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5 Referral Program Examples for Your Shopify Store

Aug 20, 2021 | 8 minute read

5 Referral Program Examples for Your Shopify Store

Matt Goodman

Co-founder, CEO

Your Shopify store is thriving, and it is time to take it to the next level. That’s great news, but how do you do it? By implementing a referral program. Word-of-mouth is the holy grail of marketing and referral programs because they allow you to leverage your existing customers to bring you new, high LTV customers at a super low cost per acquisition (CPA).

The ROI of Referrals 

Eighty-three percent of consumers trust recommendations from their friends, and 80 percent of consumers are likely to purchase an item based on friends’ suggestions. So, if your current marketing strategy can benefit from the value referral marketing brings, it’s time to invest in the technology and tools—and a referral marketing partner—that offers it.

But don’t just take our word for it. Check out these five referral marketing metrics that showcase its ROI.

1. Businesses can drive at least 5-15 percent of total revenues through a referral marketing program

Customers achieve these results by implementing Friendbuy’s referral marketing best practices and effectively promoting the referral program to their email list and social media followers.

Friendbuy’s top-performing customers have achieved up to 30 percent of revenues by A/B testing referral offers and optimizing the creative elements of their referral programs. These customers have also used Friendbuy to implement targeting and segmentation to further enhance referral marketing performance.

2. Customers referred by a friend convert 5 times faster

Referred friends are highly qualified because they’ve been introduced to your brand by someone they trust. As a result, referred friends convert much faster—5x faster—than those acquired through other channels.

Faster conversions means fewer dollars spent hitting your customer acquisition goals, which allows you to put newly freed-up funds toward other acquisition initiatives or to invest in other areas of your business.

3. Referral marketing should be one of your most efficient channels in terms of cost per acquisition (CPA)

Leveraging existing customers to refer new customers is a highly efficient method of acquisition relative to paid channels. By increasing conversion rates and accelerating time to conversion, referral marketing can consistently deliver your business’s best CPA.

By category, here are the CPAs that Friendbuy’s customers are achieving:

  • Apparel and Accessories: $1-10
  • Essentials: $1-9
  • Health and Beauty: $1-6
  • Subscription: $1-11
  • High Consideration: $1-14

4. Referral marketing achieves a 5x greater lifetime value (LTV) than other channels

Referred customers are much more highly qualified than other customers, which itself achieves a significantly higher LTV. But acquiring a new customer is just the first step in building your brand. To achieve sustainable growth, you need to turn your new customers into repeat buyers. Referral programs facilitate strong customer relationships by rewarding your existing customers to promote your brand to their friends, which results in repeat purchases from these existing customers and higher lifetime values.

5. Referral marketing can offer a 25x return on spend

Investing in a best-in-class referral marketing platform and services vendor allows your marketing team to own the referral channel without requiring additional resources across your organization from engineering, finance, and product management.

Take a look at some of the average ROI seen across different verticals:

  • Apparel and Accessories, CPG/Essentials: 25x
  • Health and Beauty: 22x
  • Subscription: 18x
  • High Consideration/Luxury: 47x

Referral Program Examples to Drive Sales

Now, it’s clear to see why a referral marketing program can help you quickly grow your customer base, drive sales, and achieve a positive ROI. The next question is “how”?

These five brands implemented referral programs for their Shopify stores and we’re here to show you how they did it. Check out their stories for inspiration, and get your referral program started today.

1. Flo by Moen

Flo by Moen is a smart water security system that detects water and shuts off the system if a leak is detected to protect homes from damage. Flo by Moen leveraged our one-click integration with Shopify Plus to launch its referral program. For this high-consideration purchase, the referral offer to give friends 20 percent off and get $100 for each qualified referral is a strong motivator for advocates to share.

