Creating A Successful Referral Program On Shopify

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As an online store owner, finding innovative and effective ways to generate sales is crucial. One of the most effective methods is through referral marketing. Referral marketing is the practice of incentivizing current customers to refer friends and family to your business.

Shopify helps retailers build a successful referral program and harness the power of referral marketing to increase website traffic, drive sales and enhance customer loyalty.

This article outlines the necessary steps to create a successful referral program for your Shopify store.

Step 1: Determine Your Referral Incentives

Offering incentives for referrals is the key to a successful referral program. It motivates customers to refer their friends and family to your store.

There are several types of incentives you can offer to your customers, such as cashback, store credits, discount codes, or free products. To determine which incentive is best for your store, consider these factors:

  1. Customer Lifetime Value: Offer incentives that will not exceed the cost of the customer’s lifetime value.
  2. Margins: Depending on your profit margins, offer discounts or credits that align with the incentives’ cost.
  3. Market/Competitors: Investigate your competitors’ incentive strategies to avoid overpricing your offer.
  4. Customer Preferences: Understand your customer wants and needs by conducting audience surveys. Offer incentives that align with their preferences or purchase history.

Once you’ve determined the incentive that best suits your store, use a referral app like ReferralCandy or to automate and track referrals.

Step 2: Create your Referral Program

Creating your referral program is the next crucial step. A referral program should be straightforward and easy to understand for your customers.

Start by outlining the program’s steps and including these elements:

  1. A clear, concise and straightforward message on the referral program page that answers questions and entices customers to share.
  2. A referral form that is easy to use and elicits required information to identify referrals and provide rewards.
  3. Sharing options that encourage your customers to share on different social platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, or email.
  4. Types of rewards – cashback, store credits, discounts, and free products
  5. Terms and conditions of the program, including how rewards are earned and redeemed, exclusions, and limitations.

Step 3: Promote Your Referral Program

Now that your referral program is created, you need to promote it effectively. Effective promotion can increase your referral program’s visibility and the number of referrals you receive.

Here are some ways to promote your referral program:

  1. Social media: Share your referral program on social media networks, including custom landing pages for each network to maximize conversion rates.
  2. Email: Inform your email subscribers about the referral program with engaging and compelling email content.
  3. On-site promotion: Create pop-ups, banners, and call-to-action buttons to attract maximum attention to your referral program.
  4. Influencers and affiliates: Collaborate with influencers and affiliates in your niche.
  5. Partner promotion: Build a partnership with other businesses in your niche by offering tiered referral incentives programs.

By optimizing your referral program promotion, you increase the likelihood that your program reaches its maximum potential in generating revenue.

Step 4: Monitor Your Referral Program

To maximize your referral program potential, it is crucial to monitor your referral program’s performance continually.

Here are some key metrics to track for your referral program:

  1. Number of advocates: Track the number of advocates participating in your program to determine the program’s success rate.
  2. Number of referrals: Track the number of referrals your advocates have generated to determine the program’s efficacy.
  3. Conversion rates: Track the referral conversion rate, or the number of referrals that converted into customers.
  4. Return on Investment: Monitor the cost of setting up and maintaining the referral program and measure its effectiveness by looking at its return on the investment produced from the program.

These metrics will help you make data-driven decisions about your referral program to make alterations or investments for optimal results.


In conclusion, creating a successful referral program on Shopify is challenging, but the steps outlined above will help you create, optimize and promote your program effectively. Remember to focus on incentivizing customers, creating a straightforward referral program, promoting the program, and tracking program metrics continually to ensure the program’s success. Referral marketing can yield an impressive return on investment, so invest in your referral program for your Shopify store today!

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