that an app this popular will tick most of the boxes that ecommerce brands look for from the best affiliate marketing apps Shopify. But Referral Candy has some cool features that are not available in Goaffpro & UpPromote.

Let’s take a closer look at their key features.

Key Features:

1. Easy Onboarding & Setup

Referral Candy has one of the most intuitive dashboards that you’ll ever find. Regardless of whether you are migrating from another affiliate marketing app, or setting up a new program, everything is perfectly laid out.

It’s as good as drag and drop. Be it setting up commissions, branding the affiliate portal or setting up automated communications, nothing takes more than a few clicks. That’s one of the big draws that we watch out for, while selecting any software for Shopify.

2. Easy Integrations

Referral Candy is designed for ease of use. Part of this is made possible with one-click integrations with other aspects of the ecommerce business. You can, for instance, sync it seamlessly with the best analytics app for Shopify to track more meticulous details about affiliate performance.

3. Premade Templates with A/B testing

Referral Candy is one of the only software that comes with integrated templates for pages and emails that you can use for affiliate management. The premade templates take guesswork out of design for stores that hate fiddling with colors and fonts.

Also, there’s A/B testing integrated into this. So, you can track the performance of each template and decide which one to use. The decision is based on real-world actionable data, rather than guesswork. In case you prefer tweaking things down the T, then you have the option to do that as well.

Everything is coded in CSS, which is super easy to customize, without hiring a developer for the job.

4. Intuitive Nudges and Pop-Ups

Many affiliate marketing apps, despite the easy set up require a fair bit of manual oversight. But Referral Candy’s automation features are top notch. You can nudge a shopper on the site at different touch points, inviting them to join the referral program. This can be done on the checkout page, on the thank you page, on the product page, or on emails.

What’s amazing is that Referral Candy can automatically do this without you deciding where and when to display the pop up. It has inbuilt AI modules that will display the pop where it’s most likely to result in a conversion.

5. Custom Reward Options

Lastly, Referral Candy allows you to customize the rewards for referrals. Most of the best affiliate marketing apps for Shopify will only allow you to offer percentage-based or fixed-amount commissions.

Referral Candy offers multiple choices. The affiliate can get paid into their store wallet, get custom gifts, discounts or gift cards. Also, payouts are automated which takes a huge chunk of effort out of reward distribution.

Pricing:

referral-candy-pricing

Referral Candy has two tiered pricing plans. There’s the ‘Premium Plan’ at $49 /month + a commission that depends on the monthly sales volume. Then there’s the ‘Enterprise Plan’ which is priced at $3,999 /month which has no commissions.

The difference is stark. But if you are a brand that generates a million dollars in sales, you will end up saving a lot of money on commissions.

Our thoughts about Referral Candy:

Referral Candy is an excellent software for stores big and small. It has tons of automation features without cutting corners with customization. The pricing is not too steep either, even for the Premium Plan.

If you seek an affiliate software that takes effort out of management, Referral Candy is one of the best picks.


4. Growth Hero

Tons of Resources for Affiliates

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Growth Hero is a reasonably new affiliate marketing app for Shopify, as compared to the three that we have listed already. It has just 136 reviews on the Shopify marketplace, but manages to score an impressive 4.8 in average customer ratings.

The software is pretty feature-rich, given that it offers tons of customization, automation tools for affiliate management, & integrated analytics. But the feature that stands out, for us, is the resources for affiliates.

Let’s take a closer look at Growth Hero.

Key Features:

1. Affiliate Groups

Creating affiliate groups is like creating audience segments in analytics and paid ads. You encourage better performance by rewarding high performing affiliates. Alternatively, you can use this to segregate between your high LTV customers, who are awarded a different tier of commissions for referrals, as compared to the normal customers, who are lesser.

There’s so many ways to use Affiliate Grouping. It’s surprising that very few affiliate marketing apps have thought of including this amazing feature into their software.

2. Post Purchase Integration

The post purchase thank you page is hands down, the best touch point to encourage affiliates to sign up and refer friends. Growth Hero shows timed pop ups on the Thank You page with a custom message and your reward/offer for referring friends.

