Shopify Collabs Review – Everything You Need to Know
After hearing about it during Shopify’s Winter ‘23 Edition, Shopify Collabs has grabbed our attention. This new offering from Shopify is more than a simple feature, but an entire app dedicated to improving merchant efforts in finding and managing creators and influencers to market their brands.
Shopify Collabs actually works from both ends of the spectrum, seeing as how it provides tools for influencers to find brands as well.
After hearing the good news from Shopify Editions, we were jumping to take a look at the Shopify Collabs interface. We’ve tested it out, and put together comprehensive guides on how to use Shopify Collabs, for both ecommerce businesses and content creators.
In this Shopify Collabs review, you’ll learn:
- What Shopify Collabs actually does
- How brands can find influencers and creators through the platform
- How to offer gifts and product demos to influencers
- How to run affiliate programs in Shopify Collabs
- How to check the effectiveness of influencer relationships from the Shopify dashboard.
- How influencers and creators can use Shopify Collabs to identify potential brand partners
- How to increase sales as an influencer with Shopify Collabs
As you follow along with our tutorials, be sure to install the Shopify Collabs app to your Shopify website. If you haven’t signed up for the Shopify ecommerce platform, read about why it’s one of the best options for selling online, then register for a free trial (with 3 months of Shopify for $1 per month).
Keep reading our Shopify Collabs review and tutorial for the most in-depth look into the new product you can find.
What is Shopify Collabs?
Shopify Collabs is Shopify’s answer to the thriving trend of businesses partnering with online creators and influencers. There are brands selling products, and there are digital content creators (with YouTube channels, Instagram content, TikTok videos, and their own blogs) with large followings. These creators are often looking for ways to monetize their platforms. On the other hand, brands need spokespeople (with a relevant audience) to talk about and recommend their products.
In the past, it was difficult for brands to find suitable influencers, and vice versa. Eventually, websites started popping up where content creators and brands could make their own profiles, contact each other, and see information about each other for partnership potential. One of those websites was called Dovetale. Shopify purchased Dovetale and turned it into a core Shopify product. Now we have what’s called Shopify Collabs.
Shopify Collabs offers:
- A large influencer and content creator database that merchants can browse and filter by things like social platform, keywords, interests, and audience size in order to find a good match.
- Links to influencer social accounts to understand how they present themselves, and if your brand would fit in with their voice. This is essential for figuring out if they create authentic content that’s good enough to sell your products.
- A branded application page that brands can add to their website where influencers can apply to become part of your creator community.
- Affiliate tools that allow you to generate unique commission & discount links for influencers to share with their followers.
- Commission tracking with quick and easy payouts through PayPal (more payment methods are coming soon)
- Analytics to understand which influencers are worth your time, and features that allow you to organize them into groups and affiliate tiers
- Tools to easily send gifts to your influencers and allow them to choose their own colors, sizes, and other options, and to enter their own shipping address. This eliminates the manual work of gathering that information in spreadsheets and long email threads.
That’s a lot to take in, but from our tests we found that Shopify Collabs has a sleek user interface that allows beginners to feel comfortable creating a complete affiliate marketing program even if they’ve never done it before.. As we move through the Shopify Collabs review, you’ll see visuals of the interface, along with tips on how best to navigate around and find the content creators who make sense for your business.
Shopify Collabs for Ecommerce Businesses
To begin your search for content creators to partner with, install the Shopify Collabs app to your Shopify store. We’ll walk you through the steps needed to find the most promising influencers for your business. Shopify Collabs is free to install, and you can uninstall it at any time if you decide it’s not for you.
We’ve found that the immediate advantage to Shopify Collabs is that you remove all clutter from the crowded influencer space, and in turn, connect directly with content creators who actually have respectable followings (oh, and those who already share content that’s relevant to your brand).
For those who have experience with influencer marketing, you know that that’s half the battle. Our testing shows it’s a wonderful product with potential for boosting ecommerce profits exponentially. Take a look below for a thorough guide on how to make that happen.
How to Build a Shopify Collabs Application Page
The key first step in establishing a fruitful brand/creator relationship is locating influencers with commonalities to your brand. You want to find people who can talk about your business with comfort and ease, and all without alienating their audiences by selling products that people wouldn’t think about buying.
To begin the process, open your Shopify store. If you’re just getting started, use our guide on how to add Shopify products and design your store. You should have at least a few items in the catalog for showing influencers what you’re selling.
Step 1: Install the Shopify Collabs App
In the Shopify dashboard, go to the Add Apps button. You can also simply open the Shopify App Store in a separate tab. Find the Shopify Collabs App and click the Add App button.
