Shopify Collabs: The Definitive Guide to Ecommerce Influencer Collaboration

Shopify Collabs: The Definitive App for Ecommerce Influencer Marketing

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With all of the benefits of influencer marketing, it’s unsurprising that most up and coming ecommerce sites are experimenting with it. In addition, established brands typically have some form of influencer marketing already implemented, such as through affiliate networks.

If you’re not convinced about the importance of influencer marketing, my book The Age of Influence describes it as indispensable if you want a relatively high rate of sales growth. I also have several other articles on my blog about why this marketing modality is so important.

Of course, one of the major drawbacks of influencer marketing is that it can be difficult to build an influencer program. Where do you begin? Where do you go to look for influencers? How do you manage the relationships?

Fortunately, if you have a Shopify website, then building your program is actually much easier. Specifically, Shopify Collabs helps these marketing programs work as smoothly as possible.

What is Shopify Collabs?

what is a _____?

Shopify Collabs is an app designed to connect creators with Shopify store owners for influencer marketing. You can use it with several social networks and payment programs, such as Instagram, TikTok, and PayPal. That way, creators and businesses alike have a relatively friction-free way that they can work together.

Shopify Collabs has a massive creator marketplace where brands can choose from millions of creators to collaborate with. For brands, it’s easy to find willing influencers. While I don’t recommend using this platform as the only way to build out your influencer network, if you already own a Shopify store, it’s an incredibly valuable tool that might just be the singular tool you need for your influencer marketing.

Merchants can easily partner with niche creators and get more eyes on their brands, while Collabs does the heavy lifting to manage partnerships and track performance. In other words, Shopify Collabs works well for both parties — content creators can find opportunities more easily, while brands can avoid many of the headaches involved with influencer marketing. With that said, a degree of due diligence is often advisable. You don’t want to partner with an entity that’s not appropriate for your brand in some way.

How Does Shopify Collabs Work?

YouTube video

Like many other parts of Shopify, the Collabs app is very easy to use. However, there’s still a little bit of a learning curve. For instance, you’ll need to learn how to find the right creatives through some trial and error. Not everything comes together effortlessly.

With that said, getting started is very easy. First, you’ll log in to your Shopify account and navigate to the App Store. Then, locate the Collabs app. Make sure you have the right one because there are other third-party apps that help with influencer marketing but aren’t necessarily developed by Shopify.

Next, install Shopify Collabs from the App Store. This is easy, as it only takes a few clicks. Create an account by accepting the terms and conditions in the Settings panel. Congratulations, you now are ready to start searching for opportunities.

How to Find Influencers to Collaborate With

Influencer marketing with Shopify Collabs has both an outbound and inbound aspect to it.

Outbound Influencer Marketing: Influencer Search and Discovery

influencer search using Shopify Collabs

Shopify Collabs has a robust influencer search feature as pictured above that rivals robust influencer search tools. You can search using the following parameters:

  • Social Network: Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Blog
  • Search by keyword, hashtag, location, or username
  • Follower Count
  • Average Engagement
  • Average Likes
  • Average Views

For every creator you can click through and find the following information. An email address for you to use to contact can often be found in the Info tab.

Shopify Collabs influencer profile and detailed information

Inbound Influencer Marketing: Create an Affiliate Program for Influencers to Apply to

Shopify Collabs affiliate marketing application page

Shopify Collabs also allows you to create a recruitment page that you can add to your website as a Brand Ambassador landing page and recruit influencers who are your customers or website visitors. A convenient thing you can do is, when reaching out to influencers, drop the link to your application page in your DM and then you will find all of the applicants in the Applicant tab section of the influencer search tool.

Further Reading: 19 Best Ways How to Promote Your Shopify Store on Instagram

2 Main Ways to Use Shopify Collabs

Naturally, Shopify Collabs is not like every other influencer marketing tool. Rather, it has its own set of features that set it apart as it is built into the ecommerce CMS that is Shopify. Some of these features are similar to what everyone else does, while others are a bit more unique.

To make it easy for you to get started, I recommend that you use Shopify Collabs for the following two purposes:

Further Reading: Shopify Blogging: 17 Tips to Drive Traffic to Your Shopify Store

1. Product Seeding

product seeding

Simply put, product seeding is the process of sending out samples or freebies that will encourage people to try your products. Technically, putting a fragrance sample into a magazine is an early example of this, and so is handing out perfume vials in the department store. The difference is that in this case you’ll send those freebies to influencers in the hope that they’ll promote your products.