This makes it easy and enticing enough for the customer to make referrals straight away. Besides, you don’t even have to send out bulk emails. It’s as good as increasing the order value of an existing customer.

3. Resources Galore

Growth Hero offers tons of resources for affiliates including images, posts, banners that they can share directly to their social media profiles from within the affiliate portal. No need to download anything and login separately.

Just click on the resource and share instantly.

4. Tiers

Growth Hero has a comprehensive affiliate management module which lets you create unlimited tiers, like a multi-level marketing model. Affiliates can hire unlimited affiliates below them. Normally, managing a multi-level network is complex and involves setting up each tier manually.

But Growth Hero automates the whole thing. You just need to enter the number of tiers and click a few buttons. Everything else is done for you.

5. Customization and Tracking

Growth Hero also allows you to customize every interaction point to the T. Be it the affiliate login page, emails, affiliate portal, or pop-ups, everything can be customized easily to match your store’s colors, text and branding.

6. Easy Onboarding and intuitive dashboard

One of the aspects that doesn’t get its fair due, is setting up the affiliate marketing campaign. This might seem to be pretty self-explanatory for brands who have run similar programs in the past.

But what if this is your first attempt at creating an affiliate marketing program? That’s where Growth Hero’s onboarding helps. It is one of the easiest apps to get started with. It connects to your Shopify store in a click, you set up the default commission level and start inviting customers. It’s as simple as that.

Also, the dashboard has tons of information. But it is beautifully laid out. Every key metric is available easily on the navigation panel on the left. Even the more detailed ones are never, more than two clicks away.

Pricing:

growth-hero-pricing

Growth Hero’s pricing model is relatively simpler to understand. There are three tiers. The Starter Tier is priced at $39.00/month and gives you all features, but limits the number of affiliate orders per month to 500.

The Pro Plan is priced at $89.00/month and increases this to 1500 affiliate orders per month. The Premium Plan is priced at $199/month and offers unlimited orders with custom feature requests.

We feel that the tiers are very reasonably priced for the services on offer. If you are a large ecommerce brand, you can get the premium plan at just shy of $200 with no commissions on your sales/referrals. That’s great value!

Our thoughts about Growth Hero:

Growth Hero might be new to the marketplace. But we feel that it will be one of the apps to watch out for in the next couple of years. With the feature set and that pricing plan, it has all the potential to be one of the best affiliate marketing apps for Shopify.


How to Select the Best Affiliate Marketing Apps for Shopify

Affiliate Marketing sounds tricky to someone who’s never set it up before. To be fair, it does pose a few challenges, and has a learning curve attached to it. But if you are careful about selecting the right app, you should find it reasonably easy to manage even a complex plan with multiple tiers.

Here’s some help with the selection process for those who are new to this.

1. Design the program on paper

It’s important that you have a clear idea of the affiliate program you intend to set up.

Will it be a simple, fixed-commission model?

Will it have different commission tiers?

Do you want to set up multi-level marketing?

Do you want to reward different types of customers?

Do you seek integrations with other apps, like the inventory management software? The type of the program and the extent of customization will determine what software works best for you.

2. Automation over Vanity Features

Once you have a clear idea of what you need, look for the best affiliate marketing apps Shopify that automate most of those features. Some apps might sway you with fancy features that you don’t need.

For instance, a small ecommerce brand that offers a flat-commission has practically no use for an app that sets up an MLM. Choose an app based on what suits you.

3. Customization & Rewards

Regardless of the size of your business, we are pretty sure that you’d want to customize the touch points with your affiliates, making them feel that the program is part of the store. Look for apps that offer the level of customization you seek.

Ditto with rewards. You ideally want to look for apps that allow you to customize the rewards. It may not be a percentage discount all the time. Many affiliates only work for monetary payouts. Also, we prefer apps that send out payouts automatically than you having to bulk process them manually.


To sum it up

Affiliate Marketing is the most cost effective marketing channel that leverages the potential that your existing shoppers have. You don’t spend a dime more on sales or ads. Just encourage your existing customers to spread the word.

We hope that our recommendation list and guide helps you find the best affiliate marketing app for your ecommerce store. As always, do your research and choose wisely. Good luck!