How to Set Up a Referral Program for Your Ecommerce Store in 6 Steps
Setting up a referral program should not be hard. Here's how you can do it in six steps and start getting referrals!
There’s a brand that I buy 99% of my clothing from, called Dynamite.
The sizing fits me perfectly, the styles match my aesthetic (business-casual), and I can easily shop on their mobile app if I don’t feel like going to the mall.
I’m also a VIP customer, and because of that I sometimes get personal treatment.
What do I mean by personal treatment? It’s a part of Dynamite’s customer appreciation strategy. Here’s my story…
It was a Thursday afternoon when I got a call on my phone, and the caller ID said, Dynamite. “Did I forget I ordered something?” I thought. Confused, I answered the call.
It was a sales associate from the brick-and-mortar store closest to my house. She told me they recently brought in new styles and was wondering if I wanted her to put some aside for me to try on.
Being a writer in the retail and ecommerce industry, of course, I was intrigued. It’s research, right? I said yes.
When I arrived, they brought me to the back where they had an entire clothes rack filled up with styles they personally selected for me based on my past purchases.
At this point, I thought to myself, either I’ve spent too much money with this brand, or they really know how to appreciate their customers. Honestly, the answer is both.
Dynamite made me feel like a celebrity. Not only did I purchase a lot that day, but it’s an experience I’ll never forget. In fact, they’ve had my loyalty for 10 years.
And that’s the power a good customer appreciation strategy can have for your brand.
There’s a reason why companies with a customer experience mindset drive revenue 4-8% higher than the rest of their industries. Not only that, but these experiences are why people share brands with their friends and family.
I know not all ecommerce brands can personally invite customers to a physical location, but there are many ways you can spice up your customer experience to leave shoppers feeling the same way I did with Dynamite. I’m going to show you how in this article.
If you ask any customer experience or retention marketer, they’ll say a difficult part of their job is proving ROI. Creating unique and memorable experiences isn’t always measurable.
However, success can be tracked over time in a few ways. This is how Erica Aarons, the Retention and Engagement Manager at Rumpl (a brand selling blankets for any occasion), thinks about it:
“Engaging with our customers is the bread and butter of my role. I want our customers to trust our brand enough to give our products as gifts, share our brand with their friends and family, and be their go-to when it comes to blankets.”
So what exactly is the ROI of customer appreciation? Here are a few benefits to doubling down on a customer appreciation strategy as an ecommerce brand:
Did you know that 73% of consumers say a good experience is key in influencing their brand loyalty? Additionally, when customers do become loyal to your brand, they’re five times more likely to purchase again and four times more likely to refer a friend.
You can’t argue with that data.
It’s simple math—memorable experiences make customers want to continue supporting your business.
According to Erica, “A customer appreciation strategy leads to a better customer-to-brand connection. When a customer feels supported, they’re more likely to spread the word about your brand and spend more money over time.”
Essentially, what Erica is saying is that when you have a loyal customer base, it’s easier to implement word-of-mouth marketing strategies. This includes loyalty programs, ambassador programs, and referral programs.
These programs are the most successful when you already have customers who adore you, and customer appreciation is a big part of making that happen.
Here’s the part about customer appreciation most execs don’t understand: a good customer appreciation strategy can actually drive acquisition at the same time build loyalty.
For example, here’s a consumer who came across personal stories from shoppers who purchased from the pet brand, Chewy. In the tweet, Kushaan explains how even though he doesn’t personally own a pet he will shop at Chewy when he does in the future.
This idea is also something Eli Weiss, Senior Director of CX and Retention at Jones Road Beauty (previously at Olipop), spoke about with DTC Newsletter. The article explains how paid advertising channels don’t always keep CPG customers long-term—usually because they don’t understand the benefits of the product or brand.
Since positive customer experiences make people excited to share a brand with others, they’re a useful strategy for acquiring new shoppers. If you’re a follower of Eli or Olipop on Twitter, you know how shareable these unique experiences have been.
