Buyapowa masterclass: why no brand is too big for referral

Too big for referral

The popular belief is that referral marketing is a sledgehammer, something you deploy to get masses of new customer acquistions in one big slam. But, here at Buyapowa, we know it can be much more surgical than that - less a sledgehammer and more of a scalpel; something you can deploy in very specific ways to achieve very specific goals.

In this article, we'll take you through two use cases where referral can be extremely surgical. And, to illustrate the point, we'll use one example brand, Boots: the kind of brand that might think it's too big for referral but, once it understands that referral needn't be a blunt tool, quickly sees the value.

So, imagine you're the Chief Marketing Officer at Boots. You've got busy stores on every high street up and down the UK, your omnichannel offering is going from strength to strength, just about everyone who's ever going to shop with you has already shopped with you. What are you going to say when someone asks why you don't have a refer-a-friend programme? Well, chances are, it'll be something like this: "I like the idea of referral, but it's just not for us. We're too big."


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Referral marketing is failing 91% of shoppers (but don't worry - we've fixed it)

Here's a really worrying statistic:

According to the latest Census Bureau report, 90.9% of all retail sales still happen in-store. Not online, not on mobiles, but in brick and mortar stores. And yet, only 5% of refer-a-friend programmes allow for that.

Say what?

Now, obviously, lots of these in-store sales are small, casual purchases that could and would never take place online - a coffee here, a pack of gum there. But, as PwC’s Total Retail Survey recently made clear, many sales take place in-store not because online isn’t an option, but because it’s simply not the preference for huge numbers of customers:

37% of shoppers prefer to buy toys in-store.
40% prefer to buy entertainment products in-store.
47% prefer to buy health and beauty products in-store.
51% prefer to buy both fashion and consumer electronics in- store.
59% prefer to buy furniture and homewares in-store, and...
70% prefer to buy groceries in-store.

So, surely referral marketing should cater for that? Surely referral marketing should be as omnichannel as the rest of retail has become? Well, yes, it should be - but, almost invariably, it isn't.

And that's insane. But, thankfully, the latest referral tech has

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River Island launches Friends with Benefits

River Island's new refer-a-friend programme

It's a big day for us here at Buyapowa, as we push the button on an exciting new refer-a-friend programme for the much-loved fashion retailer, River Island. This follows other high-profile launches for leading fashion brands including Zalando, ASOS, New Look and Gap.

For the past six decades, River Island has proudly maintained its place at the cutting edge of high street fashion, tracking trends in technology just as relentlessly as those in design. And it's that hunger to stay ahead that's led to their adoption of referral marketing - now the most effective form of new customer acquisition for fashion brands, both here in the UK and in the 18 other countries where River Island operate worldwide.

Friends are incentivised to shop

By using Buyapowa's ground-breaking refer-a-friend platform, River Island are now able to equip and inspire their army of customers to get their friends shopping. Everyone who does so will receive £10 off their next order, while those friends will be incentived to take the plunge via a trackable 20% saving against their first shop.

For more information about River Island's trend-setting programme, or to find out how the Buyapowa platform can transform your acquisition strategy, just get in touch.

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Golden global: L'Occitane's referral programme rolls out internationally

L'Occitane's referral programme

Hot on the heels of their recent UK launch, L’Occitane are taking their refer-a-friend programme into five more countries across four continents. As the programme rolls out over the coming weeks, customers in France, Germany, the United States, Brazil and Japan will be equipped and incentivised to introduce their friends to the world-famous luxury beauty brand, earning rewards every time one of them shops.

The expansion reaffirms L’Occitane’s commitment to referral marketing - now the leading channel for acquisition - and to leveraging the passion of their existing customers in order to win over new ones. It’s also a tremendous vote of confidence in the Buyapowa platform, which powers the brand’s referral programme, and in the expert team behind it.

With over six years experience staging hundreds of referral programmes around the world, Buyapowa have been able to offer invaluable advice and guidance on referral within the beauty sector - garnered from working with brands including Feelunique, L’Oréal and A.S. Watson’s The Perfume Shop. Buyapowa’s experts have also been able to provide invaluable insight on the very different habits, trends and drivers influencing customers and their friends in each of these

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Referral marketing: it's in the bag

Tesco | | Ocado | Billa

Click and collect, mobile apps, loyalty schemes, delivery subscriptions, referral programmes. When it comes to grocery, these things aren't luxuries anymore; they're essentials.

Of these, referral is quickly becoming one of the most important, with up to 8% of all online grocery transactions taking place after customers refer their friends.

That's a significant proportion, and it's why Billa - the number one supermarket chain in Austria, which also operates hundreds more stores across Europe - have partnered with Buyapowa to make sure that their customers are incentivised and equipped to get their friends shopping, too.

"Our objective with the referral scheme is to add a powerful tool as part of our CRM strategy while, at the same time, acquiring new customers using our loyal customer base. For us it’s a win-win-win situation for all involved."

Pascal Storer, eCommerce Digital Marketing Manager, Billa

Just like Tesco, Ocado and Norway's (all of whom chose our award-winning platform to power their referrals), Billa recognise that 80% of customers now expect their favourite brands to operate a referral programme. And, if they don't find one, there's a risk that a) those customers will shop elsewhere, and b) their friends may never

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