How Referral Programs Can Build an E-commerce Store’s Customer Reliability

Last Updated: February 2024

Today customers may find themselves facing a challenging task. That task is to make the best purchasing decisions from among the several options available. Often the decision is based on ads seen on the TV, print, or social media platforms. However, factors like friends, family, or co-workers’ opinions or thoughts can influence a customer’s buying decision.

People often share information about a product or service they tried and liked. Brands must capitalize on this by getting an effective referral program in place.

What is Referral Marketing?

Referral marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools for every business. In referral marketing, existing customers or users spread the word about a brand’s offerings. This, in turn, encourages new users to try out the brand’s products or services.

Most business owners may feel that the best way to boost sales is to get more leads and convert them to customers. However, this is not the smartest approach. Businesses may get caught up in the chase for new customers and may forget about a valuable asset – existing customers.

Why is Referral Marketing Important?


Here are some interesting statistics about referral marketing:

  • 78% of B2B marketers feel that referral marketing generates high or excellent quality leads
  • Marketers believe that referrals are the second-highest source of quality leads.

For an e-commerce business, referral marketing is all about the small but crucial changes a brand makes to match online customer behavior. This is why referral marketing can be used as a massive opportunity by e-commerce brands to boost sales.

Referral marketing requires almost no financial investment, yet it can bring forth some valuable leads. Several businesses have understood how effective referral marketing can be and have begun implementing referral programs into their marketing strategy actively. Referral programs can work as a growth channel and add a significant source of revenue to the business.

Referral marketing ranks high on two crucial factors: trust and relevance.

Customers will only share information with their family or friends about brands they trust. If customers feel a brand is unreliable or offers low-quality products or services, they won’t talk about it.

Customers also share information about relevant brands with their family and friends. Customers will know if the brand will find value among their groups to whom they refer the product or service.

Sometimes brands get referrals from customers to their contacts in the same field. This can also be a valuable lead as the prospect will be as qualified as the existing customer. The brand’s products or services can be a good fit for the potential lead as well.

How Referral Programs Can Build Customer Reliability for an E-commerce Business


Apart from a wide selection of options to choose from in the e-commerce business, customers also look for a superior customer service experience. Once a customer has made a purchasing decision, they want the brand to be accessible. They would like the brand to be available to answer any questions or concerns they have before making the final purchase. This is a crucial step that can massively impact whether a customer buys the product or service or not.

If a shopper feels that the brand is not engaged with them, they may reconsider their purchasing decision. They would go ahead and buy from a competitor who offers a better customer engagement experience. E-commerce brands must put substantial efforts into ensuring the customer experience is as smooth and hassle-free as possible for shoppers.

Sometimes despite their best efforts, brands may find it tough to ensure that a customer completes the purchase. Customers may add products to the cart, but the final click on the ‘buy’ button may be difficult to achieve. This is where a referral program can be a potential game-changer.

When existing customers refer a brand’s offerings to their family and friends, it brings an unmatched element of reliability in the buying cycle. Existing customers act as brand advocates. They can significantly increase the chances of people buying the referred products.

However, as with any marketing strategy, implementing the referral marketing strategy correctly is critical. Here are some things to remember to ensure that the customer pipeline for a brand remains steady.

Offer Attractive Rewards


Businesses must ask themselves: who are the people who would be motivated to refer business to us? Finding out the answer to this question is critical to achieving sales and business growth.

When customers are offered benefits or rewards, it works as a motivating factor. Customers are more likely to refer a business to family and friends when there is a reward or incentive involved.

Sometimes businesses may find it tough to motivate customers to refer friends and family. This is why companies must ensure the brand’s products and rewards/benefits are both high-quality.

It’s also essential to remember that the more rewards a business offers, the more effort a customer would put in to find the right leads.

Simplify the Rewards Program

Ease of use and accessibility are crucial factors determining how often a customer uses the rewards program. To increase the number of referral sign-ups, the brand can create an attractive landing page. This landing page can be promoted well across various social media channels.

Most eCommerce businesses have apps, and customers can use the app to track their rewards. Notifications can be sent to customers about their points like the current number of points, expiration date, if any, how to redeem the points, etc., by using the app. Customers must find it easy to track their rewards and claim them whenever they wish.

Actively Engage With Previous Customers

Sometimes customers may take a break or stop purchasing from a brand altogether. Though they are old customers, brands must not make the mistake of ignoring them.

Since the business is aware of their likes and preferences from the order history, the company can use it to offer personalized rewards. It may get challenging to bring these customers back, but it’s not impossible.

If brands offer a generous referral code to share with friends and family, the old customers may feel encouraged to repurchase the brand’s products.

In the world of e-commerce, using only advertising to cut through the noise of competing brands is not enough. A strong referral marketing plan can help a brand overcome this and much more. However, the referral marketing plan must be backed by a superior user experience to improve its chances of success.

At Helplama, we understand that brands cannot give their customers an unforgettable experience without solid customer service support. We’re here to build and scale a fully-functional customer support team on demand. Our customized solutions can cater to every budget and need while avoiding high hiring and training costs.

You can also try Saufter – the customer service software that can help you automate and scale your customer support.

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