There are two ways to build word of mouth marketing – either use an army of affiliates who wield influence over blogs or social media to promote your business in return for commissions, or incentivize your happy customers to bring more customers through word of mouth marketing. Although we have tagged ReferralCandy as an affiliate tracking tool in this article, this is in fact a word-of-mouth marketing tool. The company is based out of Singapore and was launched in 2011. It has raised nearly $787,000 in two rounds of investments so far.
This is how ReferralCandy works – the system automatically creates a unique referral link for every customer who purchases a product from your store. These referral links may be tied to specific incentives like single-use coupons, multi-use coupons, cash discounts or custom points. These incentives drive customers of your store to share the product with their friends on social networks like Facebook or Twitter. When a person who visits your store from the referral link makes a purchase, the first customer wins the incentive bonus while the new customer gets their own referral link and so on.
ReferralCandy lets store owners customize the email draft that goes to customers with their referral link. Businesses that want to match purchases with donations to charity too may make use of ReferralCandy to promote their product. In addition to creating unique referral links for existing customers, the script also lets store owners promote the offer for any website visitor thus turning the product from a word-of-mouth marketing tool to an affiliate marketing service. Other features of the program include performance reports, automated coupon/discount redemption, brand customization, social networking integration, and fraud monitoring. ReferralCandy is currently integrated with a host of shopping platforms including Shopify, BigCommerce, Volusion, Magento, WooCommerce, Yahoo! and a host of other platforms.
All accounts come with a 30 day free-trial period. Customers are offered four different plans to choose from – Small, Medium, Large and Enterprise. All plans come with a minimum fee (and an additional charge depending on your monthly sales). The minimum monthly subscription fee for these plans are $25/mo, $65/mo, $195/mo and $885/mo respectively. There is also a referral sales amount pegged against every plan and the store owner pays in referral sales commission if they happen to be more than the minimum amount specified against the plan. For instance, for the Small plan, the referral sales fee is 7.5%. This way, if you make $1000 in referral sales, then the fee will be 7.5% of $1000 (that is $75) instead of $25 that you pay otherwise. The equivalent referral sales commission for the other plans are 3.95%, 1.95% and 1.25% respectively.
So what do you get for these different plans. All plans come with all the core features available. The kind of support you receive differs with the plan you choose, but you get to have as many visitors and advocates as you need in each plan.
The trouble I have with this model is that it is simply NOT set and forget. Let’s assume you start small and choose the Small plan. If your store grows to $5000 monthly referral sales, then you are required to actively monitor this and upgrade. Failure to do so could easily lose you a lot of money since you are likely to pay 7.5% of $5000 (that is $375) in the Small plan instead of $197.50 with the Medium plan. As a matter of fact, the Large plan at $195 would have been better suited for your business at this stage. Worse, you will get to know this loss only at the end of the month (after you have already paid ReferralCandy)
|Plan||Minimum monthly fee||Alternate referral sales commission|
ReferralCandy has a lot of positive reviews from users on Shopify. A lot of these reviewers have commended the customer support team for their helpful and timely replies. We are not just talking about regular customer enquiries, but even bugs notified by customers were instantly shared with the development teams to be fixed. A lot of customers also are happy with the referral revenues brought along through the app. So one thing you can say is that ReferralCandy as a concept does work well.
However, there are users who are not happy with the returns they get for the price. One reviewer points out that user will have to shell out as much as $149/month for using their own HTML templates. They also point out that due to the limitation of the discount code system, one will have to choose between full-automation and fraud prevention but cannot have both. Essentially, ReferralCandy is thus a sophisticated email dispatch system that may not be worth the price. But taking all reviews into account, ReferralCandy has been rated close to 5 out of 5 stars.
On Pandia, ReferralCandy has been delivered a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. The positives are definitely the availability of unlimited advocates, social media integration and fraud protection. The reviewer also finds the product scalable in that it can be used by anyone from a small mom and pop retailer to a large enterprise with several hundred thousand dollars of sales. However, the price is definitely an issue and with minimum usage fee, it is not really built for the small retailer with monthly sales of just a few thousand dollars.
Overall, I think ReferralCandy is a great concept. However, the product has an expensive price tag which you must acknowledge before signing up.
|Reviewer||Ratings (out of 5)|