Are you struggling to find the best referral app for your Shopify store? This article can help!

Shopify has long been considered one of the most popular and powerful eCommerce platforms for its versatility. The unique feature that sets Shopify apart from its competitors is a pool of dynamic applications that can be used to build Shopify stores irrespective of their size.

Store owners can easily build a referral program on Shopify with the help of the best referral earning app. As you know, word of mouth marketing is one of, if not the most, effective way to advertise your business. 

Undoubtedly, a sales-boosting referral app is a must. However, the real challenge is that you have so many referral program apps to choose from, which can be difficult and time-consuming.

That’s why we’ve researched all the best referral apps Shopify to help you with your decision.

Why A Referral Program Matters To Every Business

To choose the right best referral app, you must understand the work. So, before we come to the part of defining the best referral app, we will show you everything you need to know about a referral program.

What is a Referral Program?

A referral program (also known as the “refer a friend” program) is a marketing strategy that incentivizes your existing customers to spread the good word about your business to their friends, family members, and social media followers, etc.

The beauty of a referral program is it helps you pinpoint your brand’s biggest fans and track where new customers are coming from. And a good program makes it easy for your customers to share your brand.

Benefits of Leveraging Referral Programs

Referral marketing is the most powerful cost-effective sales strategy that helps grow any business.

>> Don’t know what referral marketing is? READ referral marketing definition for more details!

Here are four major benefits of a referral program:

Customers trust referrals

This must be mentioned first because it’s the most compelling benefit of a referral program.

Referral marketing is so effective because it’s reliable. In fact, a report shows that over 90% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family. Surely it’s more trustworthy when someone you know personally has experienced and loves the product or service.

Not to mention they are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend. How amazing it is!

Referral marketing is cost-effective

A referral program encourages your current customers to share about your business with the promise of a reward. So how much does a referral program cost?

Referral marketing is almost free because it costs customers nothing to tell their friends about a good product or service. It only costs the referral incentives, which are fixed per referral and only paid for performance.

In short, referral marketing costs much less than most other advertising types.

Referred customers have higher lifetime value

Not only is referral marketing a way to grow the customer network, but it also can increase customer lifetime value.

Rewarding your existing customers for referrals drives new revenue. As studies show, referred customers have:

  • 25% increase in spend
  • 54% more likely to make a repeat purchase 
  • 34% higher average order value than those obtained by other media

As a result, referred customers have at least a 16% higher lifetime value (LTV) than non-referred ones.

Referral program gains more loyal customers

Both referrers and referees (ambassadors & their friends) usually stay loyal to a brand longer than others who found the brand in other ways.

Some studies have revealed that:

  • Retention rate of referred friends is 18% higher than of non-referral ones.
  • After 33 months, referred customers have an 82% probability of remaining active.
  • Referrer customers are 18% more likely to stay with that brand than other customers.

A Goethe University study mentioned that people tend to have a stronger attachment to a company if their friends share the same bond.

How to Build a Referral Program into Your Online Business

How To Build A Referral Program That Works

Now that you understand thoroughly the referral program and its benefits, it’s time to build one for your business.

Basically, building a successful referral program would go through these four main steps:

Step 1: Design a referral program that converts

The secret of a successful referral program lies in having a solid referral system: exceptional products, strong customer relationships, and a clear marketing goal.

Once you have those referral program best practices ready, the next step is to design a program that fits the looks, feels, and sounds of your brand.

Step 2: Choose your referral program rewards

Rewards are what make or break the success of your referral program. You should always think twice about what to give.

Remember that the reward incentive you offer must (A) be worth customers’ time and effort and (B) nudge them to send others your way.

Whatever your gifts are, our advice is to use two-sided incentives (or double-sided incentives) because it has the highest customer engagement to reward both referrer and referred customer.

Step 3: Utilize the best referral program app

There are a number of solutions on the Shopify app store that make it easy to set up a referral program. However, not every referral app will be a good fit for your business.

Remember that a referral marketing app is a tool to streamline customer referral programs and increase word of mouth about your brand.

The best referral app 2021 for your business must have a list of necessary features, a support team to help you along the way and be reasonable with your budgets.

Step 4: Spread out your referral program before others spread out your brand

It’s pointless to build a referral program but none of your customers know it exists, right?

As a study shows, 83% of customers are willing to invite others to try products or services, but only 29% actually do. It’s not that customers don’t want to refer you, they might just don’t know that they can earn something for each referral.

Thus, to increase the referral rate and referral revenue, after launching your program, the next thing you should do is to promote it.

Read more about how to promote your referral program.

In this article, we will mainly focus on Step 3 of building a converting referral program.


Top Features The Best Referral App Must Offer

These features are must-haves to make a Shopify referral app stand out as the best one.

1. Creating various touch points on your Shopify store

The referral program’s touchpoints are all the components of your referral program that your users will interact with. To make a successful referral program, you should use these components to inform your customers about the program in your store.

The best referral app Shopify must allow you to create embed widgets, popup, and referral pages to show as many as you want. 

2. Highest customization ability to raise brand awareness

Brand consistency is the root of your business’s identity. It’s important to maintain your “image”, both literally and figuratively. All your marketing’s design should be consistent and follow your brand’s theme.

Also considered as a marketing tool, the best referral app has high customization ability, which allows store owners to easily customize the look & feel of their referral program. 