“The cheap customers aren't always quality customers,” said Eli in the article. “What people post on Twitter [about Olipop], nobody gets paid to do that. And the reason why people are doing it is because we broke the script. They expect an average experience and we elevated it.”
Shoppers will gladly support pricier brands that they feel positive about. In fact, a report by American Express found that American consumers will pay 17% more to purchase from a company that has a reputation for great service.
Brands that are prioritizing CX are finding this to be true. Here’s a great example from Jones Road Beauty, where the team’s support was so helpful the customer came back and purchased an extra $500-worth of products.
That seems like a pretty clear ROI, right?
In the wise words of Erica Aarons, “You don’t have to spend a lot of money to appreciate your customers!”
But what can you do instead? Luckily, there are tons of ecommerce brands to pull inspiration from, so let’s dive into 10 ideas that won’t break the bank.
Sometimes, even little things can go a long way. Erica is showing that with hand-written notes she’s sending to customers with their orders.
“This year, I’ve been writing handwritten and personally addressed Thank You cards to some of our top customers to let them know that their support hasn’t gone unnoticed,” she said.
In Rumpl’s Facebook community, shoppers are calling these notes out:
“This helps us connect with customers, and shows that there are actual people behind the brand… No selling—just pure appreciation.” - Erica Aarons
Every founder wants people to talk about their brand in a good way, but nobody will recommend a brand if they have a bad experience.
Maybe the shipping was super delayed, the product arrived damaged, or the shopper didn’t get all the items they asked for. Whatever the situation is, everyone makes mistakes—it’s how you handle those mistakes that matter to customers.
Without taking accountability or helping the customer fix the issue, you’re creating the wrong kind of shareable situation… The one where people write bad reviews about you on Twitter. Yikes.
At the bare minimum, fix the issue for the customer quickly: resend a product, help them make a return, or track the order. But you can also level up these mistakes. Here’s an example of a shareable experience where Amber turns a bad situation into a play on humor (which is surely memorable for the customer receiving this).
A free gift doesn’t always mean giving away one of your products. Instead, you can get creative with what you send. Here’s an example from Chewy, which sent a customer a personalized portrait of their pet.
Do free gifts work? Yes.
A survey by Harris Interactive found that 90% of customers said a free gift with purchase helps increase their loyalty to the brand. Not to mention, 65% said they were somewhat likely to share their experience with other shoppers.
Considering this Chewy example was shared on a Reddit thread, those survey results must be true: free gifts can lead to organic word-of-mouth, especially when they’re creative (figuratively and literally in this case).
One way to surprise customers is to create personalized awards, certificates, and accolades that you can add to their order.
Buffalo Trace did a great job with this, giving a customer a certificate—signed by the CEO—making them an official “Friend of the Trace.” This experience even has family friends of the customer talking about Buffalo Trace online.
And here’s a close-up of the fancy certificate:
Does anyone else want to try Buffalo Trace after this one?
One of the best pieces of advice I hear about CX marketing is that the key to its success is having high emotional intelligence. In my opinion, customer appreciation is no different.
Learning to listen to emotional cues and coming up with creative ways to respond to them is exactly how you can create experiences that show customers just how important they are.
For example, an Olipop customer reached out to the brand to tell the team about how much their mother who has recently passed away loved drinking Olipop. After receiving this message, the Olipop team sent flowers and a personal letter to the customer.
You’ve probably seen brands feature customer photos on their social media accounts, but what about on billboards?
Starface, a brand selling pimple patches in fun shapes, took a tweet a customer wrote and literally stuck it on a billboard. The customer was so excited they took a picture and shared it on Instagram.
Featuring customers in these ways is a simple way to show off UGC and customer appreciation. It tells customers you notice them and care about how they talk about your brand.
And that doesn’t mean you always have to pay for a billboard.
