To establish a referral program for your online store, you must first find the perfect referral app to make that happen. For Shopify store owners, affiliate marketing comes easy since you have several third-party tools to choose from for implementing features like referral link generation, commissions, rewards, and referral management. Keep reading to learn all about the best Shopify referral apps for your online store.
We may receive compensation from the tools featured in this guide. However, we do not recommend any tools or services that we do not use in our businesses, have not fully evaluated, or that are not successful for our clients.
What’re the best referral and affiliate apps for Shopify?
The Social Snowball affiliate marketing Shopify app boosts your affiliate marketing game with word of mouth marketing built into the system. The referral program app automates affiliate account creation for new customers and offers them options to make money promoting products. The app features a sleek design, powerful payment tools, and one of the simplest affiliate link creation portals on the market.
Social Snowball Key Features 🧰
- Support for unlimited affiliates, multiple referral programs, and various acquisition methods.
- Automatic affiliate and referral program creation for shoppers so they can share promotional links after a purchase.
- Every new referral receives an automatic affiliate account as well.
- Simplified, bulk payouts to affiliates (with six payout methods).
- Customizable tracking links and discount codes.
- A quick setup process for configuring commissions, discount codes, and affiliate links.
- Complete dashboard reporting for both you and the affiliates.
- Customization options for Thank You and Sign Up pages.
- Integrations with tools like Klaviyo, Postscript, and Slack.
Social Snowball Pros ✅
- Seamless referral sign up process makes it effortless for new affiliates to sign up and refer friends.
- Social Snowball automatically generates a new affiliate account for all new buyers, as well as for users they refer.
- Every affiliate receives a dashboard for managing their account and tracking payouts.
- Affiliates can redeem cash rewards payouts with several options including PayPal, Visa cards, gift cards, bank deposits, and charitable contributions.
- Social Snowball uses Coupon Scout to scan coupon sites and remove coupons from those sites.
- Semi-branded referral page.
- Native Shopify referral app.
- There’s a free plan.
- Unlimited affiliate sign ups on every plan.
Social Snowball Cons ❌
- Even the paid plans require an extra fee that’s taken from your affiliate revenue.
- There’s only one email marketing integration (Klaviyo).
- The affiliate acquisition methods are primarily for converting your own customers into affiliates as opposed to finding online marketers, bloggers, and influencers.
- Unable to edit emails sent to new affiliates, so the email won’t necessarily be on-brand
Social Snowball Pricing 💰
- Dusting: Free + 15% of your affiliate revenue.
- Snow Day: $39 per month + 5% of affiliate revenue.
- Blizzard: $249 per month + 2.5% of affiliate revenue.
There’s also a 14-day free trial.
Brands using Social Snowball 🏷️
- The Wander Club
- Awake Happy
Who is Social Snowball best for? 🙋
Social Snowball makes sense for Shopify stores looking to set up a referral marketing program and that want complete automation for getting their own customers to become affiliates. You can absolutely use it to manage brand ambassadors, but the automation is best to create a constant flow of customer affiliates who want to refer friends.
👉 Try Social Snowball today.
ReferralCandy is one of the best Shopify referral apps for setting up referral programs due to its advanced integration with Shopify, highly customizable reward options, and beautiful communication tools for sending out branded emails and showing referral nudges through widgets, signup forms, and post-purchase popups.
ReferralCandy Key Features 🧰
- Customizable, branded emails, login pages, thank you pages, and referral dashboards.
- Custom rewards where you choose to give out cash, custom gifts, or discounts.
- A built-in fraud protection tool.
- Various integrations with tools like Bold, MailChimp, and Klaviyo, along with API access.
- An automated system that sends out affiliate marketing invites, manages a mailing list, logs referrals, and notifies users when necessary.
- Data-driven insights to see top referrers, new sales, and chatter about your brand.
ReferralCandy Pros ✅
- ReferralCandy lets you set custom rewards like free shipping or a free gift. Other rewards options include dollar discounts, percentage discounts, and cash.
- Connect to a wide range of marketing apps, subscription tools and marketplaces like PayWhirl, Cratejoy, LearnWorlds, and Celery.
- You can automatically send out referral invites, log accepted invites in your mailing list, and track every purchase made.
- The referral app runs a fraud tracker.
ReferralCandy Cons ❌
- There’s no free plan.
- The main Premium pricing plan requires a commission payment on top of the monthly fee.
ReferralCandy Pricing 💰
- Premium: $49 per month + commission.
- Enterprise: $3,999 per month.
Commission fees get calculated based on referral revenue. It starts with a 5% commission fee for your first $1,000 in referral revenue and gets down to 0.25% when you reach over $100,000.
Who is ReferralCandy best for? 🙋
ReferralCandy is an excellent Shopify referral app if you need to integrate with popular tools like Google Analytics, MailChimp, Klaviyo, and more. It’s also perfect for advanced customizations, whether making signup pages or invitation messages.
👉 Try ReferralCandy today.