As long as you’re logged into your Shopify store, this should bring you back to the dashboard. You’ll see an Install page where it explains what the app needs access to from your shop. For instance, you may see that the app needs to access contact information or the physical location of the ecommerce business.
Click the Install App button to complete adding it to your site.
Step 2: Configure Your Shopify Collabs Brand Account
When installing the Shopify Collabs app to a Shopify account, the system assumes you’re a brand (since the brands are the ones with online stores).
Begin by adding your brand name, contact email for the person who’ll be managing your Collabs program, and the company’s Instagram account in the appropriate fields. Keep in mind that it is required to include your brand’s Instagram account to proceed. If you don’t currently have one, go ahead and make an Instagram account for the time being, or use a personal Instagram account as a placeholder.
Step 3: Create Your Brand Application Page
To present your company in a desirable manner, Shopify Collabs provides sleek landing pages for influencers to read about your business and apply for collaborations. On this page you can talk about the application process, the types of influencers you’re seeking, and explain benefits like discount codes, commissions on sales, and early access to launches.
Click the Get Started button to continue.
Upload a brand logo, then pick a color for the buttons that appear on the application page. Also select a background color for the entire page.
At any point during the design process, feel free to click on the Show Preview button, which gives you an immediate look at how the application page is coming along. As you can see, Shopify Collabs has a fairly standardized template where the logo sits in the upper left, and you can explain your brand. There’s an Apply Now button, along with extra pictures and a section for Collaboration Benefits. Click Next to move on.
The About Your Brand section lets you type in information explaining the nature of your business and what you’re looking for in a collaborator.
- A Title for the application page
- A Description telling people what you’re looking for and what your brand is all about
- Text for the button that influencers click to apply
When you’re done with that, click on the Next button.
On the Collab Benefits module, create a headline for the box that explains everything the influencers receive if they partner with your business.
Below that, list whichever benefits you want, and incorporate icons to make it more visual.
You can always add other benefits, but some of the default options include:
- Discount codes
- Free products
- Sales commissions
- Product sneak peaks
Click the Next button to proceed.
The Images section is where you upload photos that represent your brand. There’s nothing to it besides uploading the photos. Shopify Collabs already has the formatting and location set for you.
Click the Upload Images button to insert up to three photos on the page. As an alternative, you can paste in your Instagram handle to automatically pull a dynamic feed of your Instagram posts.
After everything looks suitable, click on the Next button to continue.
Step 4: Specify Profile Targets
It’s important to only accept applications from content creators with the right platform credentials. For instance, you may find that influencers with YouTube channels make the most sense, since your products do well in video tutorials.
Depending on your needs, use the Social panel to check off all platforms you want to target. This way, applicants must share which accounts they have, and you can see the content they provide on those accounts.
You also have the option to require certain personal profile information from all applicants. Required fields include First Name, Last Name, and Email.
And here are the Optional Fields you might add:
- Shipping Location
Click Next when you’re done with that section.
Step 5: Make a Survey
There’s even a step to create a short survey. This survey prompts applicants to answer questions about your brand, potentially filtering out those who apply in bulk with canned messages. You can ask influencers if they’ve ever tried products from your store, and what they like about your business overall. Shopify Collabs includes some default survey questions, or click the New Question button to add your own.
Click Next when you’re done with the survey. It’s also an option to completely remove the survey if you don’t want that as part of the application process.
Step 6: Share Your Shopify Collabs Page
The final step in creating your application page is to share it with the world. One option is to share the link on places like email, other websites, or social media. Simply copy the generated link to share it with others. This link is also helpful for you to preview the page in action!
Another way to share your collaboration page is to automatically generate a page on your Shopify store with the buttons and forms embedded. To do so, type in a custom page URL (something like /collabs at the end of your Shopify URL). Click the Create Page button to see the new webpage URL.
Here’s a look at the page we created from this tutorial:
A third solution for sharing the collaboration page is by placing a widget at the bottom of your website. This functions like a chat box, where it’s available for visitors to click if they want. Mark the option to “Add widget to my website,” then specify the location, button label, and widget button color of the widget. After saving, you can jump to the frontend of your website to see the widget in action.
Once all of that is done, click on the Save and Finish button to move onto the Shopify Collabs main dashboard. Keep reading our Shopify Collabs review to learn all about it.
Understanding the Shopify Collabs Dashboard
Shopify Collabs has an information-rich dashboard with a getting started guide to walk you through:
- Finding your first 5 applicants
- Getting your first member
- Sending your first gift
- Getting your first affiliate sale
As for the main menu, our Shopify Collabs review revealed tabs for:
- Dashboard: Provides a getting started guide, affiliate and applicant stats, and a link to your Shopify Collabs application page.
