Has Shopify Got A New Revenue Stream?

E-commerce giant Shopify has taken its next big step in challenging its competitor Amazon, by pushing into the affiliate marketing space

Ahead of Shopify’s annual Unite developer conference next Tuesday, the e-commerce upstart appears to be expanding its offering into affiliate marketing. 

But what does this mean for Shopify?

Take that Amazon!

Affiliate marketing is an arrangement by which an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals. Shopify is taking its e-commerce business into the space, already signing on popular blogging site, BuzzFeed.

The nascent move from Shopify is designed to offer publishers and retailers looking for an e-commerce partner an alternative to internet retail giants like Amazon and Walmart. Both of these mega businesses have long been criticized for the small portion of sales that they send to websites that direct business their way.

Shopify can take advantage of this criticism by offering a more affordable and equal program. 

Program members, such as BuzzFeed, will be able to include links from their content to direct readers to products from Shopify’s network of more than a million retailers. This initiative will also allow publishers to create their own Shopify-powered online stores if they choose to. This would create a seamless cycle that grants customers the ability to purchase products from retailers in Shopify’s ecosystem without leaving said publisher’s site.

Retailers do not want to be beholden to massive companies such as Amazon or Walmart. In the event that Amazon, for example, should decide to take a bigger cut of sales from referred websites, retailers previously didn’t have much choice but to comply. Now, they’ve got Shopify.

Revenue for the Canadian company rose to $2.9 billion in 2020 amid the pandemic boom in online shopping, and this new initiative could help boost those figures even further. Investors should keep an ear out at next week’s Unite event for any further information on this exciting development.

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