As humans, we’re inclined to believe people we know and trust over any other source. That’s why 83 percent of people say they trust the recommendations of friends and family, according to a global Nielsen survey. You can talk about your own brand until you’re blue in the face, but it’s simply not going to be as effective as one shopper recommending your website to another.
In addition to buying from your store; you want shoppers to tell their friends. This is precisely why implementing an ecommerce referral strategy is so important to building your customer base. Here are four tips for doing so successfully.
Make It Fun
Although your ecommerce referral policy exists online, you can still make progress feel tangible for customers. For example, gamification is a great hook to get people involved. Crazy Egg looks at the Harry’s launch as an example. The shaving company raked in referrals by asking interested parties to subscribe. Subscribers received a unique URL to share with their friends. Thanks to cookies, every time these people returned to the referral page, they could see their progress update—the more people they referred, the better the prize.
Create a Referral Landing Page
Your website, blog and social media accounts should include several instances of your referral call to action (CTA), with each one linking to a special referral landing page. This is where you convince people to make a referral—what’s at stake? Keep the copy clean and the image compelling. There should be no mistaking the purpose of the page, nor how to redeem the referral rewards. Ask for as little information as possible; it will keep the page more orderly and convince people to achieve the goal because it will only take a moment to comply.
Modern enterprise ecommerce solutions like Shopify work with third-party apps to seamlessly integrate referral programs, plus they make it easy to customize your website to include features like a designated referral landing page.
Utilize Win-Win Scenarios
Half the battle of referrals is getting your existing customers to sign up, and the other half is getting the people they referred to actually take the jump and complete a certain action (like signing up for your newsletter, making their first purchase, etc.). This is a lot easier if your referral incentives are a win-win. The answer to “What’s in this for me?” must be obvious.
For example, in addition to offering customers a coupon for referring a friend (redeemable after the friend makes a purchase), you should also offer said friend a percentage off their first transaction. This motivates everyone to do their part, and every party (including your store) benefits from the referral.
Ridesharing programs like Lyft demonstrate a mutually beneficial referral program in action. The referred passenger gets free ride credit right off the bat, while the referrer gets free ride credit as soon as their referee takes their first ride.
Remind Your Customers
With so much information available, customers often feel pulled in many directions. Even if they fully intend to refer a friend, it’s easy to forget. That’s why you need to remind your shoppers at key times. ReferralCandy suggests taking advantage of a major trigger moment: immediately after customers make a purchase. They’re feeling good about what they just bought, and will likely respond positively to a helpful popup with your referral CTA.
Referrals are a surefire way to boost customer acquisition, with a twist: these new shoppers already have a degree of built-in loyalty because they discovered you through a trusted source. Using these four tips for implementing an ecommerce referral strategy, can make it well worth customers’ while to tell their friends about your goods and services.