- Discover: Where you go to find influencers and content creators with whom to partner.
- Applicants: A module for managing all applicants that submit to partner with your brand.
- Members: Where you can transition applicants into real members of your influencer community. This is also where you manage all of your members.
- Affiliates: A place to add members to your affiliate program, while also checking conversions and managing tiers and settings for the affiliate program.
- Lists: Customizable lists to save groups of influencers during research.
- Gifts: The module to create gifts for your influencer partners. They have options to generate two types of discount codes, and to send free products for content creators to review on their platforms. You can also review your gift history from this tab.
- Payments: This section tracks all payments that have gone out for affiliate sales.
- Settings: A wide range of settings for the entire Shopify Collabs interface, including settings for your brand presentation, billing, social accounts, application page, integrations, and more.
- Get Support: Where you can reach out for Shopify Collabs-specific customer support.
If you scroll down a bit further, Shopify Collabs offers detailed reports and analytics.
The Overview section has metrics for:
- Pending Applicants
- Total Members
- Total Affiliate Links
- Total Payments
And you can find analytics under the Applicants and Affiliate Sales modules, which are filterable by day. For instance, you might consider filtering to see how many orders have come in through affiliates in the last 30 days.
How to Find Influencers to Market Your Brand
The Discover tab is your hub for searching the social media world for suitable influencers.
On this page, use the filter to search only for content creators on specific social media sites like Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter. There’s also a search bar to type in keywords, usernames, or locations.
For all results that appear, we recommend using the Filter Results feature to filter based on:
- Required accounts
- Average likes
- Average views
- Average engagement
When you find an influencer you like, click the Save button to add them to a list. Shopify Collabs has a link to create as many lists as you want, one of the things we liked best during our Shopify Collabs review.
It’s also important to understand how to research content creators. Click on any profile to open up its details. Influencers with Shopify Collabs accounts should have a decent amount of information filled out.
Depending on their platforms, you could see:
- Links to their most successful social accounts.
- An audience overview for each platform (with the number of subscribers for each one).
- A subscriber, like, and view breakdown for the social network you’re looking at, along with a timeline to show the change in subscriber counts.
The Content tab on an influencer profile page presents all of the posts they’ve created on their platforms. You can filter to only see posts from certain platforms, or even look at the most recent or keyword-focused posts.
The Info section is an interesting one because it functions similar to a contact management system, but for brands seeking influencers. This is all private information for you and your team, where you save details like names, email addresses, and PayPal usernames.
As for contacting the influencers, you can either see if they have an email address listed, or go through one of their many social accounts to send a direct message. Say you found them on Shopify Collabs for the best response rate.
Keep in mind that the Lists tab in Shopify Collabs is where you’ll find all of your research collections. Use those to narrow down the search and check back in with influencers you may not have contacted before.
How to Offer Gifts, Discounts, and Product Demos to Influencers
At some point, you’ll take some of your applicants and convert them into members. These members are the influencers you actually plan on working with; once someone is a member, you can start sending out discount codes and product gifts. Our Shopify Collabs review revealed that the steps are easy and understandable.
In order to do that, you’d click on the Gifts tab in Shopify Collabs. Select the Create Gifts button that appears.
There are three types of gifts to create:
- Free products
- A percentage-based discount code
- A dollar-based discount code
Companies send free products to influencers for them to review and make tutorials on their platforms. An Instagram or YouTube influencer, for example, may take the free gift and create a video review to share with their followers.
To send out a free product, give it a name, and select what should happen when a member claims the gift. You can either limit the number of products a member can choose or create an order with specific products.
You’d then pick the products you’d like to include with the gift. The influencer must actually use the checkout on your store to process the transaction; but the cart shows a $0 price for them to get it for free. This eliminates the manual work and endless back and forth that many brands get stuck in when they use email and spreadsheets to gather things like size and color preferences and shipping address.
You can also send discount codes as a gift to potential influencers.. Some brands provide discount codes for the influencer to purchase more affordable products (or as an alternative to sending out free items). It’s more common, however, to send a discount code for content creators to share with their followers. This way, their content functions as a marketing tool, since everyone who sees the content has a chance to use the code.
Select Discount Code (%) or Discount code ($) to get started. Make a gift name, along with a discount value (either a percentage or dollar amount); there’s also a field to specify which products are eligible for the discount. You can make every product eligible or limit to specific collections or products.
To finish the process, click Create Gift. You can then see metrics on who redeems the gift and discount codes.
