3 Ways To Use Referral Marketing To Generate More Sales For Your e-Commerce Store

Here we go.

What’s better than writing a blog post by the beach on a sunny Monday morning?!

I hope you’re all ok and having fun. 🙃

So, the other day I received this message from our Product Lead, Dimitris Tzortzis.

… I immediately thought “… wait a minute, this is how a referral works.”

Just take a look around. Every now and then someone shares with you their experience with a product or company.

Chances are that they share something they liked — something valuable that also makes sense to you.

So why businesses don’t try to incentivize customers to share more?

People are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend and 83% of consumers are willing to refer but only 29% actually do.

Why? Because most businesses don’t ask.

This presents a big opportunity for you.

We wanted to share with you three simple ways to take advantage of and start using referral marketing to generate more sales from your e-commerce store.

They are all simple changes you can make to match the way that people behave online today.

Let’s get deeper.

How To Use Referral Marketing To Generate More Sales

1) Start by implementing a referral marketing program

If you don’t have one in place, it’s a great chance to start today.

People need a nudge and you need to push them to do what you want them to.

Incentivize your customers by rewarding them every time they invite their friends to purchase from your store.

Here’s how Gilt encourages customers to invite friends and family members to join.

Rewards for referrals can be just the thing to get your visitors and customers sharing your brand with their friends and family.

You can offer rewards through a referral or loyalty program. With a loyalty program you engage your customers by awarding points for any activity performed on your site. (e.g. purchased above $100, purchased twice, or left a review)

One of the most popular loyalty programs in e-Commerce is the one that Nordstrom has.

Their customers win points in direct proportion to how much they spend.

Awesome, right?

In Viral Loops we’ve built two amazing referral marketing templates, inspired by Gilt and Nordstrom, especially for e-Commerce stores.

You’ll be surprised at how many customers will start referring their friends to your store.

You’ll increase sales. You’ll increase your revenue.

2) Make it easy for customers to refer their friends

You always need to make it as easy as possible, for your customers, to spread the word about your products and refer your store.

There are two ways you can do this.

1)Use a referral widget

The most direct way to let your customers share their shopping experience with their friends is through a referral widget.

Nowadays everyone uses Drift, Intercom or any other in-app messaging tool, so people are familiar to interact with them on a daily basis.

this is Drift, if you’re curious.

They click on the right hand bottom corner, they start a conversation.

Imagine how easy it would be if you could refer the same way.

We want to go there but… with referrals.

Why make it difficult to refer friends when you can do it so easy?!

here’s a screenshot of our referral widget

Through a referral widget, users can check their activity (how many points they have), their coupons and also refer their friends, all from one place, instead of having to navigate to another specific page.

By having this referral widget floating in every page of your store, you let your customers know that they can invite their friends at any moment.

here’s a live example of the referral widget (https://www.fashionnoiz.com)

2)Build a dedicated page

In addition, you can build a dedicated page for referrals.

Consider how Harry’s built a dedicated page on their website to make it easier for their customers to invite friends and win products.

There is no doubt that referring friends is an important call-to-action for them, right? That’s how clear you have to be.

So some important things you have to keep in mind when you’re building your referral page are:

  • Powerful and clear proposition in the headline
  • Social sharing options. Social proof increases user sharing
  • Multiple sharing tiers
  • Your user’s activity, how many friends signed up and how many rewards they have collected so far
  • Multiple sharing options to increase user sharing

Read more in this awesome guide

3) Find and talk with influencers

Influencers within your industry can be a huge opportunity for referral traffic and sales.

Influencers can be a huge addition to your referral marketing.

But, maybe you’re not at the point you can afford to pay someone with 1 million Instagram followers to refer your product.

On Instagram there are plenty of influencers with small, yet huge audiences you can work with.

Buzzsumo has a great guide on how to find influencers.

Here are some from working with influencers:

  1. Create connections — build long-lasting personalized relationships and brand loyalty with influencers for future collaborations.
  2. Save time— manage campaigns more efficiently with quick and easy communication.
  3. Increase influencer satisfaction — allow influencers to be heard and answered with personalized messages, making the process more collaborative.
  4. Gain product feedback — gain feedback directly from the consumer regarding what they loved about the product.

Give away your best products for free and let influencers mention you on social media.

These are just three examples of simple ways you can use referral marketing to your store and get more sales.

Generating more revenue can be as easy as making sure your e-commerce store matches the way people actually behave online today.


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Originally posted in our awesome blog.

We’d love to get your feedback, so feel free to leave a response below.

Viral Loops is the all-in-one viral marketing platform to launch your 
referral programs, sweepstakes, competitions and pre-launch campaigns.