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A Complete Guide on Shopify Partners In 2024

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Last year, retail eCommerce sales passed $5.7 trillion globally. In this large and growing industry, a key player remains, Shopify, with a 20.61% share. To start an online eCommerce business and scale it up, you need the support of the right platform. Shopify is one such eCommerce platform trusted by over 2.57 million stores.

Even then, new and aspiring eCommerce store owners might need additional support in building and optimizing their stores. This is where the Shopify Partners program comes into play. As a Shopify partner, you can build a thriving business by supporting these merchants in powering their business.

If you have been wondering how to become a Shopify Partner, whether it is meant for you, and what the program's structure is, this is the blog for you.

What is the Shopify Partners Program?

What is Shopify Partner program?

The Shopify Partners Program is a platform where professionals like developers, designers, marketers, affiliates, and consultants can help merchants build and grow their online stores. In short, this program provides tools, resources, and support to create customized solutions for merchants and partners to increase their earnings through revenue.

The Shopify Partners Program is suitable for global enterprises, startups, and entrepreneurs with the necessary skills to support merchants and help them build and scale their businesses.

In this program, you can partner with Shopify in the following ways:

  • Agency Partners

In this partnership, you earn revenue by referring clients to Shopify. You also get unlimited access to Shopify's website development environment for designing, testing, and building stores on the platform.

  • App Partners

You can develop your own app or theme and launch it on the Shopify Apps or Themes store. This way, your product gets exposed to millions of Shopify merchants, giving you plenty of chances to earn revenue.

  • Consulting Partners

Work as a consulting partner and enhance your consulting and implementation skills to improve business operations and boost sales.

  • Technology Partners

Create software connections and apps using Shopify APIs to enhance operations and customer experiences for shared clients.

Shopify Partners vs. Shopify Plus Partners: Is It the Same?

Shopify Partners vs. Shopify Plus Partners: Is It the Same?

If you have come across Shopify Plus Partners and are wondering if it is the same as the regular Shopify Partners, then no. Shopify Plus Partners are agencies and developers that Shopify itself has vetted and approved to work with Shopify Plus merchants. These merchants are typically high-growth businesses that need more complex solutions than what the basic Shopify plan offers.

On the other hand, a Shopify Partner works with a wider range of clients, including small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). They offer services including basic store setup, theme customization, app development, and marketing support.

The process and application to become a Shopify Partner is less rigorous than that of Shopify Plus Partners.

Start a free trial and enjoy 3 months of Shopify for $1/month
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Who is a Shopify Expert?

Who is a Shopify Expert?

If you want to work with Shopify supporting merchants and have been on the lookout for suitable opportunities, it's likely that you must have come across all these terms, such as the Partners program, Plus Partners, Shopify Experts, etc. We already discussed the differences between Partners and Plus Partners in the above section. So, who is a Shopify Expert?

A Shopify Expert is a trusted professional (marketers, developers, designers, etc.) with deep knowledge to help store owners set up, customize, and optimize their stores. This is not a separate program. Since 2023, the Experts Marketplace has been transitioned to the Shopify Partner Directory. This means that being part of the Partners program and directory can help you work with businesses as a Shopify Expert.

There's no formal Shopify Expert program, but Shopify offers resources and certifications to showcase expertise. Experts typically have experience in:

  • Store Setup: Guiding businesses through launching their Shopify store, including theme selection, payment gateways, and shipping.
  • Design & Customization: Optimizing the store's look and feel to enhance user experience and brand identity.
  • Marketing & Strategy: Helping businesses develop strategies to attract customers and boost sales through the Shopify platform.

Read more: Top 3 Main Shopify Services and Trusted Providers for your Store

Shopify Affiliate Program vs. Shopify Development Partners Program: What's the Difference?

Shopify Affiliate Program vs. Shopify Development Partners Program: What's the Difference?

