Shopify Partner Program: How Does It Work?

Shopify Partner Program

Shopify is one of the largest eCommerce platforms in the world. One of the reasons it’s so popular and widely used is because it’s easy to set up and use. With Shopify, you can set up your store without knowing how to code.

Also, Shopify provides its merchants with all the assistance and support they need. But there comes a time when merchants will need personalized support from a real person, hence the need for Shopify Partner Program.

The Shopify Partner Program is an ecosystem of designers, developers, and marketers that use their skills to help Shopify merchants set up and grow their businesses.

So, if you’ve got some serious coding skills, or you can design very well, consider joining the Shopify Partner Program as it will give you the build a passive income stream for yourself.

In this guide, we will show you everything you need to know about the Shopify Partner Program, how it works, and how you can join the program.

Let’s jump right in!

Who are Shopify Partners?

Shopify Partners

Shopify Partners are simply members of the Shopify Partner Program – a broad community of experts in different fields. They are entrepreneurs who have entered into a contract with Shopify to help store owners achieve more success with their Shopify stores. These contracts are typically reviewed on an annual basis.

This broad community includes seven categories of experts: designers, developers, coders, marketers, influencers, photographers, and freelancers who offer very specific services. The services Shopify Partners provide range from building and designing Shopify themes and apps, sharing affiliate links, and recommending Shopify to people, etc.

Shopify partners can earn monthly through any of these three means:

  • Referring new merchants to use Shopify
  • Designing and publishing Shopify apps on the Shopify App Store
  • Designing themes.

Shopify partners can leverage the various available resources on Shopify to increase their earnings. The program provides enough room for partners to experiment with their creativity.

How Does the Shopify Partner Program Work?

The Shopify Partners Program allows partners to earn money by sharing their knowledge and helping merchants with site creation and other management issues. Shopify partners can make money by offering any of the following services.

1. Marketing

Shopify partners who are marketers offer their services to Shopify store owners who need optimized content, streamlined marketing campaigns, etc. Marketers can use their skills and expertise to help Shopify merchants reach a broader target audience using the most effective marketing strategies.

2. Development

Shopify store app development experts create Shopify apps that primarily help store owners improve their store outlook and workflow. These apps help merchants increase their bottom line in the short or long term. Developers can earn as much as 80% of the total revenue Shopify generates by selling their apps to merchants.

3. Photography

Shopify photographers understand the importance of high-quality images to any successful eCommerce business. They offer their photography skills to help Shopify store owners make their products look good and attractive to customers.

4. Design

Shopify designers offer their skills and expertise to help Shopify store owners with design needs. These needs range from store design to graphics and branding. Shopify designers often have to work hand-in-hand with shopify developers on projects like modifying Shopify themes and templates.

5. Affiliate Marketing

Shopify affiliate marketers can share affiliate referral links to get more people to use Shopify. They get paid for every new person that signs up to Shopify through their affiliate link.

How to Become a Shopify Partner

The Shopify Partner program is an excellent choice if you are looking to start a side hustle to generate passive income for yourself. You will, however, have to put in the time and effort to make it work for you.

The Shopify Partner is free to join, and there are no registration or subscription fees required.

You also get to join the Shopify Partners Community, a global community that allows Shopify partners to support one another, get help and collaborate on projects.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to become a Shopify Partner:

Step 1: Join the Shopify Partner Program

To start, go to the Shopify Partner Program page. You should see an empty bar right beside the Join Now button. Type your email address in the space and click the join button.

Shopify Partner Program

You will then be required to fill out a form and enter your password.

Once you have confirmed your password, hit the Create Shopify ID button and wait for your email to be verified.

Step 2: Verify your Email Address

After creating your Shopify ID, Shopify will send a verification link to your email address. You need to act promptly by clicking the verification link because it would expire after 24 hours.

Shopify Partner Program

When you click the link, you will be directed to a page with a Confirm Email button. Once you click this, you will be redirected to another page – the Shopify accounts page. On that page, choose Shopify Partners and then click Create new partner account.

Step 3: Enter Required Information

Next, you have to fill in the required details in the form that pops up. You have to fill all the fields with the needed information except those noted as optional. After doing that, scroll down to the Business Goals section to choose the option that best suits you.

