While Shopify makes it incredibly easy to set up a store, users sometimes require the assistance of an expert to make their business a success.
That’s where Shopify Partners comes in. Through its partnership program, Shopify allows aspiring merchants to capitalize on the knowledge of creatives and experts in their industry.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what Shopify Partners are, where they fit into the Shopify ecosystem, and how to become one yourself.
- What Are Shopify Partners?
- Are Shopify Partners and Shopify Plus Partners the Same?
- Who Is Considered a Shopify Expert?
- How to Become a Shopify Partner
- The Perks of Being a Shopify Partner
- How to Become a Shopify Expert
- Want to Learn More?
What Are Shopify Partners?
Shopify Partners are the active members of the Shopify Partner program, which allows entrepreneurs to earn money by recommending Shopify to others, creating themes and apps, or simply by posting affiliate links on their website.
You can sign up for the Shopify Partner Program as one of the following:
The “Partner” status comes from entering into a formal contract with Shopify, which is reviewed on an annual basis.
Your earnings depend on the type of activities you’ll perform as a Shopify Partner. Some of the popular activities include:
- Setting up a development store. This is where you’ll use Shopify’s free plan to set up, develop, or theme a store for a user. You’ll get a 20 percent cut from the user’s monthly subscription fee for as long as they remain a customer.
- Generating affiliate referrals. Those approved as Shopify Partners can also share affiliate referral links with potential clients. When a merchant buys a Shopify plan via your referral link, you get a two-month “bounty payment” for the referral, which is equal to the value of the merchant’s subscription fee for each month.
- Developing Shopify apps. You can also create apps and earn 80 percent of the total revenue from their sale price (one-time).
The Shopify Partner Dashboard is the best place to keep track of the different types of revenue you generate as an enrolled partner. You can also use it to keep in sync with themes, apps and stores that you’re creating with Shopify.
Are Shopify Partners and Shopify Plus Partners the Same?
In a word: no.
Shopify Partners mostly deal with small to medium-sized ecommerce businesses.
Shopify Plus Partners, on the other hand, help facilitate high-volume merchants.
However, standard partners can still refer Shopify Plus to their customers and offer their services to Shopify Plus merchants.
Anyone who wants to join the Shopify Plus Partners Community goes through a rigorous application process. Successful applicants get access to a resource database, which gives them a holistic roadmap for growth and prosperity.
While Shopify Plus Partners are likely to generate a higher revenue, they’re unlikely to scale as quickly as the standard Shopify Partners due to more extensive requirements for joining their program.
To learn more about Shopify Plus Partners, click here.
Who Is Considered a Shopify Expert?
Shopify Experts are elite partners who have been carefully examined by the platform itself and found to have successfully demonstrated their ability to represent the Shopify brand.
To be considered a Shopify Expert, you need to have a vast knowledge of the Shopify platform, as well as a proven track record of providing high-quality services in the building and growing of Shopify stores.
Merchants will hire Shopify Experts to help them launch their business or increase their sales. Here are a few of the services listed on the Shopify Expert Marketplace:
- Assistance with visual branding, including the creation of logos
- Assistance with product setup
- Setting up custom domains
- Building or redesigning of online stores
- Setting up sales channels
- Website auditing and sales strategy guidance
- Setting up email campaigns
- Providing social media marketing guidance
Though Shopify Partners and Shopify Experts do similar work and have access to some of the same tools, there is a difference between the two.
Shopify Experts start out as Shopify Partners who have their work reviewed by the platform.
Once Shopify determines that their work meets a certain standard, they may afford them the title of Expert and vouch for them in the Shopify Expert Marketplace.
Now that you understand what Shopify Partners and Shopify Experts are, let’s take a look at what it takes to become one.
How to Become a Shopify Partner
In this digital age, there are many platforms that offer you the opportunity to generate a sustainable passive income.
The Shopify Partner Program is one of them, but you’ll need to put in some time and effort to make it worth your while.
By utilizing your skills as a freelancer, web designer, theme creator, or influencer, you can create an income stream for yourself by simply doing what you love.
And the best part is, it’s absolutely free to join.
There are no start-up or subscription fees, and you can practice on unlimited test stores for as long as you’d like.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll have access to all the necessary training tools straight from your Partner Dashboard.
You’ll also become a part of the global Shopify Partners Community, where members can support each other by sharing tips, asking for help, or just celebrating each other’s success.
So how do you get started? Let’s take a step-by-step look.
Step 1: Go to the Shopify Partner Program Website
On the landing page, you’ll be able to access the Shopify Partners Blog. Here you’ll find tons of helpful articles, guides, and webinars, as well as an Events tab that you can check to find out if there are any Shopify Meetups scheduled in your area.
If you want to find out more about the benefits of becoming a Shopify Partner, you can also click on the Docs tab to access a collection of guides on what exactly the program entails.
Step 2: Enter your email address and click “Join Now”
Then, on the “Create an account” screen, enter your name and choose a strong password, preferably one that’s a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Confirm your password and click the “Create account” button.