“Just asking customers to feature their photos can be meaningful, plus Revel Nail uses UGC as product page images for different shades!” shared Evelyn. As you can see on Revel Nail’s website, all of this UGC is on their product page, showing off real looks from real customers:
Being featured on the brand’s website is definitely a cool experience for the customer, especially since Revel Nail is properly linking back to the original creator’s Instagram page.
Setting up automated emails based on specific triggers can show customers you’re paying personal attention to them—and that you’re not treating them the same as any other customer.
Alex McPeak, Content Strategist at Klaviyo, shared an experience she had with Who Gives A Crap: “I really loved this email I received after I placed my second order with the brand. It’s a really great example of how brands can use personalization to add a human touch and build relationships with customers!”
Since personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates, it’s worthwhile to set up advanced segmentation and email flows. Besides, these emails become hands-off once they’re set up, making them an easy win to show your appreciation.
Remember when Coca-Cola put people’s names on its bottles for the #ShareaCoke Campaign? People spent so much time looking through the bottles to find their names—or their friends’ names.
Well, here’s one brand that uses a similar strategy, but takes it to the next level: ADEA Jewelry actually names products after customers.
And, of course, customers then share the pieces that they were named after on social media, driving that organic word-of-mouth engine for the brand.
Clearly, customers love this approach. I mean, who wouldn’t want one of their favorite brands to name products after them?
One of my favorite examples of customer appreciation is from House of Wise, a luxury CBD and wellness brand. Once in a while, the brand will write about its customers.
For example, in this piece about Hanna Villarrubia, readers learn how she discovered the brand, how she embodies the qualities of a “Wise Woman,” what her self-care routine looks like, and how she uses House of Wise’s products in her daily life.
This is a great way to not just show customer appreciation but also educate shoppers about how they can use your products to improve their life.
Now that you’ve seen the impact of customer appreciation, are you ready to create lifelong memories with your shoppers?
Remember, “It’s difficult to personify your brand, but with a customer appreciation strategy, customers can connect with the people behind the brand,” said Erica Aarons.
If you successfully start nurturing customers using some of the ways mentioned in this article, you’ll build long-lasting relationships with people who are excited to refer your brand to their friends and family.
And when you get to the point of setting up a referral program to make this easy for them, you know who to talk to. Hint: It’s ReferralCandy. ;)
Referral programs. You know what they are, you know what they do but you still need a little more convincing?
We've previously discussed why you should get started on refer-a-friend programs, but only if your brand is ready for it.
To give you more reason to leverage referral programs as a new marketing channel for customer acquisition and customer loyalty, here are some inspiring brands powered by ReferralCandy.
Examples of Referral Programs powered by ReferralCandy
Fashion & Apparel:
We hope you've gotten some great ideas and inspiration from these referral programs to boost your very own. If you're looking for more information on how to get started, here are a few articles to read:
If you want to receive the latest word of mouth and referral-related articles, do subscribe to our newsletter here.
What is a referral program?
A referral program or a “refer-a-friend” program is a marketing strategy used by many top ecommerce brands to incentivize existing customers to recommend the brand and its products to their family and friends.
Existing customers would get a reward for referring their friends—often a discount code to shop at the brand again. Their friends would also get an offer—usually a discount—for the products. The brand gets both new and repeat customers!
If you are wondering why you should have a referral program and how to run one, let’s take a look at how the top ecommerce brands are running their referral programs and the results they have achieved.
Here are the popular brands we are going to talk about:
Before we begin, let's quickly go through the basics of referral programs. (Or you could skip to the examples below.)
One of the biggest stresses of any business is finding a solid customer acquisition channel, or basically, bringing in new customers. When you have a solid referral marketing program, however, you let your existing customers bring new buyers to your brand. This not only significantly reduces spending on bringing new customers to your shop, but it also increases customer retention, which is a very good thing.