If you scroll further down, you will be presented with a list of the largest eCommerce platforms. You can select the ones you currently use. This helps Shopify customize the tools and resources that best suit your business.

Next, go to the Partner Program Agreement using the embedded link at the bottom of your screen. Agree to the terms by checking the box at the bottom of the page. Then click the View Your Dashboard button to get started.

Step 4: Get Started

On the Shopify Partner dashboard, you can apply to the different Shopify Partner programs available under the Get Started section. Choose the ones that best suit you and hit Apply Now. A short form will appear that requires you to explain why you want to get into the program.

How to become a Shopify Partner

Is the Shopify Partner Program Worth it?

If you ask us, we would say yes! The Shopify Partner Program is worth it. The program comes with many valuable opportunities and support if you decide to become a Shopify partner.

Don’t take our word for it. According to Shopify, one in every three Shopify merchants will need the help of at least one Shopify partner in a space of six months. This means that the program provides a strong market for partners allowing them to augment their earnings and revenue.

There are several other benefits available to members of the Shopify Partner Program. One of them is that Shopify partners have access to unlimited free development stores. This allows you to experiment freely with store development features like functions and themes.

In case you’re stuck at any point, Shopify provides several on-site resources to help partners succeed in the program. These resources include:

  • FAQs and How-to articles to provide basic help on common issues you may face
  • Phone and email support if you have any questions
  • Live chat at any time of the day
  • Access to the Shopify Partner Academy
  • Access to tools like Shopify Polaris

The Shopify Partner Academy offers various free training tools that you can leverage to improve your skills and expertise. You can enroll in Product Fundamentals, Business Fundamentals, App Development, and Theme Development courses. You will be certified as proof of your expertise at the end of any of these courses.

The academy opens up a wide range of opportunities for growth. So, by enrolling in the Shopify Partner Program, you’re able to expand your skill set and client base.

You can learn more about the perks of the Shopify Partners Program on the Shopify Partners Blog.

How Do I Add Partners on Shopify?

The Shopify Partners Program allows you to network and collaborate with other Shopify Partners. To do this, Shopify lets you add partners to work with you on a project.

You can do this by inviting other partners either to work with on your project as an “owner” or a “staff member”. “Owners” have unlimited access to your project, while “staff members” have restricted access that can be controlled by “owners”.

To invite other partners to your project, go to the Team tab on your Partners dashboard. You can then select Invite Owner or Invite Staff Members, then type in their email address and send them an invite.

To request collaborator access from your clients, you can click on the Manage Stores tab on your dashboard and select Add Client Store. Enter the customer’s Shopify store URL, set the appropriate permissions, and include a message for the client. Once the client permits you, you can access their store just by logging in.

How to Become a Shopify Expert

Shopify Experts are typically top partners in the Shopify Partnership Program. They are a category of highly skilled and trusted professionals that actively provide top-rate services to help Shopify merchants get started and grow their business.

How to join Shopify Partner Program

Shopify experts can specialize in Store Setup, Development and Troubleshooting, Visual Content and branding, Marketing and Sales, Content Writing, and Expert Guidance. Shopify experts get to enjoy all the benefits and perks that regular Shopify partners get, and they can significantly increase their earning potential.

Becoming a Shopify expert gives you the freedom to offer your services at your own rates as long as you comply with the restrictions and regulations set by Shopify. You can also send invoices to your clients directly and have them pay through Shopify’s platform.

To become a Shopify expert, there are certain criteria you must meet:

  • You must have a Shopify Partner account
  • You must have shown proficiency in building and running a minimum of five Shopify stores
  • Your business website’s landing page must have the Shopify logo or banner and your affiliate link attached

To apply to the Shopify Expert Marketplace, you’ll need to fill the Experts Marketplace Request Form.

The Experts Marketplace team will then review your application and decide whether to accept you. If the team approves your request, they will contact you to take you through the remaining processes.


With Shopify’s growing popularity and its easy-to-use interface, there are various opportunities for Shopify store owners and entrepreneurs to take advantage of. Besides setting up a Shopify store to sell products to a global audience, there is an increasing demand for people who have Shopify skills.

If you have any relevant skills and a good understanding of how Shopify works, you can apply to become a Shopify Partner. Aside from the additional source of income, it gives you room to grow your business as a freelancer or even an agency.

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