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Join Shopify Partner Ecosystem: The Only Guide You Need

Have you know that Shopify’s thriving employment ecosystem extends far beyond the company’s own staff with over 700,000 app developers, designers, and dedicated Shopify partners. It’s no surprise that they’ve collectively contributed to a staggering $12.5 billion in revenue for businesses servicing Shopify sellers.

This remarkable synergy is not only a testament to the power of collaboration but also a testament to the vast opportunities that await those who become a part of this dynamic network. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the world of Shopify partners and uncover the key roles they play in shaping the success of countless online stores.

Let’s begin!

Table of Content

What Are Shopify Partners And What Do They Do?

Shopify Partners are individuals or companies who work closely with Shopify to provide various services related to the Shopify platform. They play a crucial role in the Shopify ecosystem by offering expertise, tools, and services to help businesses set up, customize, and optimize their online stores.

What Are Shopify Partners And What Do They Do

The key roles and services that Shopify Partners offer include:

  • Development and Design: Many Shopify Partners are web developers and designers who specialize in creating custom themes and templates for Shopify stores. They can help businesses create a unique and visually appealing online presence.
  • App Development: Shopify allows for the integration of third-party apps to enhance the functionality of an online store. Shopify Partners can develop these apps to provide additional features and capabilities.
  • Store Setup and Configuration: Shopify Partners can assist businesses in setting up their online stores, configuring settings, and ensuring everything is ready for launch.
  • Migration Services: If a business is transitioning from another e-commerce platform to Shopify, Partners can help migrate data, products, and settings to the new store.
  • Marketing and SEO: Some Partners offer digital marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and social media marketing services to help businesses drive traffic and increase sales.
  • Training and Support: Shopify Partners may provide training and ongoing support to businesses to help them use the platform effectively.
  • Consulting and Strategy: They can offer strategic advice on how to optimize an e-commerce business, improve user experience, and increase sales.
  • Theme Customization: Partners can tailor existing Shopify themes to align with a business’s branding and requirements.
  • Photography and Content Creation: Some Partners offer photography and content creation services to help businesses showcase their products effectively.
  • E-commerce Solutions: Shopify Partners may also develop custom e-commerce solutions and features tailored to specific business needs.

4 Levels of Shopify Partnerships

Shopify Partnerships

Registered Partner

This tier serves as the foundational stage for newly enrolled partners within the Shopify Partner Program. Registered Partners gain access to essential resources, including the Shopify Partner Dashboard, and are empowered to create development stores for hands-on experience and experimentation.

Certified Partner

Attaining Certified Partner status signifies a significant milestone in a partner’s journey. Partners reaching this level have demonstrated their proficiency in working with Shopify by meeting specific criteria. Certified Partners enjoy a range of benefits, such as priority access to cutting-edge features, enrollment in advanced Shopify education courses, and inclusion in the prestigious Shopify Experts directory, enhancing their visibility and credibility within the Shopify ecosystem.

Affiliate Partner

The Affiliate Partner designation is tailored for partners who excel in promoting Shopify to their respective audiences. These partners function as affiliates, leveraging tracking links and performance reports to effectively monitor the activity and conversions of their referred users. Affiliate Partners earn commissions for successfully introducing new clients to the Shopify platform.

Shopify Plus Partner

The Shopify Plus Partner tier is exclusively designed for partners specializing in enterprise-level solutions and possessing a proven track record of success in catering to larger, high-growth merchants. Shopify Plus Partners benefit from a suite of advanced tools, specialized training, and dedicated support, specifically tailored to enable them to undertake and scale complex, high-impact e-commerce projects.

8 Key Advantages of Joining the Shopify Partners Program

Joining the Shopify Partner program is a common goal of many developers and Shopify service providers around the world. This program has opened up business expansion opportunities for many Shopify agencies and helped them participate in Shopify’s potential network. The main benefits you can receive by becoming a Shopify partner include:

  • Diverse Revenue Streams: Shopify Partners can earn income through various avenues, including referral commissions, custom theme, and app development fees, and revenue sharing from app sales on the Shopify App Store. This diversity of income sources provides financial stability and growth potential.