This referral campaign is a shining example of Shopify’s Friendbuy integration because it incorporates all of our recommended best practices, including:

  • Having a clear primary call to action: “Get $100 when your friends join the family.”
  • Building a landing page for the referral program.
  • Incorporating a post-purchase overlay to prompt sharing when the advocate is excited about the product.

2. Wild Earth

Dog food brand Wild Earth added a referral program to capitalize on its initial success from exposure on Shark Tank. To keep the momentum going, Wild Earth linked Friendbuy to its Shopify store with a “Refer and Earn” CTA that offers friends 60 percent off a large bag subscription and advocates a $60 gift card.

Wild Earth incentives repeat referral behavior by rewarding advocates with gift cards using our Tremendous integration, which automates the reward fulfillment process. Similar to Flo by Moen, the brand employs the best practice of having a primary CTA, a landing page, and a post-purchase overlay. Wild Earth also includes some compelling suggested copy for email shares, describing the benefits of the product and having a subscription plan.

3. Hill House Home

DTC lifestyle brand Hill House Home wants to keep its customers coming back for more and build its customer base at the same time—so referral marketing was a perfect fit for its Shopify store. The company includes a clear “give $20, get 20 percent off” CTA in the footer and directs users to an elegant landing page.

Coupling promotion of the referral program with product launches is an excellent way for Hill House Home to attract repeat customers while also building its customer base. Hill House Home is also able to couple its referral and SMS strategies through Friendbuy’s integration with Attentive, allowing the brand to seamlessly capture a user’s phone number and further drive referral awareness.

4. Alen Air Purifiers

Innovative brand Alen produces air purifiers for homes, businesses, and schools. The company is also known for giving back to the community, so it makes sense that this spirit of giving would extend to a referral program. Alen offers a “give 10 percent, get 10 percent” referral incentive with some key elements in the widget, including:

  • A personalized URL that users can copy with a single click
  • The option to send emails to multiple recipients from one place
  • Compelling copy that highlights the benefits of the brand
  • The option to send friends a reminder after three days
  • Icons for sharing via Messenger, Facebook, and Twitter

Alen also leverages Friendbuy’s integration with Klaviyo, which captures a user’s email address, stores distributed coupon codes, and generates personal referral links in a customer’s Klaviyo profile.


Paddle board brand BOTE sells high-value products such as stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, and skiffs, but it also generates revenue from accessories such as towels, coolers, and gear. Using Friendbuy’s stackable account credit, customers can accumulate account credit instead of receiving a non-stackable, single-use coupon code for every friend they refer. This keeps customers engaged with its brand after they make a major purchase. BOTE offers $100 of account credit to advocates when friends make a purchase of $550 or more. Friends also benefit from a 10 percent discount, which is a meaningful amount for this Shopify store.

The Friendbuy Integration with Shopify Plus

referral program is a proven way to gain new customers, increase sales, and build loyalty for your online brand. With Friendbuy’s Shopify Plus integration, you can quickly get your entire referral program up and running with one click!

Once integrated, coupons are automatically generated, so you don’t have to upload and replenish them manually. The out-of-the-box referral dashboard for advocates allows them to have a complete view of their referral activity, including the date of the referral, their credit amount, and their credit status.

One of the best times to ask advocates to share your brand with friends is immediately after they’ve expressed a positive experience. With Friendbuy’s integration with Klaviyo, Okendo, and Delightful, you can easily setup automated flows prompting users to refer a friend once they’ve provided a positive NPS score or a positive review.

Marketers love how easy it is to implement and manage a referral program, and customers love that they can accumulate account credit instead of non-stackable, single-use coupon codes. It’s a win-win for everybody!

So, there you have it, now you know how the fastest growing Shopify brands are leveraging referral programs to accelerate cost effective customer acquisition. What are you waiting for? Click here to schedule a demo with Friendbuy!

About the author

Samantha has been at Friendbuy for over 6 years. As Head of Partnerships, she works directly with technology and agency partners to help incorporate referral marketing as a strategic growth driver and cost efficient marketing channel.

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