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5 Shopify Brands That Are Killing It With a Referral Program

There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We take a lot of old ideas and put them into a mental kaleidoscope.

We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely, but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.

Every inch of this quote by Mark Twain is so true, isn’t it?

I, for example, am always inspired by fiction books and try to paint my thoughts with its ink and I am sure that it’s not just me.

Art, songs, designs, content, business models — almost everything is inspired by other ideas. So why not apply the same notion when it comes to setting up a referral program for Shopify?

Let’s steal ideas from these 5 Shopify brands and look at how they have designed refer and earn programs.

1. MVMT Watches

MVMT, a Shopify brand that sells elegant, high-quality, and affordable watches was co-founded by college dropouts Jake Kassan and Kramer LaPlante in June 2013, and guess what?

The same year, MVMT participated in Shopify’s 4th annual Build A Business Competition and won the award in March 2014, in the category of Jewelry and Crafts.

Impressive, right? In fact, one of the founders, Kassan used to work as a valet to pay his $20k debt and took MVMT to $90 million in revenue in just 5 years.

How? In addition to creating social proof by distributing user-generated content on social media and running user-behavior-specific Facebook and Instagram ads, they did one more thing.

They leveraged almost micro-influencers to feature MVMT watches in their posts with the #JoinTheMVMT hashtag, with a unique referral discount coupon code.

This helped the brand grow its influencer channel by 7x and receive over 100k discount codes.

Back in 2016, MVMT offered a 10% discount code for each influencer which they had to share on their social media, featuring MVMT watches.


Currently, the MVMT referral program is part of their loyalty program, MVMT Insider, and offers fixed referral rewards to both referrer and referee. Here’s how it looks.


2. Casper

“No one is going to buy mattresses online. This is a dumb idea, don’t do it,” is the response Casper co-founders received when trying to convince investors, and today, they are a billion-dollar mattress company.

Yes, Casper is a popular Shopify store that sells high-quality mattresses and bedding products.

Launched in 2014, the brand became quite a social media sensation with celebrities like Kylie Jenner posting about their mattress in March 2015 which got them over 870k likes.


The brand was even featured as Best Inventions of 2015 by TIME Magazine and listed among the 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World.

So what led to its popularity? In addition to creating innovative and comfortable mattresses and delivering them in a tiny box and getting influencers’ attention, there was one more element called the referral program.

That’s right! Casper referral program generated a 7x return on investment compared to that of other marketing channels and a 13% increase in referral conversion rate.

Curious to see what their referral program looked like?

They currently run 2 referral programs, one on mattresses and the other on pillows, using both percentage and gift card rewards.


3. Get Back Necklaces

In the Middle Ages, Saint Christopher was known as the saint of travelers and a symbol of safe travel and protection.

Known as a Christ-bearer who crossed a river bearing the heavy weight of the Christ child, he’s believed to be a saint of safe travels in modern times as well and kept close in the form of St. Christopher medals, keychains, or necklaces.

This is the tradition that the Get Back Necklaces brand continued, selling St. Christopher Surf Necklaces.

Just like their story, their referral program is my personal favorite as it gives 50% to both advocates and friends.

With such enticing rewards and products, the Get Back Necklaces referral program saw huge success with a 700% increase in referral revenue.


4. Spanx

Sara Blakley found Spanx, a shapewear brand was named the world's youngest, self-made female billionaire by Forbes Magazine and one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People.

“How did she become so influential with her brand?” I thought and realized that finding the right undergarments to give an even feel against light-colored or smooth fabric it’s indeed an issue.

This is the issue she solved and created a billion-dollar company. Apart from her success story, what I also loved is the success of the Spanx referral program.


What’s interesting is that the AOV of referred customers is 8% higher than standard orders and they have achieved up to 26% higher conversion rate from referral campaigns.

5. Bombas

Stories sell and that’s exactly what happened with Bombas. Randy Goldberg and David Heath started Bombas, a comfort-focused sock and apparel brand with a mission to donate one pair of socks for every pair sold.

In 2014, they pitched the same at Shark Tank and could only get Daymond John’s interest who offered $200k for a 17% stake in Bombas while other sharks felt that the buy-one-give-one model wouldn’t be profitable.

6 years later, Bombas crossed $100 million in yearly revenue with 20 million socks given away.

As I said, all of this could become possible because of their story. People connect with stories and buy from the same and this is the factor that Bombas uses in their referral program.

Herein, they have designed the refer and earn program in such a way that the referrer gets $20 and the referee gets 20% of their first order, a nice blend of percentage and fixed discount.


Your Turn to Kill It With a Shopify Referral Program

What do you think? Did you find these 5 amazing Shopify referral programs inspiring? Have some reward idea bubbles already started popping in your head? If so, you’re on the right track!

Now all you need to do is either get a referral program for your Shopify business or optimize the current one and guess what? Flyy’s referral program app can help. Learn why.



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