How to Run an Affiliate Program with Shopify Collabs
The affiliate program from Shopify Collabs generates unique links to distribute amongst your content creator partners. Those affiliates share the links with followers to prompt them to buy from your company. When affiliate purchases come in, you receive analytics on which influencer generated the sale.
You can set a commission rate and a discount percentage on your affiliate links. It depends on your margins but affiliate commissions often range from 5%-30% of the sale.When a creator lands an affiliate sale, their commission is tracked in Collabs, and you can set up easy payouts via PayPal.
Here’s a Shopify Collabs review on how to build your affiliate program:
- Start by getting some applicants through your Shopify Collabs program.
- Pick applicants to become members.
- Go to the Affiliates tab in Shopify Collabs and click Add From Members.
This Affiliates tab is your hub for inviting and managing affiliate members. You can track commissions from there, and figure out which ones should receive discount codes and free products.
Use the Tier tab in the dropdown menu to add new tiers. You do this by naming the tier, adding a commission, discount, and affiliate member.
Most brands run multiple tiers at one time.Each tier has a large collection of settings to choose from, like URL parameters, affiliate commissions, and commission rules.
As affiliate sales accumulate, the Conversions module logs everything from total sales to commission, and paid commissions to owed commissions. You can filter by day, affiliate member, and tier level.
Finally, we recommend going to the Settings panel to adjust global settings for your affiliate program.
- Personalized affiliate links
- Link attribution windows
- Minimum order values
- Recurring subscription orders (which is another way to show value from your affiliate program—since you could pay out commissions regularly, instead of just once.)
How to Check the Effectiveness of Your Creator Relationships in Shopify Collabs
Metrics are provided throughout the Shopify Collabs interface. You can check:
- Applicant counts over time on the Dashboard overview.
- Affiliate sales in the Dashboard overview.
- Total members in the Dashboard overview.
- Applicant statuses in the Applicants area.
- Member numbers on the Members page.
- Affiliate metrics (like earnings and top performers) in the Affiliates panel.
- Gift performance on the Gifts page.
- Outstanding and paid commissions on the Payments page.
Shopify Collabs For Creators/Influencers
If you’re a content creator, you may wonder how to sign up for Shopify Collabs and search for brands to market on your platform (and monetize your platform in the process).
To make that happen, go to the Find Brand page for Shopify Collabs. Click on the Apply For Early Access button.
Tell Shopify about your platform; start by linking any notable social accounts like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or Twitch.
Next, pick up to three categories that reflect your content. Options include beauty, fashion, home, arts, electronics, food, parenting, and many more.
Also indicate the categories of products you’d like to promote on your platform.
Subsequently, fill out information about yourself, like:
- Your birthday
- How you identify
- Your shipping location
- If you currently have affiliate partnerships
- If you currently sell any of your own merchandise or products
Click Done to sign up for early access. You’ll receive a notification once approved.
With an approval, we encourage you to build a Shopify Collabs creator profile by:
- Linking social profiles
- Providing a bio of yourself and the content you create
- Uploading a photo of yourself
Applying for Brand Partnerships
If you already have a brand in mind, apply by going to their Shopify Collabs landing page (often found somewhere on their website).
Click the Apply button to walk through the required forms.
Fill out questions from the brand. These are all different, but you may see these common questions:
- Have you made purchases from this brand before?
- If you purchased from the company, what did you like about the item?
- Tell us why you love this brand’s community.
You’ll also be prompted to fill in information like your first name, last name, and email address. Most of those are filled in automatically by Shopify (from your previously created profile).
Click to Send Application, then wait to receive a response from the company!
Our Shopify Collabs Review
We’re ecstatic about Shopify Collabs because, in the past, pairing brands with influencers was quite the tedious process. Now brands have one system to find the perfect content creators (those that actually relate to their brand and make quality content). In addition, influencers have a portal to find brands they love and apply to work with them, allowing them to monetize their platform.t.
The announcement of Collabs in Shopify Editions is sure to excite merchants all around the world. We hope you give it a try if you’ve found influencer marketing laborious in the past. During our Shopify Collabs review, we discovered the platform is great for:
- Creating collaboration application pages
- Turning applicants into members
- Researching a large influencer database
- Grouping potential candidates
- Generating collaboration essentials (like discount codes and free products) for partners
- Running an affiliate program with unique links, commissions, and fast payouts
- Tracking everything from member performance to affiliate sales
Have you tried out Shopify Collabs as an ecommerce merchant or content creator? Let us know in the comments what you think. Also share your thoughts if you’re thinking about using it for the first time after our Shopify Collabs review!