Diverse Revenue Streams

  • Access to Shopify Tools: Partners gain access to a suite of specialized tools and resources, such as the Shopify Partner Dashboard, development stores, and access to Shopify’s API. These tools enable them to create, manage, and optimize online stores more effectively.
  • Enhanced Visibility: Certified Partners are prominently listed in the Shopify Experts directory. This listing increases their visibility to businesses seeking Shopify-related services, leading to a higher likelihood of attracting new clients.
  • Advanced Training and Certification: The program offers advanced training courses and certification programs, allowing partners to deepen their expertise in areas like theme development, app development, and e-commerce strategy. This expertise equips them to provide high-quality, specialized services to clients.
  • Early Access to Features: Certified and Shopify Plus Partners enjoy early access to Shopify’s latest features and updates. This early access enables partners to stay ahead of the competition and offer cutting-edge solutions to clients.
  • Priority Support: Certified and Shopify Plus Partners receive priority support, which means faster response times and dedicated assistance. This support is invaluable when partners encounter technical or business challenges while working on client projects.
  • Global Client Base: Shopify is used by businesses worldwide, giving partners the opportunity to work with clients from various geographic regions and industries. This global reach opens doors to diverse and potentially lucrative projects.
  • Community Collaboration: Partners can join a thriving community of fellow Shopify Partners, fostering collaboration, knowledge sharing, and networking. This community aspect enables partners to learn from others, share best practices, and potentially collaborate on projects, expanding their professional network.

How Does the Shopify Partner Program Work?

The Shopify Partner Program is designed to foster collaboration between Shopify, its partners, and other organizations or individuals involved in the e-commerce ecosystem. 

The main tasks implemented by this program include:

  • Partner Enrollment: The program begins with individuals or businesses applying to become Shopify Partners. These applicants typically possess skills and expertise in areas like web development, design, marketing, or e-commerce.
  • Access to Partner Resources: Upon acceptance into the program, partners gain access to a dedicated platform known as the Shopify Partner Dashboard. This platform serves as a central hub for managing client projects, accessing educational materials, and tracking earnings.
  • Education and Skill Enhancement: Shopify provides partners with resources for advancing their skills and knowledge. These resources include training programs and educational materials that empower partners to become experts in various aspects of e-commerce.

Education and Skill Enhancement

  • Collaborative Efforts: Collaboration is a key aspect of the program. Partners often collaborate with one another and with Shopify on various projects. This collaboration can involve co-developing solutions, sharing expertise, and participating in joint ventures.
  • Certification: Ambitious partners can work towards becoming Certified Partners by meeting specific criteria and demonstrating their proficiency with Shopify. Certification enhances their reputation and credibility.
  • Business Scaling: Partners have the opportunity to expand their businesses by taking on more clients, offering a wider array of services, and diversifying their areas of specialization.

How to Find a Shopify Partner?

Finding a Shopify Partner, such as a web developer, designer, marketer, or e-commerce specialist, to help you with your Shopify store can be a crucial step in ensuring your online business’s success. You may refer to these recommendations to find a Shopify Partner:

  • Shopify Experts Directory: The most direct way to find a Shopify Partner is through the Shopify Experts directory, which lists certified Shopify Partners and agencies. You can access this directory on the Shopify website.
  • Online Freelance Platforms: Websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr often have freelancers and agencies specializing in Shopify services. You can browse profiles, read reviews, and hire Shopify experts directly from these platforms.
  • Social Media and Forums: Platforms like LinkedIn, Reddit, and e-commerce forums may have groups or discussions where you can ask for recommendations or find Shopify Partners who are active in those communities.
  • Shopify Meetups and Events: Attend local or virtual Shopify meetups, conferences, and events. These gatherings often attract Shopify Partners who can showcase their expertise and services.
  • Shopify Community Forum: The Shopify Community Forum has a dedicated section for merchants seeking services. You can post your requirements and receive responses from potential Shopify Partners.

Shopify Community Forum

  • Shopify Plus Partners: If you are running a larger or high-growth e-commerce business, consider reaching out to Shopify Plus Partners, who specialize in enterprise-level solutions. These Partners have extensive experience in handling complex projects.
  • Agency Websites and Portfolios: If you have specific Shopify agencies or professionals in mind, visit their websites to view their portfolios and client testimonials. This can give you a sense of their work quality and expertise.

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How to Become a Shopify Partner?

