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4 Best Referral Program Apps for Shopify in 2024

Is starting an online business easy? No, and who knows it better than you? With a hint of courage, a dash of optimism and lots of research, you find a problem to solve.


Then you identify your product, target customers, inventory source, competition, payment methods, legal formalities and the list goes on, right?


Once you’re all set, you turn to sell online and that’s when e-commerce platforms like Shopify come into the picture.


You build a Shopify store but then find yourself looking at an island where you find traffic and increase your Shopify store sales.


So you start building a bridge to get there. You gather raw materials such as Facebook ads, Instagram influencers, abandoned cart emails, discount strategy, cross-selling etc.


Somehow, you reach the island, and find customers but realise that the raw materials helped you explore only a portion of the island at a high cost.


Now you sit there, looking for cost-effective ways to acquire the entire island and that’s when you see a helicopter with 4 saviours climb down to your rescue.


Any guesses about who they are? Let me help you. The helicopter is called Referral Marketing and the 4 saviours are called Referral Program Apps.


Referral Marketing - A Shopify Sales Champion


Let’s face it. Referral marketing isn’t jargon. As a Shopify store owner, you realise the capability of incentivising your existing customers for referrals.


That being said, referral marketing is so powerful that it generates 5 times the sales of paid advertising, as per Shopify. It has the lowest CAC and can bring up to 9x ROI.


Now, this brings us to a question — “If referral marketing is so great, how can one turn it into a growth machine?”


By using referral program apps. These apps are nothing but software/tools/plugins which turn your current customers into brand ambassadors by making them join a referral program.


Your customers

  1. Join your Shopify referral program

  2. Get a unique code which they share with their friends/family

  3. Get rewarded and continue to refer


Quite convenient, right? 92% of consumers trust recommendations. So all you’ve to do is integrate a referral program software, set it up in a few simple steps and get going.


Let’s now see some of the top referral program apps for your Shopify store.


4 Shopify Referral Program Apps

Based on features, pricing and ease of use, I’ve curated a list of 4 referral program apps just for you.


1. ReferralCandy

Overview: ReferralCandy is a cloud-based referral marketing platform that integrates with Shopify stores. The app offers a referral program that runs by itself with features that enable

  1. Post-purchase customisable, automated emails for customers to invite friends to join the referral program

  2. Setting referral rewards such as coupons, cash or custom rewards for customers who make successful referrals

  3. Performance analysis based on referral count, revenue and traffic


ReferralCandy-Referral-Program-App-Shopify

Dashboard: ReferralCandy’s dashboard consists of 3 sections — Stats and overview, Referral report and A/B testing.

The dashboard helps you understand aspects such as the performance of your referral program including revenue generated and referral rate (% of revenue coming from referrals).


It also shows the number of advocates who joined, social media shares, emails sent, referral traffic and top referrers.


Referral Program: Herein, you can create a referral program.

Reward: Under the Reward section, you can choose how you want to reward both Advocate and Friend. Advocate Reward:

Coupon reward where you can allot between fixed or percentage discount, coupon expiry and products applicable on.

Cash reward is where you can pick a fixed amount or percentage cash back. Custom reward where you can offer any reward such as a gift card redemption which needs to be from your end as a Shopify store owner.


Friend Reward: Coupon reward where you can follow the same process No reward at all which is something I don’t recommend. Click here to learn why.


Reward Setting: You can fine tune your referral rewards further under reward settings by choosing currency, minimum spending, referrals required for advocate reward, purchase quantity etc.

Emails and Pages: Under this, you can select the feel of your referral program as per your brand personality and set up email automation.

Simple theme: ReferralCandy provides an editable template where you can pick a logo, and banner, choose primary colour and font and apply them to overall referral program content.


Post-purchase email: Here, the referral program app lets you set and preview a referral program invite email post-purchase with elements such as subject, heading, offer, body and link text. ReferralCandy also uses Liquid, an open-source template language provided by Shopify which also allows you to customise pages and emails in developer mode. You can also set up other content under this section such as a join page, reminder email, reward success etc.


Social Media Messages: ReferralCandy lets you customise the way referral links (messages and images) are seen when advocates share them on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Widgets: This is the section you can use to promote your referral program on your Shopify store. Post-purchase pop-up which pushes a referral message after a purchase is made Embed sign-up page using which advocates can directly refer without logging out

Referral widget which pops up a refer and earn icon in a page corner


Furthermore, you can set email settings by verifying the domain and choosing email audience, frequency; and language settings. ReferralCandy also allows you to integrate your marketing and analytics apps.