Importantly, Shopify Collabs allows brands to send gifts or samples to influencers. You can get the relevant information from the app itself, and then put in a complementary order through your system. Remember, because Shopify is the backend of your e-commerce website, it has all the tools you need to track orders and inventory.

If you want, you can program the app to send full-sized product every month. Because the app is an important part of your website, the reduction in inventory is automatically logs. That’ll help reduce situations where items are suddenly unavailable after they’ve been ordered. Similarly, you can Track PR packages through the system. This is true whether your fulfillment center is mailing these or a third-party, like a PR firm.

Finally, you can use Shopify Collabs to create and track discount codes. This is especially important, because a discount code is always input when a code recipient decides to buy something. Without that integration, online ordering with a discount code is much more difficult.

Further Reading: 7 Benefits of Giving Free Products to Influencers

2. Affiliate Marketing

Another use for the Shopify Collabs app is affiliate marketing. Simply put, affiliate marketing is a technique whereby website owners and content creators receive either a discount code or an affiliate link. When consumers use the code or the link, not only do they get appropriate discounts but the merchant also gets a record of where the purchase actually came from.

Depending on the agreement between an influencer and a brand, the affiliate marketing functionality will help brand owners calculate the amount due for influencer services. Likewise, discount code use helps to identify the source of your new customer.

Further Reading: Shopify Affiliate Marketing: How to Leverage Influencers to Grow Your Shopify Store

Another Advantage of Shopify Collabs: Intuitive & Comprehensive Dashboard

Shopify Collabs dashboard for Tiers, Gifts and Conversions

Sadly, many influencer marketing applications are hard to use. Frequently, that’s either because of poor-quality development or the legacy status of an application. As technology improves, there’s an ever-evolving difference between old school collaboration tools and the latest generations of them. Fortunately, Shopify Collabs is a newer product and doesn’t have that problem.

One of the most important aspects of this platform is that Shopify Collabs provides a dashboard to track collaborations and earnings. Then, when it’s time to balance the books or send out tax forms you automatically have the information and will not need to do as much research.

Here’s another reason why your accounting department will love this option — The dashboard stores data, visualize insights, and identifies gaps to improve performance. Therefore, not only do you have high-quality record-keeping already built in, but the information is thorough enough that you can determine where you’re missing opportunities. It really helps you keep track of the competition.

Finally, detailed analytics helps you to reward the best high-performing affiliates. Send them an extra freebie if you want, or maybe some corporate swag. Some companies will even reward top performance You never know what small gestures can help improve relationships.

Further Reading: How to Ace Shopify Marketing in 2024: 5 Best Strategies to Try

How Can You Start Using Shopify Collabs?

Shopify Collabs hero image from Shopify
Source

Any time that you talk about collaborations or influencer marketing, it’s easy to focus too much on the administrative aspects of a campaign. While it’s always important to follow a budget and work with creators who are good for your company, there are still a few steps that you’ll want to do and thereby maximize the effectiveness of Shopify Collabs.

Therefore, here’s a brief overview of how you can properly use this Powerful plug-in.

First, Install the Shopify Collabs app from the App Store. In other words, don’t choose a third-party site. Sometimes the versions on these websites are pirated works, or they might host malware. When you get the plug-in directly from Shopify, however, you can be sure that it’s genuine. After that, you only need to be concerned about who you do business with.

Next, sign up for an account. As a Shopify user, you’re already familiar with the format at large. Better yet, the app is largely self-explanatory. You don’t have to worry about messing up your account because Shopify is so easy to use.

Third, be sure to keep your profile information up to date. Not only do people like to buy from people, but potential collaborators may prefer that simple substitute to manual record-keeping. About all you have to do is reconcile your payment card account.

Speaking of payment, our fourth point is that you need to set up PayPal Payouts. If someone needs medical assistance, they can easily get help for themselves and any injured passengers. Likewise, if a toy breaks in transit, then the cost of another one should also be covered. By using these analytics tools you’ll be able to disrupt any potentially fraudulent activity

Further Reading: Shopify SEO Checklist: 11+ SEO Tasks to Increase Store Sales without Paid Ads

Conclusion

There’s little question that the Shopify Collabs application can help increase your company’s sales numbers. However, unlike many of the older and better-established apps, you can monitor almost every aspect of these transactions without ever performing a lot of manual tasks. Therefore, sales lead generated this way are often better quality than litigants who want to do the bare minimum.

Shopify Collabs is an absolute no-brainer if you are a Shopify customer, and if you are an ecommerce store not using Shopify but want to streamline your influencer marketing, it might be reason enough to move over to Shopify.

Further Reading: 15 Important Ecommerce Tools You Need to Know in 2024

Hero Photo by hookle.app on Unsplash

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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