Clickbank Vs Shopify: Which Should You Choose?

The eCommerce space has become a high-speed race lately. It’s a must to know exactly what you’re doing if you don’t want to crash.

Whether you are planning to open your first dropshipping store, or having thoughts about entering the affiliate market, you need to pick between Shopify, the traditional eCommerce platform, or Clickbank, which is more of an affiliate marketplace.

In this article, I’ll tell you how you can benefit from each of the eCommerce tools. Let’s get into the specifics!

What Is ClickBank?

Clickbank Homepage

Think of ClickBank as a hub built just for affiliate marketers. Founded in 1998, it’s your go-to place if you want to promote products. 

Product creators put their goods on ClickBank, and you, as an affiliate marketer, can pick what you want to sell. 

Every sale you make earns you a commission. It’s user-friendly and diverse, making it a favorite for those aiming to earn online.

What Is Shopify?

Shopify serves as a one-stop shop for setting up an online store. Since 2006, it’s been helping businesses, big and small, create their own digital shops. 

Unlike ClickBank, Shopify isn’t limited to digital products; you can sell anything from clothes to gadgets. It gives you the tools to design your store, manage what you sell, handle payments, and even sort out shipping. 

It’s become very popular in the eCommerce world, offering a hassle-free way for businesses to sell stuff online.

ClickBank & Shopify Comparison Table

Before we go further, here’s a basic overview:

Factor ClickBank Shopify
Earning Potential Great Fairly Good
Control and Flexibility Restricted Flexible
Support and Resources Limited (compared to Shopify) Extensive and Comprehensive
Startup Costs Minimal Initial Investment is more
Scaling Limited Excellent
Payment Processing Fees Fixed Customizable
Integration with Apps Basic Extensive and Specialized

ClickBank Vs Shopify: In-Depth Comparison 

Now, let’s talk about the details.

Earning Potential

Your earning potential can vary significantly between Clickbank Affiliate Marketing and Shopify Product Selling. Clickbank stands out with its attractive commission rates, often ranging from 50% to 75%, making it a tempting option for affiliates. 

On the other hand, Shopify’s potential is equally promising, especially for those who excel in marketing and selling their own products.

The difference lies in your preference for a business model—whether you lean towards earning through commissions (Clickbank) or retaining the entire profit margin (Shopify). 

When it comes to sheer potential, both platforms offer lucrative opportunities. The key here is your strategy and execution in choosing the platform that aligns with your goals.

Control And Flexibility

ClickBank is stringent about product promotion, requiring approval for sales copy, ads, and promotional materials. They avoid content that may cause fear, panic, or discrimination. 

Advertisers must adhere to strict criteria, maintaining a refund rate below 20% and chargebacks below 1%. ClickBank wields the authority to approve, reject, or suspend accounts for deviations from the rules.

On the flip side, Shopify makes selling products simpler. Their focus is on sellers following terms and the Acceptable Use Policy, which is less restrictive.

Sellers just need to be transparent with advertising, handle taxes, and adhere to App Store rules. Shopify wants sellers to be aware of their operational jurisdiction.

In essence, if you value the freedom to run your show, Shopify is the stage for you. Navigating legal aspects is smoother, allowing you to tailor your store as you see fit for promotions.

Support And Resources

In terms of support and resources, Shopify objectively outshines Clickbank. 

As someone building your business, Shopify offers you 24/7 customer support through various channels like live chat, email, and phone to ensure you receive timely assistance. 

Moreover, the Shopify Academy provides a wealth of resources, including video tutorials, webinars, and guides tailored to facilitate your business growth. 

Clickbank, while providing support, may not match the comprehensive accessibility and depth of resources offered by Shopify. 

Shopify’s extensive support system and educational materials make it the more advantageous choice if you’re completely new and would prefer some guidance and assistance.

Startup And Maintenance Costs

When it comes to getting started without burning a hole in your pocket, Clickbank emerges as the clear winner. 

Joining as an affiliate demands zero upfront fees, making it a budget-friendly entry into the realm of online business. It’s the go-to choice if you’re all about immediate affordability and minimizing initial financial commitments.

Now, let’s talk about Shopify. Yes, it does come with setup costs, including subscription fees tailored to your chosen plan. 

But here’s the deal—these costs are an investment in a comprehensive eCommerce platform that covers hosting, security, and a user-friendly interface. 

While it might feel like a bit of a financial stretch initially, think of it as laying the foundation for a big online store.

Here’s the kicker: Shopify’s upfront investment translates into long-term gains. The platform’s robust features and streamlined interface can lead to efficiency gains, potentially outweighing those initial costs.

So, Clickbank is a clear winner in some aspects, but not completely. It offers a wallet-friendly entry point, but Shopify’s costs align with a feature-rich toolkit that positions you for sustained success. 

It’s an investment worth considering for entrepreneurs eyeing not just immediate savings, but long-term business prowess.


Shopify offers a straightforward advantage here. 

The platform is designed to effortlessly accommodate the growth of your business. As you expand, you can easily diversify your product lines, integrate new features, and scale your operations. 

Shopify provides the infrastructure and tools to handle increased demand and complexity seamlessly. 

On the other hand, while Clickbank is lucrative for affiliates, it lacks the same level of direct control over business expansion.

As an affiliate, your capacity for business expansion would be inherently tied to the products provided by vendors. 

Payment Processing Fees

Clickbank Fees Page

Clickbank imposes fixed fees, even in the absence of earnings, which can strain your finances. 

The mandatory $50 per pay period fee, regardless of income, affects your potential profitability. Additionally, chargeback fees of $22 per incident can be a burden.

Shopify’s transparent fee structure, with varying rates based on transaction types and selected plans, empowers product sellers. The flexibility and control over fees allow you to make informed decisions about pricing and profitability.

