Top Referral Tools in 2020

July 16, 2020
By Alloy Automation
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Top Referral Tools in 2020

How Referral Programs & Software Grow Your Ecommerce Business

Many online stores have storefronts and a marketplace to promote their products and services. But once the initial hype settles down, the momentum doesn't last. Less web traffic, fewer engagements, low conversion rates; all ecommerce businesses experience this at some point. But some manage to get ahead of that lull better than others. One strong reason? They have a good incentive program and powerful referral platforms to track and analyze data. Your customers who enjoy your products and services can become your ambassadors and promote your product for you, and strong customer referral programs help you achieve this.

What is Ecommerce Referral Software? Do I need it?

Referral software refers to tools used by ecommerce companies to promote their products and services by leveraging existing customers’ networks to reach and find more customers. Yes, all business and store owners can benefit from a strong referral tracking system if you’re interested in maintaining strong customer loyalty and increase your Return On Investment (ROI) for every customer you’ve invested in.

Referrals can come from your personal or professional network; people love and trust getting recommendations from friends, family, peers, and from their favorite idols and influencers. With millions of advertisers competing for your customer’s attention every day, let your existing customers be brand advocates and let them handle turning potential customers into actual customers. An invite from a friend carries a lot more weight than an invite from a brand anyone barely knows.

Different software platforms offer different referral programs depending on who you want to be involved with: refer-a-friend programs, affiliate, partners, influencer or a combination of these programs when implementing referrals for your eCommerce site.

Can any ecommerce store use referral software for their business?

Yes! There are multiple platforms out there that simplify the process of generating a landing page to tracking referrals for existing customers, managing emails about rewards, and welcoming new customers among other things. Here is a list of referral tools we’ve found to be of great value to eCommerce sites and business owners.

How Ecommerce Referral Software Works

At its core, ecommerce referral software is all about making it easy for your customers and brand advocates to promote your business in exchange for an incentive. Typical incentives include discounts, coupons, gift cards, free products, and other types of rewards. Leading referral software makes it easy for customers to collect and cash-in on their rewards as well. Referral program software also includes dashboards and templates to make setting up and tracking your referral program even easier.

Loyalty Programs

Referral software can be a great way to improve your loyalty programs. When customers feel incentivized to make referrals, they'll be more likely to stick with your brand and continue to make purchases from you.

Social Media

Everyone who joins your referral program gets a unique referral link that they can share with friends and family. Social media channels like Facebook and Instagram are particularly good channels because influencers or customers with large followings can promote their links to thousands of people at once to help promote your brand.


Referral programs can be a great way to promote contests. You can use them to have customers compete to see who can make the most referrals, and reward them with a prize once they win.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliates are simply companies or people that use your link in exchange for a cash reward every time someone makes a purchase using their link. You've probably read blog posts reviewing products that include a link to buy the product. That's an affiliate program in a nutshell. There is a difference between referral software and affiliate software, but most referral marketing software these days support referrals and affiliates.

Top Ecommerce Referral Tools in 2020

There are dozens of great referral tools available for ecommerce merchants. If you're on a platform like Shopify or BigCommerce, you can install referral apps with just a click and have a referral program set up in minutes.

Best All-Rounder: LoyaltyLion

LoyaltyLion offers a consolidated platform to manage all of your referral needs and services.

Features: ecommerce integrations, omnichannel selling, multiple campaigns, automated and reliable payouts, email and CRM integration, data analytics, customizable for your brand.

Price: Offers demo through website, expensive compared to alternatives, but worth the price

Technology Proficiency: Needs some knowledge, Can be overwhelming

Customer Support: Knowledge Database and Email-based support

Best Bang For Your Buck: ReferralCandy

Features: quick setup, a wide range of ecommerce integrations, email, CRM, and other marketing tool integration, simple and easy to use, in-built analytics, customizable for your brand

Price: 30-day free trial, $49 - $3999/mo with tiered commission rates

Technology Proficiency: Easy for all user levels

Customer Support: Knowledge Database and Email-based Support

Most Simple: Affiliately

Features: Super easy to use, small business-friendly pricing plans, helpful for fresh new companies to get started

Price: 90-day free trial, 6 different plans ranging from $16 - $129/month

Technology Proficiency: Easy for all user levels

Customer Support: Knowledge Database and Email-based Support

Worth Checking Out: Post Affiliate Pro

Features: eCommerce integrations, multiple campaigns, automated reports and insights, promotion materials and different tracking methods, customized commission distribution

Price: 14-day free trial, no contracts, $97-$477/month

Technology Proficiency: Needs some knowledge and patience, customer service, and resources available to help

Customer Support: Email Support


With the right referral software for your ecommerce business, you can grow your business by having existing customers refer your products to their friends and family.

To get the most out of your referral program, automation is key. You'll need to automate onboarding, tracking, and rewards management. Tools like Alloy make it easy to automate your rewards program with the rest of your ecommerce store's operations. To learn how Alloy can help automate your ecommerce store, click the button below to request a demo to learn how we can help automate your ecommerce business.