RefferalCandy-Shopify-Referral-Program-App-Dashboard

2. Smile.io


Overview: Smile.io is a loyalty and referral rewards app that helps you boost customer acquisition for your Shopify store with a customisable referral reward.


By now, you understand the basics of a referral program app (incentives, shareability, appearance and tracking) and Smile.io too, has got it all covered. Take a look.


Smile.io-Referral-Program-App-Shopify

Program: Referrals option appears under this section which includes setting up referring customer rewards and referred friend rewards, referral nudge (adding referral invite on order confirmation page) and social sharing. Performance: Under Performance, the Referrals section shows analytics which has

  • Revenue from referred customers

  • Referral traffic

  • Referrals completed

  • Orders from referred customers

  • Referral conversion rate


Branding: Branding sections take care of the theme (colour, header, banner, font, links, buttons etc) along with where the referral program launcher should be placed. Customer emails: Smile.io lets you set up emails by choosing customised messaging. Nudges and Integrations: This is where you increase referral URL sharing by customizing the nudge icon, text and page, followed by integrating apps.


Smile.io-Shopify-Referral-Program-App-Dashboard


3. ReferralRock

Overview: ReferralRock is a referral marketing automation software that helps you get more business using the influence of your existing customers using referral program best practices such as

  1. Dual-side incentives

  2. Personalized links

  3. Social media sharing

  4. Automatic notifications

  5. User dashboard

  6. In-depth performance statistics

  7. Integration with the existing system


Referral-Rock-Referral-Program-App-Shopify


Let’s look at how ReferralRoack referral marketing software enables these.

Sharing: ReferralRock makes it easy for Shopify owners to integrate referral link sharing via widgets and automatically generated URLs throughout a customer lifecycle.

Incentive payout: Unlike ReferralCandy, it lets you offer various incentive payout mechanisms with payouts such as gift cards, PayPal, donations, giveaways, coupons, credits or custom payouts. Referral dashboard: It allows advocates to track their referrals so that they can share more. The dashboard also has built-in notifications and emails share provision.


Tracking: ReferralRock referral tracking is quite interesting. In addition to letting to

check the shared channel and customer type (new vs existing), it also lets to measure impressions to actual share activity. Based on this, you can gain insights and optimise your referral program for top-performing campaigns, advocates, channels and incentives. Experience: Under experience, ReferralRock lets your map your brand persona by customizing the look and feel of your referral program and letting you control the design, messaging, and more.


Referral-Rock-Shopify-Referral-Program-App-Dashboard

4. Flyy

Overview: As a gamification tool that has helped brands like Kotak gamify their referral and loyalty rewards program, Flyy brings the same expertise into their Shopify referral program app.


Flyy-Referral-Program-App-Shopify

Having gamified 25 Million+ users and dispersed 15 Cr rewards, Flyy’s referral program app for Shopify is everything you need in order to launch a gamified referral program.


Yes, their referral program API for Shopify is gamified where customers can scratch a card and win rewards.


Let’s see how.


Referral: In the Flyy dashboard under the referral section, you can set dual rewards for both the referrer and referee. The reward type can be Amount, Percentage, Free Shipping or Free Product.


You can also choose between fixed and variable rewards, which encourages customers to look forward to different reward values.


Under the same section, you can add a referral nudge on the order confirmation page, referral link, social sharing, pick reward expiry date, discount product and code, minimum order value and more.


Notifications: You can increase engagement by sending on-site reminders from both guests and customers. This can be done under the notifications section by setting up nudges that you can customise by adding your choice of content and image.


Customers: This part allows you to track which customers made which referrals, their status, date of referral and order value.

Branding feature of Flyy’s referral program app for Shopify provides you with a plethora of options to customise the look of your Shopify referral program. It consists of 3 parts:


Theme allows you to pick different colours, shapes, wallpaper, placement, visibility, banner image and Flyy branding.


Panel lets you change the text of your referral program widget along with choosing a text for the sign-in step for the referral program. Launcher is where you choose icons, text and positioning for your referral program launcher

Analytics: This part lets you do a comprehensive analysis of your referral program performance such as referral revenue, traffic, order number etc.

Flyy-Shopify-Referral-Program-App-Dashboard


Grow Shopify Sales With Referral Program App


There you have it, 4 top referral program apps that you must be looking at in 2023. But hey, which one would you choose?


While I’m going to leave that for you to answer, remember to keep in mind that your referral program must be easy to use and encouraging for customers.


With many referral program apps for Shopify out there, it’s easy to get lost in a whirlwind and that’s when you must look at features that stand out and for me, that’s gamification.



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