So, Shopify’s fee structure offers more transparency and control, making it the better choice if you’re looking to maximize profits and manage costs effectively. 

In contrast, Clickbank’s rigid fee model, coupled with chargeback fees, can impact your overall financial health, particularly if you are in the early stages of your affiliate marketing journey.

Integration With Third-Party Apps

Clickbank allows integration with 23 apps, including SaleHoo,, Cometly, and Pabbly Connect. 

These apps cater to the needs of affiliate marketers, but there’s a notable overlap with what Shopify provides.

Now, Shopify takes the lead with over 1000 third-party applications. 

The Shopify App Store boasts a whopping 6000+ apps, providing an extensive toolkit for product sellers. This goes beyond Clickbank’s offerings and is streamlined for a glitch-free experience.

Shopify’s arsenal is a powerhouse for product sellers. The sheer volume and variety of apps available cater directly to the needs of eCommerce operations, giving Shopify a clear advantage. 

While Clickbank covers the basics for affiliate marketers, it doesn’t match the depth and specialization that Shopify offers for those engaged in product selling. 

Essentially, Shopify provides a more robust and versatile set of tools for entrepreneurs.

Pros of Being a ClickBank Affiliate Over Shopify Product Selling

  • As a ClickBank affiliate, you can often earn higher commissions compared to Shopify product sellers, providing potentially greater financial incentives.
  • ClickBank operates globally, enabling you to target international audiences without the constraints of managing inventory or shipping logistics.
  • Becoming a ClickBank affiliate typically requires a lower initial investment compared to setting up and running a Shopify store, making it more accessible to beginners.

Cons of Being a ClickBank Affiliate Over Shopify Product Selling

  • ClickBank’s open marketplace structure sometimes leads to concerns about product quality, which can impact your reputation as an affiliate.
  • ClickBank affiliates have limited control over the products they promote, as the quality and delivery are the responsibility of the product creators.
  • ClickBank’s payment system is centralized, and you rely on the platform to distribute your earnings, which can lead to payment issues and delays.

Pros of Shopify Product Selling Over ClickBank Affiliate:

  • Selling products on Shopify gives you complete control over the quality and pricing of your products, ensuring a consistent customer experience.
  • Shopify provides opportunities for you to build and promote your brand, fostering customer loyalty and trust over time.
  • As a Shopify seller, you can directly interact with customers, gather feedback, and tailor your offerings based on customer preferences.

Cons of Shopify Product Selling Over ClickBank Affiliate

  • Setting up and running a Shopify store requires a higher initial investment compared to becoming a ClickBank affiliate, impacting budget constraints.
  • Managing a Shopify store involves learning about various aspects like website design, and marketing strategies, which can be challenging for beginners.

ClickBank Affiliate Pricing Model

ClickBank operates on a performance-based affiliate marketing model. Here’s a breakdown of ClickBank’s affiliate pricing model:

  • Pay Period Processing Fee: ClickBank charges a $2.50 fee for processing payments issued to clients.
  • Product Purchase Cost: ClickBank buys products from sellers at 92.5% of the sale price plus $1 for each sale.
  • ClickBank’s Share: ClickBank keeps 7.5% of the purchase amount plus $1 for each sale. This percentage includes the product price, shipping fees, and any applicable taxes.
  • Affiliate Commissions: Affiliates can earn commissions up to 75% and even up to 90% on specific products.

Shopify Pricing Model

Here’s an overview of Shopify’s pricing model; it’s a bit more simpler than ClickBank’s and offers great scalability.

  • Basic Shopify Plan ($25/month): Includes basic features. Online transaction fees are 2.9% + 30 cents, and in-person fees are 2.7%.
  • Shopify Plan ($65/month): Offers more features with lower fees – 2.6% + 30 cents for online and 2.5% for in-person transactions.
  • Advanced Shopify Plan ($399/month): Designed for high-volume businesses with advanced tools and fees of 2.4% + 30 cents online and 2.4% in-person.
  • Shopify Starter Plan ($5/month): Allows selling on Facebook and adding a Buy button to an existing site for smaller businesses.
  • Shopify Plus Plan (Custom Pricing): Tailored for enterprise-level businesses with individualized features and support.

CB Vs Shopify: So Which Platform Should You Go For?

Competition in the affiliate space on ClickBank can be intense. Many affiliates are vying for the same products, aiming to capture the attention of potential buyers. Finding a niche or unique selling proposition is crucial to stand out.

Shopify store owners also face competition, but it’s within specific niches or industries rather than directly competing for the same products. Success in product selling often depends on effective marketing, branding, and product differentiation within your chosen niche.

So, which platform should you go for? It ultimately depends on your strengths, preferences, and goals.

Choose ClickBank If:

  • You’re skilled in digital marketing and want to leverage affiliate commissions.
  • You prefer promoting a variety of products rather than managing inventory.

Choose Shopify If:

  • You have a product or product idea and want to build a brand and online store.
  • You’re ready to face competition within a niche but have the drive to differentiate your offerings.
  • You value control over product quality, branding, and the overall customer experience.


Do I need a tax ID for ClickBank and Shopify?

Yes, both platforms require a tax ID or Social Security number for tax and account verification.

Can I use ClickBank with Shopify?

Yes, you can integrate ClickBank with Shopify using apps like Zapier or ClickBank’s provided instructions.

Is Shopify affiliate marketing worth it?

Yes, Shopify’s affiliate program is profitable for individuals and businesses. Success depends on product quality, commissions, and marketing strategies.

Final Thoughts

Remember- ClickBank and Shopify offer distinct paths. Shopify provides a solid foundation for traditional online stores, while ClickBank opens doors to the vast world of affiliate marketing.  

Your success story lies in selecting the platform that resonates with your vision, passion, resources, and budget.

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