Because loyal customers have a higher conversion rate than new customers and spend more per transaction, making customer referral programs the most cost-effective and lucrative marketing strategy that your business can possibly employ.
People don't make as many referrals as they intend to for a variety of reasons. A referral program helps make their mind up with a tangible reward for referrals.
Modern referral programs, or refer-a-friend programs, use software to track referrals made by happy customers through either a referral code, a rewards card, or a referral link. Depending on the referral campaign, customers will usually receive some kind of referral bonus or benefit when they refer a friend. Referral marketing software automates the payout of these referral rewards.
This referral process creates a natural word-of-mouth marketing experience for your brand, which ultimately increases both your customer retention rate and your revenue.
To find out more, check out how ReferralCandy works.
The best way to bring in potential customers is to first focus on your existing satisfied customers. Rather than just offering cash rewards or free gifts in hopes that your customers will refer a friend to your shop, it takes a little bit of planning to set up a referral program that works.
1. Get clear about your goals
Before creating a complex ambassador program or launching tons of marketing campaigns (of any kind), it's important to be clear about what your goals are for the program. This will help guide you as you brainstorm referral marketing ideas. Some questions to consider are:
You can certainly achieve each of these goals, but it might require a different referral campaign for each goal. So it's important to be clear about your goals before beginning.
2. Make a life of your existing customer referral sources
Your referral sources are your happy customers, friends, and family. They are your biggest advocates and will be the lifeblood of your referral marketing program. Make a list of all of these groups and how you can easily contact them.
3. Make an outreach plan
Now that you have a list of referral sources, carefully make an outreach plan. It's not quite as simple as sending a blast email with a generic referral incentive. Instead, research the best practices for reaching out to each type of referral.
Newer customers, for example, shouldn't receive emails about your reward program right after their first purchase. And close friends and family may not need an incentive at all! The types of referral programs that you use will largely depend on your list, so plan accordingly.
4. Determine the referral incentives you'll offer
While cash incentives likely seem like they’ll get the biggest draw out of your existing customer base, that’s not necessarily the case. One study found that non-cash incentives were 24% more effective with referral marketing than cash incentives. It’s best to offer something of tremendous value to your customers that will keep them coming back to your shop in the future.
5. Tell your customers about it
Once you’ve settled on your referral lists and your incentives, it’s time to get people to spread the word both about your brand and your rewards! There are many different ways to do this, each of which brings in a different segment of potential customers.
You could add details about your referral program in your newsletters, have opt-ins on your website, capture customers through a pop-up right on your homepage, or even send out specific referral emails to your most loyal audience. Do a little research about the most effective way to grow your lists and then test it out for yourself.
6. Track the referrals and rewards
In order to run a successful rewards program, you need to keep track of all of the referrals being made. You need to be able to keep track of who referred whom, the date they were referred, whether or not a conversion was made, and the best way to follow up with both the referrer and the referee.
One of the easiest ways to do this is with referral program software, like ReferralCandy. A system that not only facilitates the reward within your shop but also provides accurate data on the referrals is going to help you know exactly how successful (or unsuccessful) your program is.
Now that you have a clearer idea of referral programs, let's take a look at the referral programs of top ecommerce brands and what we can learn from them.
Rothy’s makes stylish products from 100% recycled plastic water bottles and post-consumer recycled materials. It started out with shoes and has branched out to handbags. In 2018, two years after launching, it brought in more than $140 million in revenue and was valued at $700 million.
Some Rothy’s customers really love the brand. There is a Facebook group, Rothy’s Addicts, with more than 22,000 members at the time of writing. “Word-of-mouth continues to blow away all other channels with regards to how people find out about the brand,” said Elie Donahue, Rothy’s vice president of marketing.
Rothy’s referral program reward structure:
My favorite takeaway from Rothy’s referral program:
I had thought brands with an enthusiastic customer base and strong word of mouth would not need a referral program. Yet many popular brands use referrals to grow (as you will see below). Rothy’s included. That might be because only 29% of satisfied customers actually recommend products and services to their friends. A referral program can help brands encourage more word-of-mouth recommendations.