Becoming a Shopify Partner is a straightforward process that allows individuals or companies to collaborate with Shopify and offer services to e-commerce businesses. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide on how to become a Shopify Partner:

Step 1: Sign Up for a Shopify Account

If you don’t already have one, you need to sign up for a Shopify account. Go to the Shopify website (https://www.shopify.com/) and click on the “Get started” button. You’ll need to provide your email address, password, and store name.

Sign Up for a Shopify Account

Step 2: Apply to Become a Partner

To apply to become a Shopify Partner, go to the Shopify Partners website and click on the “Join now” button. You will be prompted to log in with your Shopify account credentials.

Apply to Become a Partner

Step 3: Complete Your Partner Profile

Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be asked to complete your Partner profile. Provide information about yourself or your company, including your name, contact details, and the services you offer. Be thorough and accurate in your profile as this information will be used to assess your eligibility.

Step 4: Accept the Partner Program Agreement

Read and accept the Shopify Partner Program Agreement. This agreement outlines the terms and conditions of the program, so make sure you understand and agree to the terms before proceeding.

Step 5: Choose Your Partner Type

Shopify offers different partner types, including Affiliate, Shopify Partner, and Shopify Plus Partner. Choose the partner type that best suits your business goals and expertise.

  • Affiliate Partner: If you want to earn commissions by referring clients to Shopify.
  • Shopify Partner: If you plan to provide a range of services, such as theme development, app development, and store setup.
  • Shopify Plus Partner: If you specialize in working with larger enterprise-level clients and complex projects.

Step 6: Wait for Approval

After completing the application and agreeing to the terms, Shopify will review your application. This process can take a few days. You will receive an email notification once your application is approved and you can access the Shopify partners home page.

Wait for Approval

Step 7: Access Partner Resources

Once approved, you will gain access to the Shopify Partner Dashboard, where you can explore resources, access educational materials, create development stores, and manage your client projects.

Step 8: Build Your Expertise

To excel as a Shopify Partner, consider taking advantage of the advanced training and resources provided by Shopify. These resources can help you develop your skills in areas such as theme development, app creation, and digital marketing.

Step 9: Find Clients and Start Earning

Start actively seeking clients who need Shopify-related services. You can use your expertise to assist them with store setup, customization, and optimization. Depending on your partner type, you can earn revenue through referral commissions, service fees, or app revenue sharing.

How Can Shopify Partners Earn?

How Can Shopify Partner Earn

Shopify Partners can earn income through various channels by offering services and expertise to Shopify merchants. Here are some of the primary ways Shopify Partners can generate revenue:

Referral Commissions

Shopify Partners can earn referral commissions by referring new merchants to Shopify. When a referred merchant signs up for a paid Shopify plan through the Partner’s unique referral link, the Partner receives a commission. The commission amount varies depending on the merchant’s plan.

Service Fees

Many Shopify Partners offer a range of services to Shopify merchants, including:

Theme Development: Partners can create custom Shopify themes to enhance the look and functionality of a merchant’s online store.

  • App Development: Some Partners develop custom apps that extend the capabilities of Shopify stores.
  • Store Setup: Partners can assist merchants in setting up their Shopify stores, configuring settings, and launching their e-commerce businesses.
  • Digital Marketing: Partners may provide digital marketing services such as SEO, email marketing, and social media marketing to drive traffic and increase sales.
  • E-commerce Consulting: Partners can offer strategic guidance and consulting services to help merchants optimize their online businesses.

App Revenue Sharing

If a Shopify Partner develops and publishes apps on the Shopify App Store, they can earn revenue through the sale of those apps. Shopify shares a portion of the app’s subscription fees or one-time charges with the app developer.

Theme Sales

Shopify Partners who create custom themes can sell those themes to Shopify merchants through the Shopify Theme Store. Partners receive a portion of the revenue generated from theme sales.

Retainer Agreements

Some Partners enter into retainer agreements with Shopify merchants, offering ongoing support and maintenance services for a monthly fee. This can include regular updates, troubleshooting, and assistance with store management.

Subscription Models

Shopify Partners may create subscription-based services or apps, charging merchants a recurring fee for access to premium features or ongoing support.

