I think a lot about ecommerce referral programs, especially from a metrics-driven, campaign performance perspective. Frankly, it's how everyone at Friendbuy rolls. We're steeped performance optimization and evangelizing referral program best practices to our customers.
However... it's good once and awhile to turn off the hyper-analytical mind and marvel at the referral program ideas and widget designs created by our customers. Thought you might like a peek at them, too. Check 'em out.
Here they are, in (mostly) alphabetical order - just so you know we're not playing favorites. FWIW, I found myself adding one more example as this post developed...so there are actually more than 16 ecommerce referral program examples included in this list. Who doesn't like bonus material? Consider it a Side B, for those of you who favor vinyl.
Don't live in Brazil and speak Portuguese? Who cares! I think a referral reward of 30 Reals is awesome and I couldn't even tell you the exchange rate to the USD. Never been to Brazil, either. Apparently, I'm overdue for a visit.
This is a thoughtful design. Several elements included, yet not overly busy. Definitely eye catching. Crisp. Pretty good referral offer, too!
This guy looks like he has his act together. (Great tie!)
Here's an emerging clothing brand, proudly made in Los Angeles. Woot! I read a 'good one' today on Quora, "San Francisco is an utopia gone wrong, while Los Angeles is a dystopia gone right." Suddenly I feel like getting a tattoo. And referring friends and telling them about GoodhYOUman, of course. P.S. I've lived in both cities and have affection for each, so no haters please.
5. Huckberry (a)
This referral campaign has a pretty cool asymmetrical referral offer. I know just dropped a vocabulary bomb on you, but an asymmetrical referral offer means the offer to the referrer and the friend are different ($5 for the friend, $10 for the referrer in this case, not equal amounts - $10 for the friend, $10 for the referrer). Plus it's a great-looking widget and if anyone wants to place a side wager, I'm betting it's a shot of the Sierra Nevada Range.
6. Huckberry (b)
For the record, if I had a hilly beach view like this from my porch I wouldn't be working at a start up. Keep that between me and you, though.
7. MeUndies (a)
It's always a pleasure to check in and see what the team at MeUndies is cooking up with their refer-a-friend widget designs. They regularly refresh their campaigns and A/B test referral assets. No pun intended.
8. MeUndies (b)
So nice, they're listed twice.
SpiritHoods makes faux fur animal hoods while advocating for the protection of endangered animals. Which is very cool – fake animal products to support real animals. Their widget invokes the earthy, reverent feel of their brand while showing off one of their hoods in the wild. Their referral incentive is one-sided – only the sharer earns a reward when a new customer converts – but their product is so unique, plenty of their visitors refer animal lovers they know.
Tell a friend? Tell a dog! It's late at night as I write this post but suddenly I have the urge to go outside, romp around playfully and chew on ball + rope. OK, I'll wait until morning.
Dude, are you trying to pull on my heart strings or what? If you don't react to the look on this dog's face and refer your friends now, you should seriously check your pulse.
This image includes the two essentials of concert etiquette: Throwing horns and "I have my lighter out, play Free Bird, man." More importantly, you get 15% off your next order when you refer friends. 'Nuff said.
13. Teabox (a)
I'm a die-hard coffee drinker so at first I thought this was a collection of really nice stationary. Then I realized it was a picture of tea bags! Regardless of my cognitive impairment, my acute visual sense is attracted to the modern look-and-feel of this widget. Contrast this one with the next Teabox example below. Completely different vibe.
14. Teabox (b)
Ok, I know what that is! It's loose tea leaves. Note also the different referral offer than the campaign above.
Another LA-based duo of startup hustlers making good on the promise of a better ecommerce experience, Topwick's ambitious team and brand is fully expressed in iconic, space-age imagery.
If you don't know Unbounce's PageFights, it's the American Idol of landing pages. Each webcast includes rapid-fire reviews of landing pages by experts in conversion rate optimization and copywriting. Viewers vote and pick a winner among the contestants. It's devilish, fun and very informative.
17. Republic Wireless (bonus example)
Happy people. Great referral offer. Great company. You might think this is weird, but I really like how the whole image is slanted. That's a slant on what you may already know about the influence of imagery on user behavior, pun intended.
Many marketers know that you can increase conversion performance by aiming people in background images toward the desired area where an end user takes action. That might be poorly worded, but what I mean to say is that you can get more customers to do stuff (in this case share with friends) if there's a picture of a person looking at the area where one refers friends, in this case the darker area where one shares into Facebook, Twitter or Email. What's especially cool here is that the people and the entire brick wall leans to the right, drawing our eyes to the referral 'workspace.'