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WooCommerce – How to Set Different Affiliate Commission Rates?

Learn the easy way to set up different affiliate commission rates and commission plans based on product, category, tags, price, quantity, etc. in WooCommerce.

Last updated on January 23, 2023

Setting up various commission plans, rewarding affiliates based on their performance, setting up rules…it’s not easy. A majority of users face these complexities.

But after reading this article, you’ll change your perception. In fact, you won’t have imagined that assigning different affiliate commission rates based on products, categories, affiliates, etc. is so simple in WooCommerce.

It’s time to give some of your affiliates an extra share of the pie for their well-deserved performance. So without much ado, let’s begin.

Is awarding the same commission to all affiliates fair?

Only the winner gets Gold in a race. It’s Silver and Bronze for the second and third respectively.

Why? Because everyone has some other advantages that make them stand out from others.

In the same way, all your affiliates won’t get you the same number of paid referrals. Some more, some less, some none. Some affiliates boost the sale of your best-sellers, while some boost the sales of low-selling items.

And what if someone brings you more than a thousand paid orders? What if your affiliate is an influencer?

In such cases, based on their performance, wouldn’t it seem justified to reward different affiliates with different commission rates?


  • How to favor one affiliate over another?
  • How to assign commissions to users based on what products they sell?
  • How to assign commission based on product categories or tags?
  • How to reward affiliates based on orders generated?

Answers to all these questions – Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin.

The most powerful commission plan system

Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin provides you the flexibility to set different types of commission plans based on the product, product type, affiliate tags, number of orders and referrals, product price, quantity, taxonomy.

I may be bragging about it but no other plugin provides such power, flexibility and rules for setting up affiliate commission plans.

WooCommerce affiliate commission based on product category affiliate

Some plugins may provide only order-based commission rules. While some are based on products. But Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin provides all without the complexities. Set some rules and you are good to go.

There’s also one big reason behind providing these plans.

Let’s look at the various commission plans you can set up. And some real-life examples for these commission plans later in this article to get a more clear picture.

These commissions are set differently than the storewide commission rate. You can assign a fixed percentage or a flat commission rate.

Product based commission

One of the most widely used affiliate commission plans. Say John and Daisy promote your best-sellers more, while Kane and Andrew promote your low-selling products and boost their sales compared to other affiliates.

In these cases, all these affiliates deserve more commission, right?

Product price based commission

Your affiliates, Meera and Francois, promote your premium (top plan) WooCommerce store management product only to big guns. Less audience but higher conversions.

Instead of the storewide commission, these affiliates are worthy enough to earn more. After all, you have big guns as your customers.

Affiliate tag based commission

Tags are useful to identify specific affiliates. For example, you can assign the Influencer tag to your top-performing affiliates, Active tag who bring decent sales regularly, Dormant tag to those who don’t bring sales and so on.

So, when you want to raise the commission of Influencers or Active members, why go to each of these affiliates’ profiles to change the commission rate?

Using the plugin, simply create a rule and select a condition to give a different commission value to all these tag-based users on specific products.

Product taxonomy based commission – category, brands or any other

Very useful for WooCommerce stores selling fashion, grocery items where there are multiple product categories.

Some affiliates perform better in selling goods that fall under women’s fashion like handbags, tops, shoes, etc. Some affiliates perform better in selling goods that fall under electronics.

So, rewarding these affiliates with an extra commission is a good move.

Product type based commission (physical, virtual, downloadable, membership, etc)

Digital products have a higher profit margin compared to physical products.

So, some of your affiliates who can sell physical products better than digital products are noteworthy for earning more.

Product quantity based commission

During a new product launch event or holiday sales, businesses want maximum people to grab their products. And they reward affiliates an extra commission based on the number of products sold.

So, when the commission rate is increased for product quantity, who won’t be happy to earn an extra share of the pie?

Total referrals / orders / customers based commission

This is like earning a jackpot. What if some affiliates bring you 500 paid orders? Or if some affiliates bring you 1000 paid customers?

So, when an affiliate crosses such milestones, their affiliate commission rate will also change, right?

Note – Product type, price, quantity, taxonomy and total referrals based commission will be rolled out soon. Other commission plan types are available to set up.

Other popular Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin features

Apart from commission plans, Affiliate for WooCommerce is packed with all the features you need for running a successful WooCommerce affiliate program.

and a lot more…

Get Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin

How to create various commission plans?

