"Referral program" plugin is an effective tool for increasing customer loyalty to your online store. Registered customers can attract new shoppers and thus earn bonus points. These points can be either simply paid out to your referral partners or be used by them for receiving discounts in your store. You decide which method of using earned partner bonus points you support.
How "Referral program" plugin works
- A registered customer goes to the personal account and opens "Partner program" section.
- The customer reads your referral program promo text (this text is editable in referral program settings field "Referral program promo") and agrees to the terms and conditions of the program (the terms text is editable in referral program settings field "Referral program terms and conditions").
- Upon confirmation of his consent with the terms and conditions, the registered referral partner copies the URL of his partner link containing a special parameter of the form promo_id=123456; e.g., : http://mystore.com/?promo_id=123456. The number in such a URL is unique for every referral partner. The partner advertises his referral link by any available means, over the Internet or via other information channels.
- Internet users who have followed the advertised referral link are considered as new visitors attracted by the corresponding referral partner. This information is written to a cookie file in the referred visitor's browser, which remains valid during the period specified in the referral program settings.
- Once an attracted new visitor places and order and pays for it during the time period corresponding to his cookie value, then the referral partner whose promo link attracted such a customer receives a certain amount of bonus points. The amount of received bonus points is based on the order amount and the credit rate specified in referral program settings. However, should the new customer pay for an order placed after the expiration date of the period of time stored in his cookie, then no bonus points are credited to the referral partner in spite of the fact that his promo link was used to place the order.
- The amount of earned bonus points and the referral link usage statistics are displayed in referral partner's account.
- The complete list of referral partners and the information about their earned bonus points are displayed in backend screen "Customers → Referrals".
In this section, you can:
- add extra bonus points to any referral partner's account; e.g., as a an action of encouragement;
- register payouts to partners if your store's policy allows this kind of remuneration in addition to, or instead of, allowing partners to use bonus points only for receiving discounts for their own orders placed in your store.
After every extra crediting or registered payout, a partner's account balance is updated, which is visible both to you and to the partner in his personal account.
Referral program setup
- Install the "Referral program" plugin using the Install app by going to section "Pluginsfor apps → Store".
- Enable personal accounts for your customers. Go to Site app, open section "Personal → Auth & Sign Up settings", and enable the authorization option for your website's registered visitors.
- In Site app's "Personal" section, enable "My orders" item. Personal account items provided by other apps, such as "My subscriptions" or "My requests", can be either enabled or disabled at your discretion; this has no effect on the functioning of the referral program.
- In Shop-Script backend, go to section "Settings → Affiliate program" and enable the "Loyalty program". In the same section enable the "Referral program".
- Edit default text in settings fields "Referral program promo" and "Referral program terms and conditions" by replacing placeholders with actual text appropriate for your store's partnership policy.
- Specify other parameters:
- Credit rate. Specify how may bonus points must be credited to referral partners from each paid order, depending on the amount paid for an order by attracted new shoppers. Either enter an amount in the store's main currency which must correspond to each earned bonus point or specify percentage of the order total amount.
- Cookie. A cookie value is stored in the referred shopper's browser and is used to associate that shopper with the referral partner whose promo link was used to attract the shopper during a certain period of time. Specify the desired period in days. If you have multiple storefronts on subdomains of a common main domain name; e.g., store1.domain.com, store2.domain.com, etc., then you may, if necessary, enable saving one common cookie value for the main domain, too; e.g., domain.com.
- Activity. Enable this setting if you want that all clicks on referral partners' promo links are registered and displayed in the statistics.
- Notifications. Enable this setting to automatically notify your referral partners on bonus credits by email. Emails will be sent when a referred customer pays for an order.
- Done! Save the changed settings and be prepared for receiving more orders from new customers attracted by your referral partners among currently registered customers.