With a $0 marketing budget, Tesla grew through viral word of mouth thanks to its great products and generous referral program. At one point, they were giving a 100% discount on their Next Generation Founders Series Roadster—basically giving a free car!
I love this story by the “World’s #1 Tesla referrer” who referred more than 1,200 people to buy a Tesla car and earned himself two cars worth $500,000. His videos have generated millions of views for Tesla.
Given the popularity of its referral program, Tesla has changed its rewards to something perhaps more sustainable.
Tesla’s referral program reward structure:
My favorite takeaway from Tesla’s referral program:
The Tesla team is not afraid to change their referral program and experiment with different rewards. They have changed their referral program at least nine times over the years. The first version of the referral program gave advocates $1,000 credits in their Tesla account and gave their friends $1,000 off the purchase price. It also included “things money can’t buy”, such as invitations to tour their factory and to attend the grand opening party.
Casper revolutionized the mattress industry by selling their mattresses online and delivering them in a box. Despite starting with only a single mattress (in different sizes), they sold $1.8 million worth of mattresses in 60 days.
Casper’s referral program is “by far one of the most efficient customer acquisition channels in Casper’s arsenal”, according to Friendbuy.
Casper’s referral program reward structure:
My favorite takeaway from Casper’s referral program:
Casper seems to be experimenting with multiple referral programs at the same time. Besides the “Give 20% off a mattress, Get $75” referral program, it also has a “Give 10% off a pillow, get $10” referral program (which is more hidden on its website). Since Casper has multiple product lines, this feels like a smart way to get its customers to recommend different products to their friends and to reward them accordingly.
Tyler Haney launched Outdoor Voices, an active lifestyle brand, in 2013. Even though the space is filled with giants like Lululemon and Nike, Outdoor Voices managed to grow a cult-like following among its customers. By 2018, its annual sales were up to $38 million.
While brands like Nike focus on competitive athletes, Outdoor Voices built an active community of people who have been ignored—people who simply want to be active. Outdoor Voices’ social runs and yoga events are made for them. See how engaged its fans are on its Instagram!
Outdoor Voices’ referral program reward structure:
My favorite takeaway from Outdoor Voices’ referral program:
A referral program fits nicely with Outdoor Voices’ brand, which emphasizes staying active with friends. Here’s its mission:
We’re on a mission to Get the World Moving, because we believe Doing Things — moving your body and having fun with friends — is the surest way to a happy and healthy life.
When you let go of the expectation to perform, that’s when the real magic happens. You learn that the joy of the game will always outlast a win. You learn that friends who sweat together, stick together. And you learn that moving creates endorphins, and Endorphins Make You Happy.
Even the copy for its referral program talks about its mission: #DoingThings is more fun with friends.
In ReferralCandy, you can customize the text and style of your signup form to match your branding:
Rent the Runway, founded by Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss, was named one of the most disruptive companies in 2019. By making it possible to rent and wear designer items at a more affordable price, Rent the Runway grew to more than 11 million members.
Clothes, being so visible, naturally helps encourage conversations and word-of-mouth recommendations. People either share their outfits with their friends or their friends would ask them about it.
Rent the Runway’s referral program reward structure:
My favorite takeaway from Rent the Runway’s referral program:
Rent the Runway uses a simple GIF on its referral page to suggest who its customers can refer. “Perfect for friends who… consider you their personal stylists, have a little one on the way, are juggling 10 wedding invites.” This helps its customers think of friends whom they can refer, making it more likely that they do.
Mums trust other mums the most. So when Emma Kruger was lunching Riff Raff & Co, she wanted a referral program to be a big part of their marketing. Within a few years, Kruger and her team grew Riff Raff & Co into a million-dollar company with more than 50,000 happy parents.