Both Shopify Affiliate and Partners programs cater to different skill sets and goals. Let's try to understand what makes these two different from each other:

Target Audience:

  • Affiliate Program: Ideal for content creators, influencers, and entrepreneurs who can promote Shopify to their audience.
  • Development Partner Program: Targets designers, developers, and agencies with expertise in building and customizing Shopify stores.

Services Offered:

  • Affiliate Program: Promote Shopify through content and earn commissions for referred users who sign up for paid plans.
  • Development Partner Program: Build themes, and apps, and offer development services to Shopify merchants. Partners can also earn recurring revenue through app subscriptions or project fees.

Pricing/Cost:

  • Affiliate Program: Free to join. You earn commissions based on referrals (percentage of the referred merchant's monthly Shopify plan).
  • Development Partner Program: Free to join, but fees are associated with publishing apps on the Shopify App Store. You can build development stores for free, and once done, you can transfer them to your client. When the client moves to a paid plan, Shopify pays you a 20% commission. If you are a Shopify Expert, you can charge by the hour or on a project basis and list them down in the directory.

Ultimately, the Affiliate Program could be a good fit if your goal is to make money through affiliate partnerships and have a strong online presence and audience interested in eCommerce.

On the flip side, if you possess development skills or design expertise, the Partner Program offers the potential for ongoing revenue through apps or client work.

Why Become a Shopify Partner in 2024?

Why Become a Shopify Partner in 2024?

Source: Canva

eCommerce is growing exponentially, and users are expected to reach 3.2 billion by 2029. This means more businesses will rush online, creating a prime opportunity for Shopify Partners, letting them tap into this goldmine. So, here's why joining in 2024 makes perfect sense:

  • High Earning Potential: You earn a 20% commission on referred merchants' monthly fees. With a growing pool of merchants, your earning potential is significant. Moreover, the earnings are even higher if you sell apps or themes.
  • Become an eCommerce Authority: By joining the Shopify Partners program, you can access the exclusive Shopify Partner Academy to learn more about the platform and advance your skills. You can even take up a certification course besides the foundational courses. The best part is indeed the Shopify Plus Partner courses, which you can take to cater to Plus merchants.
  • Grow Your Business: Reach millions of potential clients! The program connects you with Shopify users in 175 countries, fueling your business growth. You can also engage with other partners virtually or through in-person events forums and groups.
  • Access to Exclusive Resources: Partners get insider tips, priority support, updates on upcoming features, etc., helping you grow professionally while amplifying your income.

Quick read: 8 Types of Shopify Development Services and Top 11 Company Examples

How to Become a Shopify Partner?

There is no shortage of opportunities for skilled individuals in this digital world. While most platforms charge a certain fee for experts to tap into their user base, Shopify's Partner program is 100% free. This makes it the perfect side hustle or passive income source you can explore. And starting your journey in the program is nothing but a walk in the park. Here are the steps you must follow to create your account and start working as a Shopify Partner.

Step 1: Visit the Shopify Partners Program's page.

Visit the Shopify Partners Program's page.

Visit www.shopify.com/partners. This is the landing page where you can sign up for the program.

Shopify Partner Program has a dedicated blog page.

You can also explore the blog section, which has many informative articles, guides, and other information on different aspects of Shopify's eCommerce business. The "Community" section allows you to engage with other partners on various subjects, participate in discussions, answer existing queries, ask your own questions, etc. You can also see scheduled virtual and offline events under the "Events" tab.

Shopify Academy offers certification programs and courses for Shopify Partners.

You can also find "Shopify Academy" on the same page. Based on your skills and expertise, you pick and choose the courses of your choice and attend them to upskill.

Start a free trial and enjoy 3 months of Shopify for $1/month
Trusted by over 2,000,000 businesses worldwide

Step 2: Join the Community and Start Your Account Creation

On the home page of the Partners program, you will see the "Join Now" button, where you can enter your email address.

How to create a Shopify Partner account?