Install and activate Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin.

Then, under WP admin, go to WooCommerce > Affiliates > Plans. You’ll see all the commission plans you have created.

Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin commission plans dashboard

Click on Add a Plan to set up a commission plan. This will open up a ‘slide over panel’.

WooCommerce product based tiered commission plan

Now let’s understand each term of the commission plan.

  • Name – Give a title to the commission plan you want to set up.
  • Draft / Active – Indicates whether the commission plan is active / non-active. Choose ‘Active’ to make your commission plan live.
  • Save – Click this button to save all the changes to your commission plan.
  • Delete icon – Click this icon to delete the commission plan.
  • Commission – From the drop-down, select % or $ for percentage commission or flat rate commission respectively.
  • NO OF TIERS & DISTRIBUTION (IN %) – To set up a tiered commission, enter number of tiers and commission for each tier. In this example, it’s a two tiered commission plan, with person in the first tier and second tier earning 20% and 10% commissions respectively.

Next, comes the rule groups with conditions.

  • WHEN – This rule applies to multiple rule groups. You can set any number of rule groups using the Add another group option.

    As the name suggests, all means all conditions should satisfy. For at least, a minimum of one condition should satisfy.

    So, for each rule group and between multiple rule groups, you can select whether all conditions should satisfy or at least one condition should satisfy.

    First, all conditions within a rule group will be checked. And then, conditions between two or more main rule groups will be checked as set under WHEN.

  • This group is a pass when
    Set up multiple rules within a single group. Select Affiliate or Product from the drop-down. Click on Add a condition to add multiple rules. Use any of to include affiliates or products. Use none of to exclude affiliates and products.

Now, for the left-hand side rules. These rules need to be set to give affiliates different commissions on products purchased in an order. These products may or may not be included in the rule groups.

    • all matching products in the order – users will receive commission on all the products that matches with the commission plan
    • only the first matching product – users will receive the commission set in this plan only on the first product. For remaining products in the order, the below rules will apply.
    • continue matching commission plans – users will receive the commission set for that product
    • use default commission – users will receive the storewide commission
    • apply zero commission – users won’t receive any commission

Click on Save to make your commission plan live.

If any rule does not match, the storewide commission will apply.

That’s it. Let’s consider some examples to make everything clear.

Real-life examples of affiliate commission plans you can set up

Here, assume, the storewide commission set to 20%.

Commission to specific affiliates on best-sellers

WooCommerce product based commission

Here, if either the best-sellers GoPro Hero Black Camera or GoPRo Action Camera Kit or both are sold by either John or Lori, they will receive 25% commission and not 20% commission.

And if customers purchase other products than these along with the best-sellers, then the commission plan set for those products will kick-in. This is because we have selected continue matching commission plans under And then, for the remaining products in the order… option.

Steps to set-up this commission plan:

  • Go to WooCommerce > Affiliates > Plans > Add a Plan. Enter Title – 25% commission on Best-Sellers.
  • From the COMMISSION drop down, select % and enter value as 25.
  • Under WHEN, select all from the drop-down.
  • In the rule group, select Affiliate > any of and select Lori Soper and John Smith.
  • Select Product > any of and select GoPro Hero6 Black and GoPro Action Camera Kit.
  • Under APPLY TO, choose all matching products in the order.
  • Under AND THEN, FOR REMAINING PRODUCTS IN THE ORDER..., choose continue matching commission plans.

Save and Done!

You can follow the above mentioned steps to create other commission plans with little modifications.

Different commission on specific products and storewide commission on other products

Different commission rates on different products

Here, when Hoodie with Pocket is purchased, affiliates Megan and Anthony will receive 35% commission.

And when other products are purchased along with Hoodie with Pocket by customers, these two affiliates will receive 20% commission as we have selected use default commission option for remaining products in the order.

Commission only on one product but no commission on other products

Flat rate product based commission

Here, when Dell Laptop is purchased, affiliate Raj Malhotra will receive a flat $90 commission.

And when other products are purchased along with Dell Laptop by customers, Raj will receive no commission as we have selected apply zero commission option for the remaining products in the order.

This type of commission plan is super useful when you upsell or cross-sell products but you want to give commission only on the main product.

