If you run a WooCommerce store you most likely spend a lot of your time wondering how you could generate more sales, one way to do it would be to get other people to send customers to your store. Whilst this can be done by providing an amazing service and relying on word of mouth you might get more people shopping at your store if you monetized your recommendation/referral process.
Luckily the affiliate model, whereby you give people who recommend your store a cut of any profits made from sales they refer is very advanced with some stores such as Amazon earning millions in revenue via affiliates.
But how can you add affiliate functionality to your WooCommerce store? Well, it can be added quickly and easily with the help of a number of plug-ins and services, in this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best options on the market below.
Affiliate WP is WordPress plugin so it is not WooCommerce specific, it does boast full WooCommerce integration though. It can be downloaded directly from the Affiliate WP website.
The plugin does not have a free version, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee available.
On installing the plugin an affiliate area is immediately added to your shop, the affiliate area allows affiliates to sign and view reports. The plugin also comes with a ready-built form to allow affiliates to sign-up. The plugin allows the form to be shown or hidden so you can only turn the form on when you’re ready to sign-up affiliates to your store. It is also possible to place the registration anywhere in your shop by using a shortcode.
The plugin provides full reporting functionality, affiliates are able to see the sales they have generated in real-time and there are also a number of graphical reports.
The plugin provides an easy to use interface to generate links, as you can see from the screenshot below
Buying the plugin gives the user access to an integrated payment service, affiliates are able to sign up to the service from inside the plugin and then all payments are handled by the service, this removes the need to juggle payment methods and would prove a significant time saver if you are dealing with a large number of affiliates.
As the plugin is specifically built for WordPress/WooCommerce then all of the affiliate functionality is built into your store, there is no need to deal with third-party websites.
If you want to find out more about the plugin then Iconic provides a comprehensive walkthrough video, a demo and a page that fully lists all of the features of the product.
You can view the latest prices for the Affiliate WP plugin here.
ReferralCandy is a SaaS affiliate platform that was originally designed for Shopify but can now be fully integrated with WooCommerce via a plugin. You can find more details on the ReferralCandy website.
If you are looking for a quick affiliate solution that does not require a great deal of set-up then it would definitely be worth your while taking a look at ReferrralCandy.
ReferrralCandy works by prompting the user to recommend your store or service to their friends and associates once they have made a purchase, it is possible to set-up discounts and offers that appeal your customers and the people they are going to refer, e.g. a 20% of coupon for the person being referred and a 15% cut of the sale for the new affiliate.
ReferrralCandy handles all payouts via PayPal so your affiliates will need to have a PayPal account in order to receive their commissions. ReferallCandy calculates the amount due to your affiliates which the store owner then pays (plus any handling fees) along with their monthly subscription, ReferrralCandy then sends the money on to the relevant affiliates. As a store owner, you obviously benefit from the extra profit that the affiliate sales generate, but must budget for any commissions due.
If you want to find out more about the service/plugin then ReferrralCandy provides a comprehensive list of all the product features, a and full documentation for the product.
The service is charged on a monthly basis, the fee includes 24/7 telephone support, the ability to sign up an unlimited number of affiliates and automatic fraud protection.
You can view the latest prices ReferrralCandy and set-up a thirty-day free trial here.
Yith Woocommerce Affiliates
The Yith Woocommerce Affiliates plugin can be downloaded from the Yith website, the plugin is available in free and premium versions.
The free version of the plugin provides the ability to signup affiliates, reporting functionality and all of the functionality required to process affiliates sales and payments. If you wanted to add affiliates functionality to your store on a trial basis then the free version of this plugin would be a good choice.
Paying for the premium version of the plugin means you have access to more reports, more reports are also available to the end-user with the premium version of the plugin.
The premium version of the plugin also provides much more functionality around payments, whist payments can only be processed via PayPal with the standard version of the plugin the premium version allows payments via a number of different providers. It also allows affiliates to upload invoices and request payments.
The premium version also allows payments to be made automatically once a defined earning threshold has been reached.
Whilst the free version of the plugin only allows one affiliate rate to be set the premium version of the plugin allows different rates to be set for each product and or/user on your store.
The premium version allows more control over the setting up of affiliates, it is possible to delay the approval of an affiliate until an admin user has approved it and it also possible to ban affiliates using the premium version of the plugin
If you want to find out more about the plugin then Yith provides a very comprehensive information page, a live demo, and full online documentation. Yith also provides a 30-day money-back guarantee on the premium plugin.