Riff Raff & Co’s referral program reward structure:
My favorite takeaway from Riff Raff & Co’s referral program:
You do not have to give a reward for every referral. Most referral programs would give advocates a reward for every friend they refer. On the other hand, Riff Raff & Co requires its advocates to refer five friends before they get the reward. It offers its advocates a reward valuable enough ($65 sleep toy) that parents are willing to recommend the brand to fellow parents.
In ReferralCandy, you can easily set the number of referrals required for advocates to earn their reward:
After an uncomfortable and inconvenient experience buying underwear, Jonathan Shokrian set out to disrupt the underwear market in 2011. By 2017, the brand was selling five million pieces of underwear a year. (I have a pair, and it is great!)
MeUndies customers love its underwear. They are actively engaging with its Instagram posts and regularly waiting on Instagram for the next print. With such an active customer base, it is clear why “referrals play a huge part in growing our MeUndies fam”.
MeUndies’s referral program reward structure:
My favorite takeaway from MeUndies’s referral program:
MeUndies invites its customers to refer their friends through multiple emails. When a customer’s order is sent out, the notification email has a section about its referral program.
(View full email)
After the order has been received, MeUndies sends out another email specifically about its referral program, with the subject line, “Spread the Love (And Get PAID💰)”.
(View full email)
Rae Wellness, a supplements brand founded by Angie Tebbe, grew to one million customers in just the first year of business.
It started selling online, directly to consumers, in 2019. By 2020, it quickly expanded to Target, Amazon, and more. After raising $9.5 million in funding, it is on track for triple-digit growth in 2021.
Rae Wellness’s referral program reward structure:
My favorite takeaway from Rae Wellness’s referral program:
Having a referral program matches the product it is selling. Consumers are generally more cautious about buying supplements, compared to fashion and gadgets, because it is something we put inside our body. My guess is that a referral program works better than advertising for Rae Wellness because we would trust our friends about a supplement more than an ad we see online (even if they are incentivized to share).
Italic is a members-only shopping site that sells luxury goods from the same manufacturers as top brands. Without the brands’ logo, the products are much more affordable.
Before it launched, it already had a long waitlist of more than 100,000 signups. Even then, Italic was already using referral marketing. Referrals were the only way to bypass the waitlist, and about one in four referrals became a member. After the launch, they now have a different referral program.
Italic’s referral program reward structure:
My favorite takeaway from Italic’s referral program:
Italic uses referrals to find its most engaged fans to build the company. When talking about the launch referral campaign, Italic product manager Derek Tu told Morning Brew, “that was by design, since we only wanted [...] highly engaged members that are compelled to help build our early community.” Having an engaged community is such a great way to get feedback and product ideas to expand the brand.
Within a year of launching, Parade sold over 700,000 underwears and brought in $10 million in revenue. For a period, the brand took over Instagram as they messaged more than 6,000 Instagrammers to offer free gifts in exchange for social posts.
According to Morning Brew, nearly 10% of Parade customers refer a friend within a month of their purchase.
Parade’s referral program reward structure:
My favorite takeaway from Parade’s referral program:
Parade incentives its advocates to refer more friends by offering bigger rewards for each of the first three friends referred. Referring a friend to buy might be easy. But the second and third friends will be harder. By offering a bigger reward, Parade makes it more likely that its advocates would refer two more friends.
Interestingly, after the third referred friend, the advocate reward falls back to $10. My guess is Parade wants to avoid people abusing its referral program. Furthermore, if one customer brings in three new customers, that is such a great deal already.
Doe creates handcrafted Korean silk lashes that are designed for comfort and are wearable more than fifteen times.
Jason Wong started Doe Lashes with just $500 and has bootstrapped ever since. During the pandemic, Doe Lashes’ sales grew three times from March 2020 to the end of 2020. Wong also shared that he does hope to expand Doe beyond the lash category to evolve it into a lifestyle brand concentrating on comfort. With a strong brand identity and product, Doe Lashes has generated quite a buzz and it makes sense to tap on referral programs as a channel to grow their community and customer base.
