Affiliate Programs

    The affiliate program is a way for you to allow approved participants to earn commissions by placing unique links on their website referring customers back to your website, in turn increasing sales through your website. How does it work? Once you have accepted someone as an Affiliate, they will set up a very specific link on their site that will drive traffic to your site. The nature of the link allows IndieCommerce to track customers that follow the link, and if a sale results, IndieCommerce will calculate how much the Affiliate has earned (in the end, the store is responsible for paying the Affiliates directly). For a sale to be 'eligible' the customer must follow the Affiliate link to your site, and complete placing their order without leaving the site.

    NOTE: The ‘Affiliate’ module needs to be enabled for your site. Please send us a request from the Store Features page (Store > Configuration > Account Information and Preferences > Store Features.


    Navigate to: Store > Configuration > Affiliates > Contract Settings

    1. Review the ‘Affiliate agreement’ and make any necessary changes: Creating an affiliate program is essentially, posting a public contract on your site for anyone to read and possibly partake in, because of this, it is important that you read this document thoroughly before proceeding and make sure it fits the program you wish to offer.

      • The Agreement that is posted to your site by default will automatically fill in the name of the store wherever appropriate.
      • Make sure to select ‘Save Configuration’
    2. Review the ‘Email sent to new affiliates upon approval’ template: You may add any custom instructions or comments here but we recommend you leave in place the username and affiliate url link we provide.
    3. Confirm the email address set to receive new affiliate application notices and Save Configuration.
    4. Adjust the default commission rate: If you have altered the contracts default 5% commission rate during step 1 you will need select the ‘Commissions’ tab and make the same adjustment there as well.


    Navigate to: Structure > Blocks

    1. Locate the ‘Affiliate’ block under the ‘Disabled’ section and select configure
    2. Enter a block title (optional)
    3. Select the region the block should be placed in
    4. Set your visibility settings (optional)

      1. Pages: You can determine which pages a block appears on. By default, we exclude some of the secure pages such as ‘cart’ for some blocks. However, you can adjust these settings to meet your site's needs.
      2. Content Types: If a particular block only pertains to a specific content type you can set it to display only on nodes created using that content type. For instance, you might be offering a discount on books associated with events, therefore you only want the block detailing that discount to appear on ‘Events’.
      3. Roles: You can also restrict blocks to members of specific roles. Perhaps you have created a block detailing staff discounts, you could restrict it to appear only for users logged in under a ‘Staff’ role.
      4. Users: You can allow your customer to determine whether or not they see a particular block when logged in. They control this setting on their ‘My Account’ page.      
    5. Save block    

    The block is now enabled and visible on your site, allowing visitors to click the link and start the process of becoming an Affiliate.


    Once the block is enabled any visitor may begin the affiliate application process.

    1. Select ‘Apply for Affiliate Now’ - They will be asked to log in or create an account
    2. Complete the application

      1. Company Name
      2. Web Site Name
      3. Web Site URL
      4. Brief description of Web Site
      5. Full Name
      6. Phone Number
      7. Mailing address
      8. Who checks should be made out to
    3. Read  and agree to the ‘Affiliate Agreement’
    4. Submit application


    Navigate to: Store > Configuration > Affiliates > Affiliate Applications

    1. Select the username and review the application they have submitted, then return to the previous screen.
    2. Select the ‘Affiliate Applications’ tab and opt to ‘Approve’ or ‘Deny’

      • If approved, an email is automatically sent to the Affiliate letting them know that they have been accepted. They can then log into their account and begin generating affiliate links through the ‘Affiliate Center’ tab. They can either use the generic link code that will drive traffic to your home page, or they can input an ISBN and generate a specific link for that item.
      • If denied, the affiliate will not be assigned to the user and the user will not be able to apply again.


    As mentioned previously, once approved, the affiliate should log into their account and access the ‘Affiliate Center’ on their ‘My Account’ page.

    From the ‘Affiliate Center’ their next step should be to generate their affiliate links and then place those links on their website.

    Types of Affiliate links:

    *In order to generate an affiliate link wrapped around the store's logo (or any image that you the store allows) it will need to be uploaded through your Affiliate settings.


    Upload the image you want to make available through the file browser. Instructions on how to do so can be found under ‘Adding Images’.

    Navigate to: Store > Configuration > Affiliates > Banner/Links

    1. In the textarea that says ‘Affiliate Banner Templates’, add the image(s) that the store wants to be added as a banner for the affiliate link.

    2. Select ‘Save Configuration’

    In the Affiliate Center of each affiliate, there will be a ‘Banner Preview’ with the images and the banner code for use by the Affiliate.

    NOTE: Any image uploaded via this method will be available for ALL affiliates. For example, your store is partnering with author Robin Rich and you are providing her with an banner image to use that incorporates both your store logo and hers. The image uploaded will be available for ALL affiliate members, not just Robin Rich.


    If a customer clicks on an Affiliate link, they will be brought to your site, and the system will  immediately begin “tracking” them.  If they make a purchase during that visit, a referral fee will be calculated by the system, in favor of your Affiliate (by default, this would be 5% of net proceeds on any particular qualifying sale.) Keep in mind that if the customer leaves your site for any reason before completing their purchase, the “session” will have ended, and the referral fee will not be calculated. The customer must complete the sale after following the affiliate link, and before leaving the site.

    While the site will automatically calculate the necessary referral fees and keep track of them in a report, it is up to the store to check the report on a regular basis to see if any particular Affiliate needs to be paid and thus provide payment to the Affiliate. You can check the report by navigating to Store > Configuration > Affiliates > Reports. Once paid, you may update your report by selecting ‘update’ under the ‘Paid’ column for that Affiliate and entering payment.


    1. Build relationships with your local community online. Being a local, independent bookstore actually puts you in position to provide a better Affiliate experience than larger chains. For instance, you could promise a local author that you will always have two copies of their title in stock. If the author is amenable, you might also be able to offer signed copies, even personally inscribed.
    2. Driving traffic to your site increases search rankings, which is just one way offering an Affiliate program can help you.
    3. In the default contract, stores are not required to pay an Affiliate until that Affiliate has accrued $50 or more in referral fees.  However, you may choose to pay Affiliates what they have earned at any time.
    4. Authors are not the only possible resource. Consider your local school district. If the school system has a website where they are posting a summer reading list for example, you can let the school know that if they link to you, you will make sure that you have 2 copies of each book in stock at all times, and that the school will receive the referral fee. Some schools may just need a reliable link for their students and may decline the referral fee.


    You can also display Affiliate information on your own website by creating a ‘Partnership’ page.

    Books & Books