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Growing Your Shopify App With Partnerships

How to create and maintain beneficial partnerships for the long-term
Itay Hartian

Itay Hartian

CEO of Shoffi - Shopify Apps Affiliate Platform

Great partnerships are the ones that lead to a win-win situation. Indeed amazing things can happen when one business finds an opportunity to collaborate with another.

In the Shopify partners ecosystem, there are two main types of businesses:

  • Product developers (Apps, themes) 
  • Service providers (Ecommerce agencies, freelancers)

Both are working to help merchants make the most of their Shopify stores. The potential of product developers and service providers joining forces is vast and can lead to growth for both sides.

Product developers whose product will be recommended or installed to merchants by a service provider will earn new customers who:

  • Trust in their product (Recommended by someone they trust)
  • Less likely to churn (Will make the best use of the product)
  • Fewer support tickets (The service provider is expected to know the app and install it correctly)

On the other side, service providers who partner with a product developer will likely get:

  • Better support (Will make them look better in merchant’s eyes and solve problems faster)
  • Financial benefits (Using an affiliate revenue share program like Shoffi)

Amazing things can happen when one business finds an opportunity to collaborate with another

Finding partners (the right ones!)

When I ran my Shopify agency, I got cold emails from different Shopify apps almost daily. Some were related to our services, and some were out of the blue. I, of course, ended up partnering only with apps that fulfilled the needs of my clients.

As a Shopify app developer, there are few ways to reach potential service providers to partner with. However, it’s essential to look for the right partners and focus on quality over quantity. Here are some ways to find partners:

Your existing customer base

Look at your existing data, like the Shopify Partners dashboard. Try to find stores that are using your app but developed by a service provider, an easy way to identify those is by looking at the store’s email in the Partners dashboard.
You can also try to reach out to the users of your app by adding a CTA button in your app and adding a partner page on your app website.
These users are already using your app and are likely to become partners.

Outreach potential partners

Instead of sending many cold emails, look for mentions of your app in Google, FB communities, YouTube, or any other place you think you might find. If someone mentioned your app, they might be good potential partners.

If you do cold outreach, look for partners specializing in your app’s niche. Search for content that suggests solving the same problem your app is solving, and contact the creators.

Checkout promotions affiliate page
Affiliate program page on the official website of "Checkout Promotions" Shopify app

Maintaining good partners relationship

While finding and connecting with potential partners isn’t that easy, that’s not enough. Keeping them by your side requires some effort as well.

To keep the partnership healthy, make sure you are doing the “obvious.” Like paying your commissions on time or providing priority support if promised. 

It’s better to go even further and be active.
Check in on your partners, and see if they feel like they are getting what was promised. Stay on top of the data, did you notice a partner who did exceptional work this month? Let him know that you appreciate it.

Make your partners feel like they are part of the team, and update them about new features and changes on your app.
You can even ask them what they would like to add/change in the app; their opinion is precious as they are much closer to the end customer.

Make your partners feel like they are part of the team, and update them about new features and changes on your app

Play the long-term game

I recently wrote about how only after three years of growing my eCommerce agency, I was starting to get inquiries from brands I would dream of working with in the beginning.

They reached out to me because some of my previous clients who were happy with our work recommended my agency. It took more than two years to see the returns of giving exceptional service to our first clients and to build trust with them so they will recommend our service to big brands.

You need to find the right partners for your Shopify app who are here to play the long game with you. We can see this clearly in Shoffi’s data so far.
There are apps with many affiliate partners, but the ones who make the most money from their affiliate program are the ones who have few but good partners.
I added a great piece of content by @naval, talking about the long-term game.

Work hard to find, create and maintain meaningful long-term partnerships, and you will find out this is one of the keys to your app growth

We built Shoffi to make partnerships management as easy as possible, but the only one who will find and create the right partnerships for your business is you.

Learn more about the author

Keep on reading:

For Apps

Grow your shopify apps using partnerships

For Affiliates

Promote apps and earn commissions