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WooCommerce – How to Set Different Affiliate Commission Rates?

Last updated on April 6, 2021

Setting up various commission plans, giving commission affiliates based on what they sell, setting up rules…this is not easy. A majority of users face this complexity.

But after reading this article, you’ll change your perception. In-fact, you won’t have imagined that assigning different affiliate commission rates is so simple. Be it product-based commission, affiliate-based commission, tag-based commission, or others, you can quickly set up affiliate commission plans on your WooCommerce store.

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.

Are you doing fair in awarding the same commission to all your affiliates?

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

Why? 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 increase the sale of your best-sellers, while some may boost sales of your low-selling products.

And what if someone brings you 500 or 1000 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?

So, 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 type? How to reward affiliates based on orders generated?

Answers to all these questions – Affiliate For WooCommerce plugin.

The most powerful commission plan system – Set different types of commissions 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.

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.

For example, to assign different commission rates to selected 50 users among thousands of affiliates, would you go to each user profile and set up a commission rate? Or set up a single rule to do the same within minutes? If you choose the latter, you are in the right place.

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.

1. Product-based commission

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

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

2. Commission based on product price

Some of your affiliates, say Meera, 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.

3. 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?

As mentioned, 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.

4. 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 extra commission is a good move.

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

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

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

6. Commission based on product quantity

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?

7. Commission based on total referrals / orders / customers of an affiliate

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 already live.

Check the live demo

More about Affiliate For WooCommerce plugin

For those who entered late, Affiliate For WooCommerce is the most easy-to-use plugin and set up your own affiliate program.

Top features

  • Allow people to sign up as your affiliates. Approve them and set them up to receive commissions. Let them create referral links.
  • Track visitors, conversions, commissions, and payouts.
  • Create affiliate marketing campaigns
  • Make payouts via PayPal
  • Use coupons for tracking referrals
  • Track product and customer level performance

and a lot more…

Get Affiliate For WooCommerce plugin

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.

Here’s how to create various commission plans

First, you need to set a global commission rate and tick a checkbox to allow individual commission rates.

different affiliate commission rates settings
  • Install and Activate Affiliate For WooCommerce plugin.
  • Go to WooCommerce > Settings > Affiliate
  • You’ll see ‘Affiliate specific commission’. Enable this option.
  • Save changes

Now, let’s see how to create different commission plans

Go to Affiliates > Plans. You’ll see all the commission plans you have created.

Click on ‘Add a Plan’ to set up a commission plan.

affilaite for woocommerce plugin commission plans dashboard

Understanding each term of the affiliate commission plans

affiliate commission plans rules

Give a title to the commission plan you want to set up.

Active / Draft

Indicates whether the commission plan is active / non-active.


Click this button to make your commission plan live.

Delete icon

Click this icon to delete a commission plan.


From the drop-down, select % or $ for percentage commission or flat rate commission respectively.

Next, comes the rule groups with conditions.


This rule applies to multiple rule groups. You can set any number of rule groups using the ‘Add another group’ option.

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.

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 in ‘WHEN’.

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
  • 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, read the below rules.
  • continue matching commission plans – users will get the current commission set
  • use default commission – users will receive the storewide set commission value
  • 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.

Some real-life examples of affiliate commission plans you can set up

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

1. Assign 25% commission to specific affiliates on Best-sellers

product based commission woocommerce

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 REMAINING PRODUCTS IN THE ORDER…’ option.

Here’s how to set-up this commission plan

  • Go to Plans > Add a Plan. Enter title – user commission 25%.
  • 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 X, Y, Z users.
  • Select Product > ‘any of’ and select A, B
  • 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!

2. Assign 35% commission to specific affiliates only on a specific product 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.

3. Assign flat $90 commission to an affiliate only on a specific product but no commission on any other product

flat rate product based commission woocommerce

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.

4. Assign $20 flat commission to affiliates only on a specific product and exclude affiliates of a particular Tag

tag based commission woocommerce

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

5. Assign 30% flat commission to affiliates on any product belonging to a specific category

product category based commission woocommerce

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.

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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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%.

4. 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.

5. Calculate your budget

Don’t copy your competitors blindly. If they offer a higher commission doesn’t mean you should join the same train. 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.

Over to You

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. And Affiliate For WooCommerce makes it easy to set-it commission plans.

So what has worked well for your own affiliate program in terms of commission plans? We’d love to hear your experiences.

2 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.

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