How to Create Referral Programs in commercetools?
If you’re reading this, you probably already have your ecommerce built on the commercetools platform, or you’re about to create one. Though commercetools is a vast solution that offers plenty of features, it does not have built-in referral programs. To provide your customers with a fully-functional referral program in commercetools, all you need to do is integrate your commercetools store with Voucherify.
So here are three questions I’m going to answer in this article:
- How to create a referral program using Voucherify?
- How to make referral programs work with commercetools?
- What other promotion strategies can you enable with the Voucherify plugin for commercetools?
How to create a referral program using Voucherify?
There are plenty of reasons why including the Voucherify plugin into your marketing stack is a great idea. In Voucherify, referral programs are not just one of many features – they belong to the most crucial parts of our Promotion Engine.
Creating referral programs in Voucherify is a straightforward process, and the possibilities are endless. Let’s see what exactly you can achieve with Voucherify:
- Single- and double-sided referral programs – reward only the referrers, or both referrers and referees (advocates and friends).
- Reward tiers – motivate referrers to bring more customers to your company – give them additional rewards for surpassing the predetermined thresholds.
- Personalized referrals – add customer attributes to the program, and send referral codes or links to specific customer segments.
- Custom referral events – usually the referral conversion counts when the referee places an order, but if you’ve got a different idea, just go with it – you can set your own referral events.
- Custom attributes – add metadata to customize your referral programs even further.
- Omnichannel messaging – send referral codes and other notifications via numerous channels, such as SMS, email or third party apps.
- Referral fraud protection – set various limitations, webhooks or include verification methods to make sure your customers (and your referral program) are safe.
- Referral tracking – see how well your program performs – check how many times referral codes were redeemed, what’s their validity status and more.
The list above does not contain everything, but it should give you a glimpse of what you can expect from Voucherify referral programs. Let’s take a quick look at the creation process of a referral program in Voucherify – I’ll present some of the possible options along the way.
Step 1 – create a Voucherify account
For starters, you need to create an account – I wouldn’t even mention it, but there’s a thing in Voucherify that distinguishes it from any other promotion engine out there. You can sign up for Voucherify to test all the functionalities not for 7 or 14 days but for as long as you need! The free tier is here to stay, but – of course – if you decide to run an actual refer-a-friend program, you will need to switch to one of the higher plans – see pricing.
Once you set up your Voucherify account, you are ready to build your referral program.
Step 2 – Define general referral settings
First, choose a referral program as your campaign type, then name it, decide how many referral codes you want to generate and add some advanced referral code pattern settings. You can set the desired charset (alphanumeric, alphabetical, just numbers and so on), code length, pattern, as well as prefix and postfix. For example, I generated five referral codes with a ‘REF-’ prefix and six randomly generated characters:
What’s great is that with the use of API, you can generate personalized referral codes based on the advocate's name.
In the following stages, you can set the timeframe of the referral program (leave blank for indefinite), choose a conversion event and decide whether the program should be single- or double-sided. Single-sided referral program means that only the advocate (referrer) would get a reward after the friend (referee) uses the code. In a double-sided referral program, both referrer and referee are rewarded, which gives potential customers another great reason to join your brand.
Step 3 – Set up rewards & validation rules
Rewards are the core of referral programs, so it’s best to have at least a few options to choose from. In Voucherify, there are plenty of ways to reward your customers: amount or percentage discounts, fixed amounts, unit type discounts, free shipping, you name it. For maximum control, you are able to apply the chosen discount to the whole cart, specific items, or split the discount proportionally to the amount or quantity of items in the cart. You can also offer gift cards as referral rewards or combine your loyalty program with referrals.
In this step, you can also set up custom validation rules to prevent referral fraud. There are more than 30 predefined validation rules to choose from that covers most scenarios you can think of.
Also, Voucherify enables users to track discount analytics – check which referral codes were used and how many times, and ensure that the refer-a-friend program goes the right way. On top of that, all the data between commercetools and the referral program in Voucherify can be synchronized. The integration supports not only product data synchronization but also customer and order data sync.
Tiered rewards for referrers
After setting up referee rewards, it’s time to decide how you would like to reward referrers. All the previously described options are available, but there’s another functionality: tiered rewards. For example, you might want to create a referral program that rewards all the referrers for each referral, but nothing stops you from making it a bit more… competitive.
Instead of adding just one reward (e.g. $10 gift card for each referred customer), you can set up a few rewards:
- Basic reward for the first referral (let’s say a 10% discount coupon).
- A better reward for every fifth referred customer ($100 gift card).
- The ultimate prize for the most effective referrers (e.g. permanent free shipping and $500 gift card for bringing at least 15 customers).
Step 4 – Create notifications & metadata (optional)
At the end of the creation process, you can enrich your referral program with notifications (SMS, email, Activecampaign, Braze, webhooks and more) and metadata. Both notifications and metadata are optional – thanks to our headless approach, the final presentation of the program is up to you.
That’s it – now you’ve got a referral program set up.
How to make referral programs work with commercetools?
Assuming you already have your webstore built in commercetools, start setting up the integration – you can find it here (the installation guide and all the files are stored on GitHub).
Important note: Voucherify integration with commercetools is open source – it means that it’s merely a foundation on which the development team can build more functionalities or adjust the already implemented ones to fit your company’s needs. We are also continuously improving the plug-in – you can leave your ideas and feedback on our support inbox.
With your webstore connected to Voucherify, your customers will be able to use referral codes assigned to them in Voucherify and redeem them while shopping in your store. After the code is successfully used, the referral is saved in Voucherify and the reward is automatically assigned to the advocate.
Here’s an example: after setting up the referral program in Voucherify and installing the integration with commercetools, I assigned the code (REF10-Cds9ya) to a customer – Chris:
After that, the referral code can be used in the store. I’ve logged in to another customer’s account and made a purchase using previously published code:
If you did everything correctly, the outcome should be as follows:
- Chris’s friend gets a discount for using a referral code (if you have a double-sided program).
- The referral is saved in Voucherify and noted in Chris’ profile.
- A referral reward is automatically assigned to Chris.
Setting up custom triggers
In the scenario above, the voucher redemption counts only if the order status change to ‘paid’, and this is the default setting, but nothing stands in your way to set it up differently. Anything you could think of can be a trigger – to do so, you need to select a ‘custom event’ option while creating your referral program campaign in Voucherify. That way, you can count referrals only if the referee submitted an opinion about the store or after the refund period passed.
Of course, that’s only one way of using the Voucherify x commercetools plugin. You can explore all the possibilities without limitations – there are no boundaries to how many campaigns you can create in Voucherify. So create as many as you want!
What other promotion strategies can you enable with the Voucherify integration with commercetools?
Though commercetools provides its customers with the promotion module, its features are limited – as I mentioned before, it lacks the referral program functionality. But the Voucherify plugin can be used for far more than just referral programs. What other sales promotions can you run with Voucherify?
- Loyalty programs.
- Dynamic discounts that change values based on custom formula.
- Proportionally split discounts.
- Flexible product- and order-specific discounts.
- Advanced, customizable free item promotions and BOGO promotions.
If you’re looking for a simple, yet powerful solution to unlock the potential of commercetools for your webstore, the integration of Voucherify and commercetools should do the trick. Thanks to the plugin, creating a referral program in commercetools webstore won’t be an issue. With this open source solution you’d be able not only to run a referral program (as well as plenty of other promotional campaigns), but also customize it up to the point that it would be 100% compliant with your company’s needs and expectations.
Connect commercetools with Voucherify