UpPromote is the top recommended affiliate marketing/referral program app for brands on Shopify App Store. It’s an automated all-in-one solution for you to build and manage your professional marketing campaign with ease. UpPromote is suitable for all business sizes with the price from FREE to $139.99/ month. Besides, UpPromote also implements customization upon request for Enterprise customers.
UpPromote Key Features 🧰
- Easy setup/onboarding: Quick setting up process with detailed instructions. The quick onboarding process and guideline systems will help you understand basically about how things work.
- Automatic functions that save time: Auto-discount, auto-generate coupon, auto-tier commission
- Manage your affiliate campaign: Track all referral orders and manage your affiliate performance by reliable real-time tracking process.
- Support to recruit affiliates by free listing on UpPromote Marketplace.
- The customer referral feature allows your customers to refer your products to their friends and family and earn a small commission.
- Fraud protection: Reduce the risks of affiliate fraud, referral scam that may cause loss to your business.
- Integrating with PayPal allows you to perform payment processes for your affiliates automatically within a few clicks.
UpPromote Pros ✅
- Flexible pricing and a FREE plan. Offer 14 trial-days for all pricing plans.
- Customize affiliate link and all promotion resources to match your brand and take full control of how affiliates work for your business
- Grow your team exponentially with multi-level marketing
- Work with third-party services: PayPal, Klaviyo/Mailchimp, Recharge/Bold subscription, Partial.ly, API,..
UpPromote Cons ❌
- Limit approve/deny referral orders/month in FREE plan.
UpPromote Pricing 💰
- Free: $0 per month.
- Growth: $21.99 per month.
- Professional: $69.99 per month.
- Enterprise: $139.99 per month.
UpPromote offers a 14-day free trial and 16% discounts for annual payments.
Who is UpPromote best for? 🙋
UpPromote matches all business sizes with its flexible pricing model. It offers all the basic features necessary for entrepreneurs & SMBs looking to start an affiliate campaign for FREE. For enterprise customers, UpPromote also provides a full-featured package with custom development available for established and growing businesses.
More information about UpPromote can be found here.
👉 Try UpPromote today.
Growave offers a complete marketing suite for Shopify stores, and its loyalty and rewards functionality allows store owners to launch an efficient, automated referral program and loyalty program to reward shoppers, promote repeat purchases, and build a community of brand ambassadors.
Growave Key Features 🧰
- A referral program that functions through a loyalty rewards program, where users gain more rewards by shopping or recommending your brand to others.
- Social sharing and following buttons on every referral page.
- Reward customizations like gift cards, cash, in-store vouchers, or discounts.
- Options to reward both parties when a referral is made.
- Affiliate list tracking.
- Automatic referral link generation and sharing buttons.
- Customizable notification emails with templates and auto-messaging.
Growave Pros ✅
- Growave provides far more than a simple referral program, since you get customer review management, a loyalty program, wishlist, social logins, and Instagram shopping.
- The initial pricing is reasonable, and there are several flexible plans.
- You can import referral points and rewards from previously used systems.
- Offer unique referral rewards like free products, free shipping, flexible discounts, and cash.
- It’s one of the few apps that lets you reward both the referrer and referee.
Growave Cons ❌
- It’s a complicated system. You may not want all the extras.
- Referrer analytics are fairly basic.
- Each pricing plan has a maximum order limit.
Growave Pricing 💰
- Starter: $19 per month.
- Small: $29 per month.
- Medium: $49 per month.
- Growth: $99 per month.
Larger plans include:
- Large: $199 per month.
- Enterprise: $299 per month.
- Custom: You must request a quote.
Growave has a 14-day free trial and discounts for annual payments.
Who is Growave best for? 🙋
Growave is best if you want a full ecommerce marketing suite with reviews, referral program, loyalty program, wishlists, and Instagram selling. The referral program is simply one of many features, and it’s ideal for prompting customers to share your brand with friends and family.
👉 Try Growave today.
Rise.ai packages several customer engagement tools into one, with referral programs, refunds, rewards, loyalty cards, and gift cards. The referral program generates quick links and helps brands create a network of users interested in accumulating store credits. It has features to attract both brand ambassadors and customers.
Rise.ai Key Features 🧰
- A robust customer re-engagement platform with referrals, loyalty cards, gift cards, refunds, and returns.
- Options to give away store credit.
- Prebuilt signup windows that generate quick referral links.
- A sleek online dashboard for affiliates to accumulate credits.
- Referral link customization for influencers and bloggers.
Rise.ai Pros ✅
- They have a handful of pricing plans that are reasonably priced and designed for growth.
- You can prompt customers to share your brand with friends while also bringing in influencers and professional bloggers.
- There’s a tool for customizing the affiliate links and dashboards.
- You get more than a referral program, with other features for gift cards, a loyalty discount program, and more.
- Native Shopify referral app.
Rise.ai Cons ❌
- There’s no free plan.
- There’s a little too much packed into one tool if you only want to activate referrals.
- You’re limited to giving out store credit as a reward.
Rise.ai Pricing 💰
- Starter: $19.99 per month.
