5 Tips for Managing an eCommerce Referral Program
Guest post from Elevation Marketing VP of strategy and marketing services Ryan Gould on how to better manage your eCommerce referral program.
Online shopping is on the rise and it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon. Consumers prefer to shop online because it’s more convenient, cheaper and faster than shopping at a brick and mortar. The problem? Being in the eCommerce space has become more and more competitive as new businesses start to enter the scene. In fact, the eCommerce industry is growing by 23% year-over-year. This just goes to show that if your business isn’t differentiated enough from your competitors, you may miss out on potential revenue.
So, how do you stand out amongst the sea of competition? The answer is in having an engaging eCommerce referral program.
What is an eCommerce Referral Program?
An eCommerce referral program is essentially a form of digital marketing that brings your business product sales through digital “word of mouth.” Having a referral program allows your current customers to easily evangelize your products through digital platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, email and more. Customers love being part of these programs because they get to exchange their time for a reward (or monetary compensation). The best part? Referral programs are proven to bring your business more eCommerce sales than any other form of traditional marketing.
Here are some statistics to showcase the power of running a referral program for your eCommerce business.
eCommerce Referral Program Statistics You Need to Know 
- Companies that implement actual referral programs report an 86% higher revenue than those that don’t.
- Customers referred by a friend or other customers have a 16% higher lifetime value than non-referred ones.
- 84% of shoppers begin their buying process with a referral.
- Referral Marketing generates 3-5x higher conversion rates than any other channel.
- Customer acquisitions through referrals spend 200% more than the average customer.
Now that you’ve seen the stats, you may be convinced that it’s time to make the most of referral marketing. Let’s look at these 5 tips on how you can manage your referral program to boost your online sales.
1. Share Your Referral Program
Your customers are a coveted asset. Not only do they provide your brand with free advertising, but referrals also mean new opportunities to engage with prospects. It’s important to give your program a shout-out on social media and other digital platforms so that your customers know how to get involved! (You won’t be able to collect referrals if your customers don’t know about it.)
2. Make it Mobile-Friendly
One of the key ways you can increase the conversion rates for your referral program is to make it as easy as possible for customers to navigate your referral link. This means you need to make sure the referral system is compatible with mobile devices. Many online shoppers are shopping from the convenience of their phone. Don’t forget to have a responsive design.
3. Offer the Right Reward
One of the major reasons that customers sign up for a referral program in the first place is because of the awesome rewards associated with it. Some great ideas for rewards include:
- Exclusive Discounts
- Free Products
To pick out the right reward for your program, scope out what your competition is doing. Are they offering a free product? Do they give cashback? What is it that the competition is doing that’s working?
Then, after checking out what your competition is doing, it’s time to decide what reward you want to offer.
Note: You don’t have to make a decision purely based on your competition, but it can help you get a base understanding of what’s working in the market.
4. Let Users Share on Social
Next, make your program shareable. By giving your customers the option to share their favorite referral products on social media, you will see more product sales and an increase in happy referral program members.
5. Integrate Email Marketing
Lastly, integrate your referral program with email marketing. You can use email marketing to promote your program and get customers to sign up. Again, without program members, you can’t reap the benefits of referral sales.
Boost Your eCommerce Referral Sales in 2021
If your referral program has been neglected in the past, be sure to try out some of the tips we mentioned above. All of the advice we gave will help you better leverage your greatest asset: your current customers. From giving out great rewards to promoting the program through an email marketing campaign, focusing your efforts on your referral strategy can help you boost your overall product sales in 2021.
Are you ready to give your customers an online shopping experience they will remember? Connect with the eCommerce specialists at Elevation Marketing to get started!