Commission based on specific products and Tags

Tag based commission

Here, all those affiliates who are not under Goldand Silver tags will receive a flat $20 commission on product WooCommerce Serial Keys and storewide commission on other products if present in the order.

Commission based on a specific product category

Product category based commission

If a customer purchases any product belonging to the category Sports, Abraham will receive a 30% commission. And if a customer purchases any product belonging to the category Books, Lori will receive a 30% commission.

And if the order contains products from any other category in the order, the affiliates won’t receive any commission.

You can create endless rule groups and reward your affiliates with different affiliate commission rates.

Advantages of having different affiliate commission rates

Here, the affiliates’ point-of-view is more important. Affiliates will be looking for sites that have good conversion rates; websites that give them good revenue for their efforts and performance.

  • More promotion, happier affiliates – The more you reward affiliates, the more they will promote your brand.
  • Boost product sales – The more the promotion, more the conversions.
  • Make products visible – Affiliates promoting your brand gives more visibility to your products and increase its sales.
  • Retain affiliates – Rewarding affiliates will make them stay longer with your brand.
  • Avoid overspend – Restricting commissions based on products allows you to not spend extra.

Overall, it’s good to be flexible and willing to adapt to accommodate different types of affiliates that have different strengths. Overlooking this can lead you to miss out on potentially valuable members of your team – and sales, too!

At the end of the day, your audience, product prices, competitors, market niche, and budget all combine to inform your affiliate commission decisions; they show you the big picture – a bird’s eye view of your options.

Strategies to decide different affiliate commission rates

Lower commission rates will lower your affiliate count. Higher commission rates will hurt your profit margins. A proper strike-off between the two will help you retain your affiliates without losing profits.

Set lower global affiliate commission rate

Agreed. Launching a new affiliate program with a higher commission rate will attract many affiliates quickly.

However, as time progresses, you may have to lower the commission rate. And that’s where the affiliate activity will dip.

Therefore, set your commission at a manageable rate, so you never have to lower it. Say 25%. If you begin with 40% and then lower it, it will result in disappointed affiliates.

Identify your own customers

Your customers are good candidates to spread the good word about your products. If they are having a good outreach, a higher commission rate for these customers seems a great option.

Giving them a higher commission rate encourages them to promote you more. And also retain them for a longer time.

Increase commission based on performance

Not just your customers, but other people who signed up for your affiliate program may well give you sales regularly.

Affiliate For WooCommerce plugin gives you a leaderboard to monitor each affiliate’s performance. Based on this data, you can set commission rates for these people. Like a commission tier structure.

For example,

  • Melina brings around 200 referrals on an average per month, set her commission rate to 35%.
  • Chris brings around 150 referrals on an average per month, set his commission rate to 30%.

Assess your products

Now, digital good sellers can afford to give more commission rates compared to physical products. The reason being minimal overhead and zero shipping costs.

The commission rate may well touch 60% provided the product is high-priced, super quality and life-changing.

So if some of your affiliates who can bring in paid referrals for your best-selling products, a commission rate of 50% will make their day.

Calculate your budget

Don’t copy your competitors blindly. If they offer a higher commission doesn’t mean you should join the do the same. Find out your expenses, profit margin and then decide.

You aim to make your affiliates happy without you compromising on your profits. Ultimately, the rates you choose should be based on what works for your business, your target audience, and your affiliates.

Start creating commission plans

Affiliate is a big game. Everyone can win. Some big, some less. What makes sense is to look at all aspects – your website, products, customers, outreach, affiliates power, etc.

Based on that, decide the commission rate, global as well as per individual, set commission plans and make your affiliates happy. And Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin makes it easy to do all of these.

Get Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin

6 thoughts on “WooCommerce – How to Set Different Affiliate Commission Rates?

  1. This look great Akshat, but how do you set it up so that you only pay commission on product sales excluding tax and shipping charges?

    1. Hi Brian,

      the commission is calculated on products excluding tax and shipping charges by default.

  2. When will “total referrals based commission” be released? I bought this plugin on the assumption this was already available and need it ASAP.

    1. Hi,

      I do not have any ETA for it but rest assured, I’ll surely update here once we add it to the plugin.

  3. How can we convert customers into affiliates automatically?

    1. Hi Ramont,

      The plugin provides a setting ‘Affiliate users roles’ that will show you different user roles. Select ‘Customer’ and save your setting. This will automatically convert your customers into affiliates.

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