You can view the latest prices for the Yith Woocommerce Affiliates plugin here.
What you Should Consider Before buying a WooCommerce Affiliate Plugin
How do Affiliates Sign Up?
If you’re running an affiliate scheme, you’ll want your affiliates to be able to sign up as quickly and easily as possible, so you should look for how an affiliate solution allows you to onboard customers.
In addition to ease of use there may be other considerations in holding user data such as privacy and GDPR concerns.
How are Affiliates Paid?
If you only have a few affiliates then you may be able to manually track payments and settle up via cheque or PayPal, but as you bring more affiliates on board managing payments could easily get out of hand.
Some plugins provide the ability to set-up automated payments and some managed SaaS (software as a service) platforms go as far as providing automated payment services so the whole payment process is handled by a third-party.
It is also worth considering how you want to pay your affiliates, should they be paid daily, monthly or weekly? Should you have a minimum threshold for affiliate payments?
How are Invoices Generated?
You are likely to need invoices to keep track of your payments to affiliates, you may also require affiliates to send invoices to you before you process their payments.
You should, therefore, consider how you will handle invoices before choosing which WooCommerce affiliate solution to go with.
How are Refunds Handled?
Do you tend to process a lot of refunds in your WooCommerce store? If you do how would your chosen solution handle them, would affiliates still get paid even if you refund a product?
Sorting out refunds and affiliate commissions manually could be a very time consuming, so it’s well worth looking out for this feature if required.
Can Affiliates be Banned?
Unfortunately, all things in life can attract bad actors and affiliate sales are no exception. Over the course of your affiliate scheme, you may well have to ban people from signing up.
It is worth checking how a WooCommerce affiliate solution handles banning affiliates, does it, for instance, allow people to sign up again if they just use a different name, or are more complicated algorithms in place.
What Reporting Functions are Provided for Affiliates
Affiliates tend to want to see how they are performing, so giving them access to reports is an important part of the affiliate relationship.
Reporting data can help affiliates see which if their affiliate offers are working best, which should, in turn, lead to more sales for you.
You ideally want to choose a solution that provides a wide range of useful reports and also makes it easy for affiliates to access them.
How are Affiliate Sales Tracked?
Affiliate sales are generally tracked via cookies, so when somebody follows a link from an affiliate’s site to your store a “cookie” is written to their machine. Then when the customer makes a purchase from you store the checkout process should look for the cookie, and if it finds it should credit that sale to the affiliate.
Any affiliate plugin or service worth its salt should implement the process described above, but you may also want some additional control over the process. For instance, how long should the cookie last? Do you want the cookie to only last a day so you payout to affiliates if they generate quick sales, or do you want to reward affiliates over a longer period of time, maybe you’d like the cookie to last for a year?
Some affiliate schemes also reward affiliates for every purchase a user makes after the referral of their initial purchase, so it’s worth considering how you want to set your scheme up before choosing a plugin.
How Easy it for Affiliates to Generate Links?
If you’re an affiliate you want to be able to generate links and add them to your pages quickly and easily, so if you have a convoluted, slow process for generating affiliate links then you may well be missing out on sales.
So it’s always worth checking how easy an affiliate solution makes it to create affiliate links.
Do you want all of your customers to be paid at the same rate or do you want to give your best affiliates preferential rates?
Whilst this may not be a decision for someone just starting with an affiliate scheme, it is definitely worth considering for further down the line. Will your chosen affiliate solution be able to grow with you?
You’ll need to keep in touch with your affiliates and remind them to submit invoices etc, you may also want to inform them of new promotions.
Whilst manually emailing each of your affiliates would be very time consuming many plugins and SaaS solutions provide the ability to send out automated emails. Many solutions also provide template emails so you can create effective email campaigns in a very short amount of time.
Adding the ability to sign-up affiliates and allow them to refer customers to your store in exchange for a commission can really boost your sales. Whilst it would not be easy to implement an affiliate solution from scratch there are a number of ready-made solutions that will allow you to have a fully-fledged affiliate scheme up and running in almost no time.
Do you know of a good WooCommerce affiliate plugin or service that we should add to our round-up? Or maybe you have a question about the functionality of one of the plugins that we’ve looked at. Please don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments.