6 Best Examples of ECommerce Referral Programs

ECommerce referrals are the easiest and most cost-effective ways to gather leads and expand customer base, in all industries and niches. As Nielsen states, 84% of customers trust suggestions from friends and family more than other forms of advertising.

Abdul Wahab

Abdul Wahab

· 6 min read
6 Best Examples of ECommerce Referral Programs

Good ol’ word-of-mouth is one of the most effective marketing channels even in the fast-paced ECommerce world. If executed well, they can do absolute wonders for your brand.

ECommerce referrals are the easiest and most cost-effective ways to gather leads and expand customer base, in all industries and niches. As Nielsen states, 84% of customers trust suggestions from friends and family more than other forms of advertising. So, social proof is perhaps the best motivator behind choosing a specific product.

Review these 6 best examples of ECommerce referral programs and leverage the power of recommendations to upscale your business. Whether you’re just getting started on your ECommerce journey or are a seasoned marketer in the industry, these examples can help strategize or polish a successful referral program.

What Are ECommerce Referral Programs?

An ECommerce referral program is designed to use existing customers to extend a brand’s visibility and sales. Just like a regular referral program, an ECommerce business invites customers to refer their online brand to friends and family in exchange for a referral reward.

It’s a streamlined and automated process that doesn’t require much effort and capital, making it an economic and labor-saving marketing tool. A simple referral code will help track all the associated sales and reward all new and existing customers with what’s due.

The referral rewards could be cash, a coupon, a discount, a gift, or free benefits or services. You give a unique referral link or code to your customers that they will use to refer your business in their circles. This makes sharing easy for participants of the referral and convenient for you to track the conversion rate.

Examples of ECommerce Referral Programs

Take a look at how these popular online stores executed effective ECommerce referral marketing campaigns, their best practices, and strengthened their lead collection.


Casper referral program page.

This furniture company is popular for its beds and bedding, including award-winning mattresses and pillows.

The Casper referral program incentivizes generosity. In that, the brand invites customers to give before they get. The program gives a 20% discount on mattresses to its new customers and the current customer who refers can earn a $75 Amazon gift card for their deed.

All the customer has to do is enter their email address and get their unique link to share with their family and friends. Another impressive addition to this page is a second referral option that says you can earn $10 for referring a Casper Pillow.

This approach encourages more sharing options for the page’s visitors and opens more opportunities for Casper to make a new sale.

Outdoor Voices

Outdoor referral refer-a-friend page.

Outdoor Voices is a fitness apparel brand that runs a successful online business. They use a discount reward approach to award customers who refer a friend. The brand uses the hashtag #DoingThings to promote its brand and the referral program.

In this program, the referring customer and the referred friend are both offered to make $20 on their next purchase of $100 or more. It’s a win-win as both parties get to have equal benefits.

Customers can enter the program by simply adding their email and they will receive a referral link to share with friends and family. The process is made simple yet rewarding, attracting a large chunk of their audience to sign up and earn rewards.

Adore Beauty

Adore Beauty's refer-a-friend program.

Adore Beauty is an online beauty store that has a huge Instagram presence. With 235,000 followers on their official account, this brand mainly leverages Instagram marketing tactics to promote its offerings. Their shop has a curation of more than 200 beauty brands including big names like Estée Lauder, The Ordinary, and Dermalogica.

The Adore Beauty referral program works with a slogan “Share the Love”, which essentially speaks about their two-way reward system. An Adore Beauty customer can receive $20 off when they spend $99 for referring a friend to the online shop and make a purchase.

And when the referred-in friend makes a purchase, they will get $20 off when they make their first purchase using your code.

To refer, the customer has to sign up using their email, receive their shareable unique referral link, and start. Once the referred people have shopped, the referee will get a reward for sharing the love. This program allows customers to redeem up to 10 rewards per year though.


Lokai referral page.

This brand makes bracelets that inspire balance and promote mental health awareness. Their Care Bracelet collection is designed to boost healing and create harmony between the highs and lows of life.

Lokai follows the same pattern for rewards – identical and double-sided proving that this might be a popular approach for ECommerce markets. Both the referrer and the referee get 20% off on their orders. It’s a nice discount that has the power to encourage many customers to share Lokai’s referral links.

Plus, Lokai has a reputation for rarely offering any sales or coupons. So this 20% discount was substantial and a major hit.

Right after a customer purchases a Lokai bracelet – their signature product – on their ECommerce store, the brand smartly uses a pop-up style prompt to advertise its referral program. They give an opportunity to save money on the next order by simply inviting a friend. This raises the chances of two more sales for the brand.


Koala’s Refer-a-Friend page.

This sustainable furniture brand is favored globally for its mattresses, pillows, and sofa beds. They offer premium quality products at a low price, making them a household name today. Their referral program was one of a kind because of the high reward value.

Koala offered to give $200 off to customers for referring a friend and when that friend buys a Koala product using their referral link, they get $200 off this first purchase as well. That’s a classic win-win.

What’s the best part? The customer can sign up with just their email and share their referral code with multiple friends at once. Usually, you have to send the referral link one by one to each friend, but Koala made sure there was no hurdle in spreading the word about their brand.

Skin O2

Skin O2 refer-a-friend page.

Skin O2 is a recognized skincare brand and is known for its cruelty-free, vegan, and non-acnegenic formulations. Their ECommerce store gives a $30 discount for a customer who refers to their brand and an equal $30 off on the first order of the referred-in friend.

The referral page makes the process simple. Enter your email address and get the referral link to share. If you’re confused, the “How it Works” explanation below tells how the program works and what you need to do to earn the discount.

The ease of entering and referring made this an effective referral program in the skincare industry where people generally prefer someone to tell them what’s best to buy.

Final Words

The first step in designing an ECommerce referral program is to get to know your customers. Then comes deciding a desirable reward for them and creating flexible, efficient, and shareable links for the referrals. Get the word out and enjoy your customers bringing in new ones and multiply your sales tenfold.

However, you might need help when setting up a cogent referral system – maybe the referral marketing software needs an update or the referral link seems too clunky. In that case, count on our experts at prefinery.com to solve your problems and assist with building a stellar ECommerce referral program.


What referral rate should you expect for ECommerce companies?

If your ECommerce business already has an established market of happy customers, product-market fit, and a reliable stream of customers from existing acquisition methods, you can increase your sales by at least 2%. However, the global average referral rate is around 2.35%, at the time of publishing.

What is the most suitable referral method for an ECommerce website?

The ideal referral marketing strategy depends on the niche, industry, and type of your products or services. Majorly, keep in mind the buying cycle for your product.

For instance, brands that offer exclusive products which have an extended buying cycle should use coupon codes or discounts as an incentive.

Is referral marketing better than affiliate marketing for ECommerce store owners?

The decision depends on what kind of industry your ECommerce site operates in. For examples, industries that rely on trust-building like healthcare and education get the most out of ECommerce referral marketing.

On the other hand, affiliate marketing is the preferred approach for businesses with products whose value proposition is easily demonstrated, such as clothing lines.

Nonetheless, both marketing channels boost reach and customer acquisition at a low cost and using a combination of both could be a great decision.

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