Step 3: Verify Your Email Address
Once you’ve created your account, you should receive an email containing a link to verify your email address. This link will only be valid for 24 hours, so be sure to confirm your email address before it expires.
After you’ve clicked on the blue button to confirm your email address, you’ll be redirected to the Shopify accounts screen. Select “Shopify Partners” and then click “Create new partner account”.
Step 4: Enter Your Details
Next, you’ll need to fill in a short form regarding the details of your business. You’ll need to complete all fields except for the ones that are marked “optional”.
After you’ve done that, scroll down to the “Business goals” section and select the option that suits you best. For this demonstration, we chose the option of referring merchants as an affiliate.
If you scroll down further, you’ll get a list of ecommerce platforms.
Here, you can indicate which platforms you are currently using. This will help Shopify develop custom tools and resources that suit you best.
Once you’re done, you can read the Partner Program Agreement by clicking on the embedded link at the bottom of the screen.
Be sure to accept the terms of the agreement by checking the box at the left before clicking the “View your dashboard” button.
Step 5: Say Hello To Your Shopify Dashboard
Welcome to your Shopify Partner Dashboard!
From here, you’ll be able to apply to the various Shopify Partner programs listed in the “Get started” section.
Just select the ones that suit you best, and then click “Apply now.”
A short form will pop up that you’ll need to fill in to explain why you wish to be accepted into the program.
Don’t lose faith if you’re not accepted into the program at first. Instead, take advantage of the various free training tools at your disposal to expand or improve your skill set.
There are loads of Shopify Partner Academy courses you can enroll in, so go ahead and earn your certificate in Business Fundamentals, Product Fundamentals, Theme Development, or App Development to showcase your expertise.
As a Shopify Partner, you’ll have access to all the educational resources that will help you pass the exams. You can take each exam as many times as you’d like as there is no limit on the number of retakes on any of them.
You can also contact Shopify support if you have any questions, or you can call the support team at any time during the day or night. You’ll also be able to ask questions through live chat, straight from your Partner Dashboard.
The Perks of Being a Shopify Partner
As a Shopify Partner, you’ll have exclusive access to deals on various tools that you can use to run and grow your business. Simply go to the “Partner Perks” section in your dashboard and click the “Claim perk” button next to any of the deals that are listed.
How to Become a Shopify Expert
As a Shopify Expert, your earning potential will increase drastically. You’ll be able to offer your services at your own fees, provided that they comply with Shopify restrictions. You’ll also be able to invoice clients directly and receive their payments through the Shopify platform.
Applications to become a Shopify Expert are currently on hold, but once they’re open, you can apply to be featured in the Expert Marketplace if you meet the following criteria:
- You have a Shopify Partner account
- You have proven experience in building and growing at least five Shopify stores
- The landing page on your business website contains the Shopify logo or banner together with your affiliate link
Becoming a Shopify Expert is not as easy as it sounds. You’ll need to work hard to prove yourself to the Shopify Community, which includes fellow Shopify Partners and merchants alike.
The best way to go about this is to focus on a specific area that you’re good at and use the Shopify platform to sharpen your skill set in that specific area. Take advantage of all the training tools and support channels that Shopify provides to expand your knowledge and contribute to the Shopify ecosystem.
Here are a few things you can do to establish a premier Shopify Partner status that will increase your chances of becoming eligible for the Shopify Expert Program:
- Participate in the Shopify Community forum discussions on a regular basis. Be sure to make valuable contributions or post questions that others can benefit from as well.
- Create meaningful, educational content that can be posted on your own personal website or blog, as well as those of third parties. Not only can this help promote your business, it will also benefit other Experts, Partners, and merchants, helping you build trust with potential clients and establish credibility as an expert in your field.
- Get out there in the real world to meet up with clients in person or check out the competition. You can also attend Shopify Meetups to network with fellow Partners and get in touch with potential leads.
- Reach out to other Shopify Partners and build working relationships with them. You can collaborate on projects, brainstorm together, or refer clients to one another whenever one of you are unable to take on a specific project.
- Never stop learning! The more certifications you have, the better. Not only will this build trust with prospective clients, it will also earn you respect from your fellow Shopifolk.
You can find tons of tips on this subject by searching for articles on the Shopify Partners Blog.
The global expansion and constant growth of Shopify presents an incredible opportunity for store owners and entrepreneurs alike.
Aside from creating a store and selling products to millions of audiences, anyone with a good knowledge of Shopify and some skills can apply to become a Shopify Partner.
Overall, Shopify Partners get access to a fantastic range of resources, tools, and features to make money online.
So, if you’ve been looking for a way to grow your income, it might be worth giving Shopify Partner a shot.
And if you manage to earn the elite status of a Shopify Expert, you’ll expose your skill set to a broader world – a world full of opportunities and wealth.
What are your thoughts on Shopify Partners? Let us know by leaving a comment below.