3. Logic reward rules

Since rewards/referral program incentives play a crucial role in encouraging advocates and their friends to join your campaign, the best referral app must make the reward function as smooth as possible.

A good referral program app should allow you to offer both of two most basic reward types: fixed amount and percentage. 

As you give away rewards, it raises a big concern about people who abuse your referral program, which can lead to lost money and wasted time. So the best Shopify referral apps must be able to prevent referral fraud.

4. Marketing features

The main target of the best referral app is to optimize your referral program to help you growth-hack sales and customer base at the lowest cost.

To be considered as the best referral app, it has to cure the core of every store owner’s pain: how to spread out the referral program to a wide range of customers or leads.

Hence, among all features, marketing ones are what set the best referral app apart from others.

5. Traceability of referral information

Regardless of what marketing strategy you are doing, you always have to track the results. Those data help you measure the success of the campaign, and from there you know which and where need to improve.

Therefore, the best referral app should be able to show the information of both advocates and their friends. You – store owners – need this for better analysis of referral program performance and customer behavior understanding.

Note that the more customer data you collect, the more they benefit you.

6. Compatibility & Responsivity

Appearance is always vital. Everyone loves anything good-looking. There has never been a successful marketing campaign with ugly designs, and never will.

As a referral program is part of your marketing campaign, it must look attractive and impressive. No display error is allowed. This is why the best referral app should generate a referral program that looks attractive on any theme and device.

7. Dedicated customer support

As they always say, nobody is perfect. Referral apps aren’t, either. Sometimes, an error might occur, or you might need to request a customization. When it happens, and it will happen, the only thing you can do is to contact the support team.

Thus, the best referral app must have 24/7 live support to be ready to solve any of the problems at any time. If the app’s provider cannot take responsibility for supporting you after purchasing, then that app isn’t a good, let alone the best, referral app.

That’s why a dedicated customer support system is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a referral app.

8. Reasonable Pricing

Referral marketing has long been known as a saving marketing tactic for even the tightest budgets. It would make no sense if you have to pay big money for the tool of a low-cost method.

The best referral app should address store owners’ concerns about pricing.

It must have an affordable price, and even better if there’s a free plan available.

Recommend: Why BLoop Referrals & Rewards app is the best option

Given the great diversity of the needs of launching a referral program, there are thousands of Shopify referral app providers for all business sizes. However, after careful consideration, Bloop is the best free referral app choice for anyone for two reasons: best price + best features!

BLoop Referrals & Rewards app is a referral and affiliate marketing solution that facilitates refer-a-friend actions to boost referral sales and expands customer lifetime value through reward bonuses and incentives.


Even though it’s a free app, BLoop has all the standard and advanced features that the best referral app must have to automatically generate a robust referral program in less than 3 minutes. 

More importantly, it offers a free plan! It’s guaranteed that there isn’t any other free app with as many useful features as Bloop.

Highlight features that make BLoop be the best referral app for Shopify store:

  • Variety of referral program placements on your store: Design on-brand referral program page & popup/ widget, and you can choose to show them wherever you want on your Shopify store;
  • Maximized ability to enhance branding: Easily customize the look and feel of the referral program to match your brand vibes;
  • Logic reward rules: Setup referral reward rules for both side (Fixed amount & Percentage) and decide the minimum order amount & expiration date for coupons to improve the bottom line and call to action effectively;
  • Fraud detection: The one and only free referral app can detect the referrer email at checkout to prevent scams (Coming soon);
  • Marketing features: Allow ambassadors to share your referral program on multi-channels;
  • Advanced email marketing: Spread your referral program out with email marketing campaigns (Coming soon);
  • Analytics & Management: Keep track of the refer a friend performance effortlessly and take in-depth analytics;
  • A friendly tool for international stores: Flexible with multi-currency and multi-language;
  • Dedicated support service: 24/7 free support.

Top 6 Shopify referral apps – Comparison:

Shopify Referral AppsProviderRatingPricingSupport Quality
BLoop Referrals & RewardsBSS Commerce4.8/5 (26 reviews)FreeEmail, 24/7 live chat, Whatsapp & Telegram Support
Conjured ReferralsConjured4.9/5 (173 reviews)From $29/monthEmail and online support
Referral CandyReferralCandy4.8/5 (1566 reviews)$49/monthEmail and online support
Loyalty Rewards and ReferralsLoyaltyLion4.5/5 (386 reviews)From $159/month (Free plan available)Email and online support
Loyalty Rewards & ReferralsS Loyalty4.5/5 (739 reviews)From $19.99/month (Free plan available)Multi-language support
PointsKit: Rewards & ReferralsGoAffPro3.8/5 (53 reviews)Free24/7 setup support

In a Nutshell

To cut a long story short, the best referral app should offer over 80% of top 8 features represented: various choices to place referal program; high ability to customize the program appearance; strict reward rules; effective marketing features; analytics and referral management; flexibility; on-time support & best pricing.

Also, we have recommended the best referral app to make money on your Shopify store – BLoop Referrals & Rewards. If you have any questions related to referral marketing, let’s hit the Live chat button at the right corner, or send us an email via!

We hope that with the help of BLoop, your referral program will soon be a big success and your business will grow bigger.

Loop in with us, Grow together!

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