- Small Business: $59.99 per month.
- Pro: $199.99 per month.
- Premium: $599.99 per month.
- Enterprise: Custom pricing.
Merchants can save money by paying annually.
Who is Rise.ai best for? 🙋
It works best for referral programs that reward affiliates in store credit. Rise.ai is one of the best Shopify referral apps if you want to attract influencers and customers.
👉 Try Rise.ai today.
Smile.io boasts a collection of features for points, referrals, and a VIP program. It’s one of the best Shopify referral apps based on its simplicity, clean templates, and its easily recognizable popup module for customers to manage a referral program and reward customers.
Smile.io Key Features 🧰
- Sharing buttons through social media and other outlets.
- A quick community-joining module with links to your rewards.
- Multiple rewards like dollar discounts, free products, free shipping, and percentage discounts.
- Options to claim rewards right from your website.
- Branded referral messaging.
- A VIP and points system to go along with the referrals.
Smile.io Pros ✅
- Smile.io has a free plan and several other affordable pricing options.
- You can brand every aspect of the referral and points program.
- Send out automated nudges, reward emails, and expiration notifications.
- Some plans have API access for more customization.
- The referrals are paired with a VIP program with points.
- The sign up and referral/point management module is one of the most effective on the market.
- Native Shopify referral app.
Smile.io Cons ❌
- The free plan is limited in features.
- You may not find it ideal if you’re looking for a traditional affiliate program for brand ambassadors.
Smile.io Pricing 💰
- Free: $0 per month.
- Starter: $49 per month.
- Growth: $199 per month.
- Pro: $599 per month.
- Enterprise: Starting at $1,000 per month.
Who is Smile.io best for? 🙋
Smile.io is one of the best Shopify referral apps for brands that want a non-intrusive, easily understandable referral program with a point system.
Refersion focuses primarily on affiliate marketing, where store owners can reach out to influencers and online marketers, then provide compensation for bringing in sales. It’s one of the best Shopify referral apps because of its affiliate tracking, automated commissions, and personalized dashboard. Refersion offers a native Shopify app for your Shopify store.
Refersion Key Features 🧰
- Pre-built sign-up page templates.
- Affiliate commission and rule customization.
- A dashboard to manage, accept, and deny pending affiliate conversions.
- Bulk payment processing through PayPal and as gift cards.
- A referral popup at the end of the checkout to turn customers into affiliates.
- An integrated tool to promote your affiliate program on popular marketplaces.
Refersion Pros ✅
- There’s already a signup page ready to add to your website.
- You can get sign ups from affiliate marketplaces.
- There are unlimited commission structures.
- You can personalize the entire affiliate portal.
- There’s a customer referral tool included, so you can get shoppers and marketers onboard with your program.
Refersion Cons ❌
- It’s expensive.
- The templates aren’t that modern-looking.
- The payment options are limited.
- Broad range of industries served, no speciality in ecommerce.
- Professional: $89 per month.
- Enterprise: Custom pricing.
- Enterprise Plus: Custom pricing.
Refersion provides a 14-day free trial.
Who is Refersion best for? 🙋
Refersion is a fit for brands planning to make an influencer/online marketer referral program. The customer referral features are helpful, but Refersion is mainly for getting professional marketers onboard.
👉 Try Refersion today.
Shareasale is one of the most popular affiliate marketing marketplaces for brands with a Shopify store, and it provides an intuitive way to connect with affiliate marketers, quickly launch a referral program, and track commissions.
Shareasale Key Features 🧰
- A popular marketplace for bloggers, influencers, and online marketers to find and sign up for your program.
- A simple affiliate program creation tool with sophisticated sign up pages, affiliate management, and tracking.
- Automated marketing emails and rules for your program.
- Powerful insights.
- Highly customizable affiliate commissions.
- Cookie-less coupon tracking.
- Advanced tracking methods.
Shareasale Pros ✅
- Shareasale is a low-barrier service that lets you launch an extremely customizable affiliate program within minutes.
- There’s no fee to join.
- You can set custom commissions with unlimited possibilities.
- Shareasale provides some of the most robust reporting in the business.
- It’s easy to find brand ambassadors with the Shareasale marketplace.
Shareasale Cons ❌
- It’s not the most modern-looking system.
- Some vendors might find so many features intimidating.
- There’s not much available for a simple customer referral program.
Shareasale Pricing 💰
Shareasale is free to use, but the service takes 20% of all affiliate payouts.
Who is Shareasale best for? 🙋
It’s best for brands that want a powerful, free affiliate marketing program that’s managed entirely by another company. Shareasale is more for attracting brand ambassadors as opposed to referrals from shoppers.
👉 Sign up for Shareasale today.
What is Referral Marketing for Ecommerce?
Referral marketing is an ecommerce promotional system that comes in two forms:
- Providing rewards for customers to refer items to friends and family.
- Offering commissions to brand ambassadors who recommend your business.
The goal of referral marketing is to acquire more business by incentivizing those who recommend your brand.