Doe Lashes’ referral program reward structure:
My favorite takeaway from Doe Lashes’ referral program:
Doe Lashes calls its loyalty program “Deer Pack”, which is a great way to name their community. Their referral program also leverages the fact that advocates are huge fans of their products—judging by why they would even share about the brand itself and would prefer receiving another pair of lashes than cash rewards. They’ve also made good use of the pop-up widget to remind users about their referral program.
Braxley Bands create Apple Watch bands that come in all the different colors and patterns that are made from ‘recycled elastic fabric’ and are washable, comfortable, and stretchy.
With only a $5,000 grant, Braxton Manley, shared that as a sophomore in 2017, he attended a workshop on entrepreneurship and saw the opportunity to get creative with the first generation of Apple Watches and interchangeable bands. Replacing the usual plain old black and brown straps with a retro 80s twist seemed to resonate well with consumers. Braxley Bands has seen really good reviews.
“The great thing about our bands is people often buy a dozen styles for different outfits and uses. We haven’t reached our maturity with the Apple Watch bands,” said Manley. And this was where the opportunity lay for them to kickstart their referral program.
Braxley Bands’ referral program reward structure:
My favorite takeaway from Braxley Bands’ referral program:
Beyond the conventional 20% for you, and 20% for me, Braxley Bands also introduced an additional perk of standing a chance to win a $100 gift card (that’s essentially 3 more bands for the advocate). That alone is an extra incentive at zero cost to the advocate, all he or she needs to do is to share via word of mouth. Also, need I say more about how creative the referral landing page is?
Canopy made the world's cleanest and easiest humidifier for optimal skin health and wellness.
The brand positions itself as a device that optimizes homes for beauty and wellness—more than just skin deep, the devices help to build wellness routines and promote easy breathing and better sleep.
Canopy’s referral program reward structure:
My favorite takeaway from Canopy’ referral program:
It’s not unusual for brands to choose product incentives rather than cash or credit incentives, but they definitely belong to the minority. Canopy did a great job in closing the loop for existing customers and keeping them loyal. If I’m an advocate, it makes absolute sense for me to be incentivized by free filters since I already own the device. They’ve also made it enticing to click on the “Free Filter” button rather than to put “Refer-a-Friend Program”.
GEM started in 2017 when Sara Cullen started her own entrepreneurial journey to figure out ways in which she could better diversify and complete vitamin deficiencies and lack of nutrition with real food. The brand is completely transparent with their ingredients and, unlike other supplements on the market, they are regulated by the FDA.
Brands focused on the supplement ecommerce industry generally have it tougher than the rest. One being that the product is health-related and requires a certain level of trust towards the brand before consumers decide to purchase. And the second is that its marketing efforts outside of word of mouth marketing may not work as well as other types of products.
GEM’s referral program reward structure:
My favorite takeaway from GEM’s referral program:
GEM has done well in creating an overall loyalty program for customers. Their referral program returns advocates with GEM credits to use in their following purchases, creating a journey of continued purchase. There’s a great emphasis on their referral landing page on how easy it is to start referring, something which other brands could learn from. They’ve also listed exactly how the program works in bullet points, coupled with a compelling hero image and easy access to the program through a referral widget.
As you might know, we love referral programs and have written about a number of them. If you are looking for more inspiration, check out the following articles or our case studies collection:
What are your favorite ecommerce referral programs? If this list is missing your favorites, let us know!
P.S. If you enjoyed reading this article and want to grow your ecommerce store, subscribe to our newsletter to get our latest articles and roundups.
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The previous versions of this article were written by Visakan Veerasamy, Si Quan Ong, Darren Foong, and Marquis Matson, marketers at ReferralCandy. We update this article regularly to keep it relevant and useful to ecommerce merchants.
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