Revenue from Custom Solutions

Partners who specialize in creating complex, customized e-commerce solutions for larger enterprises can earn substantial fees for their expertise and development work.

How Much Can Shopify Partners Earn?

Shopify Partners can earn revenue through various avenues, and the earnings vary depending on the specific opportunity. Here’s a breakdown of how Shopify Partners can earn

Development Store Referrals

Partners can earn recurring commissions by referring new Shopify merchants to specific store plans.

  • For Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify plans, Partners earn a recurring commission equal to 20% of the merchant’s monthly subscription fee. This commission continues as long as the merchant remains a paying Shopify customer and the Partner remains active.
  • Shopify Plus Partners can earn a recurring commission equal to 20% of the Plus merchant’s monthly base platform fee for each net new merchant referred through a Shopify Plus deal.

Shopify Plus Referrals

Partners can earn recurring commissions from Shopify Plus referrals. The commission is 20% of the Plus merchant’s monthly base platform fee on the billing store for all new Plus deals closed after February 23, 2023.

Referrals can be made by filling out the Shopify Plus lead referral form in the Partner Dashboard or by performing a Partner-assisted Plus auto-upgrade.

Commissions are paid monthly as long as the Plus merchant remains a Shopify Plus merchant in good standing and the Partner remains active.

Shopify Apps

Partners can earn revenue by creating and selling apps on the Shopify App Store. They earn 100% of the total revenue from the one-time sale price or recurring subscription fees on the first $1,000,000 USD in revenue.

On revenue over $1,000,000 USD, Partners earn 85% of the total revenue.

earn revenue by creating and selling apps

Shopify Themes

Partners can earn revenue by selling themes through the Shopify Theme Store. The rate for their first $1 million earning is 100% of the total revenue from themes sold.

On revenue over $1,000,000 USD, Partners earn 85% of the total revenue.

Experts Marketplace

Shopify Partners can earn revenue through the Experts Marketplace (now replaced by the Shopify Partner Directory). Partners receive 90% of the total revenue collected for each job originating through the marketplace, while Shopify retains 10%.

Things to Consider Before Applying for the Shopify Partner Program

Before applying for the Shopify Partner Program, there are several important factors and considerations to keep in mind to ensure that this program aligns with your goals and capabilities. Here are key things to consider:

  • Skills and Expertise: Assess your skills and expertise in areas like web development, design, digital marketing, e-commerce strategy, or app development. The Shopify Partner Program is best suited for individuals or agencies with relevant skills.
  • Business Goals: Define your business goals and objectives. Determine whether becoming a Shopify Partner aligns with your long-term business strategy. Consider whether you want to offer services, develop apps, or focus on referrals.

Business Goals

  • Partner Type: Choose the partner type that suits your business model and goals:
    • Affiliate Partner: If you want to primarily earn commissions by referring new Shopify merchants.
    • Shopify Partner: If you plan to offer a range of services to Shopify merchants, such as theme development, app creation, or digital marketing.
    • Shopify Plus Partner: If you specialize in enterprise-level solutions and wish to work with larger clients.
  • Portfolio and Experience: Review your portfolio and past experience in relevant fields. Having a strong portfolio can help you attract clients and demonstrate your expertise.
  • Program Benefits: Understand the benefits offered by the Shopify Partner Program, such as access to the Partner Dashboard, resources, training, and the ability to create development stores.
  • Commitment and Time Availability: Consider how much time and effort you can commit to the program. Developing and maintaining Shopify stores or apps can be time-intensive.
  • Shopify Policies: Familiarize yourself with Shopify’s terms of service and policies. Ensure that your business practices align with Shopify’s guidelines.
  • Legal and Tax Considerations: Consult with legal and financial professionals to understand any legal requirements or tax implications associated with your partnership with Shopify.

Final Verdict

Shopify Partners are integral to the success of businesses on the Shopify platform. Their expertise, services, and contributions help merchants create thriving online stores. If you’re considering becoming a Shopify Partner, carefully evaluate your skills and goals to determine if this program is the right fit for you. When approached with dedication and a clear strategy, partnering with Shopify can open doors to a world of opportunities in the e-commerce industry.

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Marketing Manager of Mageplaza. Summer is attracted by new things. She loves writing, travelling and photography. Perceives herself as a part-time gymmer and a full-time dream chaser.
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