This initiates the account creation process. Once you enter your email, it will likely redirect you to Google. Here, you need to enter your email address again (if it doesn't appear automatically) and choose strong password security by incorporating a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Double-check your password for accuracy before confirming it and clicking "Create Account."

Step 3: Create Your Shopify Partners Account

Create your Shopify partners account

Once you have created an account, you can create a Shopify Partner account as in the image above. Once you click on it, you can choose the reason for creating the account. For instance, if you want to be a Shopify Partner to create and sell apps, you can choose that option.

Why do you need to use Shopify Partners?

When selecting, click on "Next" to move forward. Choose the location of your business, and in the next step, fill in all your business-related information, such as your email address, the registered address of your business, etc. Once you have completed all the steps, you will arrive in the Shopify Partners dashboard.

click on "Next" to move forward

Step 4: Verify Your Email Address

Verify your business email address

On your dashboard, you will see a notification that your business email address has been verified. You would have already received a verification email from Shopify, but if you haven't, you can click on "Resend verification email," and you'll get another email.

verification email from Shopify Partners

The verification link expires within 24 hours, so ensure you click on it within that timeframe. Once confirmed, you'll be redirected to your dashboard.

Step 5: Welcome to Your Shopify Partner Dashboard

Shopify Partner dashboard

Congratulations! You've successfully navigated the account creation process and are now all ready to explore the Shopify Partner Dashboard. Remember, the dashboard will be tailored to your business choice (step 3). This personalized dashboard serves as your command center, providing access to many features and opportunities.

Shopify partner dashboard

On your right corner, you will be able to see some of the latest features introduced by Shopify, and you can explore them to learn how to best use them to your advantage. For this demo, we have chosen the business goal of creating and selling apps; you can see the pop-up on top talking about the same. You can click on it to learn more.

Explore all the sections of your dashboard thoroughly. If you want to create a new development store or add an existing one, you can do so by clicking "Add new store."

Step 6: Leverage the Free Training Tools

Free support docs, product docs, etc are available on your Partner dashboard.

The Shopify Partner program enables you to become a leading eCommerce authority with its extensive library of free training tools. Enroll in the comprehensive courses the Shopify Partner Academy offers and aim for certificates in areas like Business Fundamentals, Product Fundamentals, Theme Development, or App Development. Earning these certifications showcases your expertise and boosts your credibility. The best part? You can take advantage of unlimited exams and retakes, ensuring you master the material at your own pace.

Before joining the Partners program, it is essential to consider the possible challenges that you might face.

For instance,

  • The Partner landscape is vast, so standing out requires strategic effort.
  • Time and resources are needed to build your skills and build a portfolio.
  • Income can vary depending on project volume and client retention

Don’t forget to do your own research and make the best use of the resources in the program for your business's success.

Shopify Partners Program Success Stories

Shopify Partners program had indeed an immense success and fueled the growth of many entrepreneurs, agencies, and startups. Some of the most remarkable success stories include:

Triciclo

Triciclo is a Shopify Plus Partner

Triciclo, a Mexican social media agency, leveraged the Shopify Partner Program to transform into a leading eCommerce agency. They learned about the Shopify platform, built a client base, and now enjoy booming sales and industry recognition.

SuperLemon

SuperLemon is a Shopify app.

Preetam and Sankalp, founders of the SuperLemon app a WhatsApp plugin for Shopify, leveraged the Shopify Partners Program and the platform's resources and vast app marketplace to create a popular WhatsApp plugin for Shopify stores. Shopify's support and ethical practices helped them thrive.

Is the Shopify Partners Program Really Worth It?

Is the Shopify Partner Program a golden ticket to success? Maybe. It offers a valuable toolkit – resources, a massive app marketplace, and the potential for recurring income. However, competition is fierce, initial investment is required, and your success hinges on Shopify's continued growth. The verdict? The program can be for you if you possess eCommerce expertise and a hustler's spirit. Just be prepared for challenges and a commitment to lifelong learning.

Explore more, check outShopify Marketplace: Everything You Need to Know to Build an Online Marketplace

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