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Last Updated on April 11, 2022 by DMEditor
Retaining customers in a competitive market is no easy task. While customer loyalty programs aren’t a new concept, they certainly make it easier to inspire goodwill between you and your customers.
84% of customers are more likely to stay with a brand that offers a loyalty program. It’s a cost-effective way for businesses to keep customers engaged while still generating revenue. That’s probably why as many as 90% of companies say they already run some form of a loyalty scheme.
Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- 1 Bottom Line Up Front
- 2 Types of Loyalty Programs
- 3 Smile
- 4 Pricing
- 5 Growave
- 6 Pricing
- 7 Yotpo
- 8 Pricing
- 9 Stamped
- 10 Pricing
- 11 ReferralCandy
- 12 Pricing
- 13 FAQs
- 14 Our Final Verdict
Bottom Line Up Front
This round-up goes pretty in-depth, so here’s our top-level assessment:
Before leaping in, do your homework and calculate what type of loyalty program you want to offer customers.
That said, here’s the bottom line for each of the Shopify apps listed here:
- Smile: There’s a free plan, it’s intuitive, comes with design optimization features on its paid plans, and it’s good for small businesses
- Growave: There’s a free trial available, there are 20+ customer rewards to choose from, and it’s suitable for SMEs
- Yotpo: This provides a full suite of features for customer reviews and rewards, including a customizable loyalty program
- Stamped: It offers a free trial; you can create three types of loyalty programs and create hybrid programs consisting of points and tiers.
- Referral Candy: You can turn customers into brand ambassadors with this app and reward them with discounts, cash incentives, and custom gifts. Its dashboard gives you detailed insights into referral data.
Hopefully, these pointers have whetted your appetite enough to dive in and find out more!
Types of Loyalty Programs
Before purchasing a loyalty program app, it’s worth knowing there are various loyalty scheme structures. So, naturally, different apps facilitate different strategies.
That said, what type of loyalty programs are there?
- Points-based: A points-based system works by providing points that can be used in exchange for free or discounted products. Customers can earn points in whatever way best suits your company. For instance, making a purchase, referring to a friend, sharing on social media, etc.
- Tiers: This approach assigns customers different ranks based on their loyalty to your brand. With this system, a business might reward customers who often purchase from them or are highly engaged with their brand. Of course, the higher the tier, the greater the rewards.
- Paid or VIP: Here, customers pay to access rewards either for a one-off fee or a subscription. In return, customers unlock unique benefits.
- Referrals: A referral program incentivizes customers to recommend your brand to people they know. Here customers could be rewarded with gift cards, cashback on their future purchases, discounts, etc. when someone they refer purchases from you.
Now we’ve got that covered, let’s explore our favorite Shopify loyalty apps:
Smile is one of the top-rated loyalty apps on Shopify. It enables you to run the following kinds of loyalty programs:
- Paid loyalty (VIP)
You can even offer loyalty programs to existing customers. Just attach your email list, then Smile will send a notification asking them to join your program. It then sends follow-up messages alerting customers about expiring points and reward reminders.
Customers can quickly identify which rewards they’ve earned and redeemed from their Smile rewards panel. First, they sign in to their account via your Shopify store and click your program’s Launcher. Once it has loaded, they can click on Your Rewards and see what they’ve earned and redeemed.
You can customize these emails, the widget, and the panel with your brand’s colors, banner, and logo. Smile also has an online support team and plenty of self-help resources to aid you with setup – no coding required!
- Setting up and customizing your loyalty program is easy and quick.
- You can offer different reward programs to your customers.
- Smile integrates with popular emailing services, such as MailChimp, and Klaviyo
- A free plan is available.
- The free plan doesn’t come with integrations.
- You can’t run VIP loyalty programs unless you upgrade to the Pro plan.
- You can only generate analytics reports with the Enterprise plan.
Smile has one free plan and four monthly-billed packages to choose from:
Free plan – $0 a month:
- Points program creation
- Referral program creation
- Basic branding such as default rewards emails that you can’t customize
- Default emails
- A basic analytics overview (whereas paid customers benefit from a more detailed analytics dashboard)
Starter plan – $49 a month
You get everything in the free plan, plus:
- One integration
- The removal of all Smile branding
- Customizable emails
Growth plan – $199 a month
You get everything above, plus:
- Point expiry and reward reminder emails
- Two integrations
- Advanced analytics
Pro – $599 a month
Everything in the Growth plan, plus:
- VIP loyalty program creation
- Unlimited integrations
- Advanced analytics
Enterprise- $1000+ a month
Everything Smile has to offer, plus:
- API access
- Advanced reporting
Growave enables you to provide customers with a vast array of rewards. You can choose from one of their three loyalty program structures:
Within each structure, you can choose unique ways to reward customers for their loyalty. For example, you can choose from up to 20 different rewards, such as free shipping, discounts, gift cards, etc.
With the points system, customers get an easy-to-use dashboard where they can view their points. Growave provides a login portal, and customers can see which programs they’re part of. You can set how many points unlock rewards. Customers can then select the prize they want to open.
Alternatively, suppose you opt to run a referral program. In that case, customers get a unique shareable link to refer others to your brand in exchange for points or discounts. The link tracks any sales made. Subsequently, you can view key metrics like customer profiles, redemption rates (points used), and revenue generated.
Lastly, Growave’s tier loyalty system is structured. When customers gain a certain number of points, they move up a tier to receive added bonuses. It’s also worth noting you can promote all reward programs using Growave’s built-in emailing marketing tool. Here you can customize email templates with your branding and remind customers to spend their points.
- You can offer customers a wide array of points.
- You can design your loyalty programs by choosing what points gain which rewards.
- Access to built-in email marketing.
- Customers get their login and dashboard portal.
- You can access additional Growave features such as wishlists, reviews, and Instagram marketing.
- Competitive pricing
- Access to free setup support.
- There’s no free plan
- Lower-tier plans limit how many orders you can fulfill on each plan.
- No integrations are available on the lower tier plans.
Each Growave plan is billed monthly. However, you can opt for a yearly subscription to get a discount of 20% a month. There’s also a 14-day free trial. After that, there are several paid plans to choose from:
Starter – $19 per month: For businesses with 100 orders per month.
For this, you get:
- Social media login for customers.
- You can create all loyalty programs.
- You can add review and wishlist features to your website.
- Access to Instagram marketing.
- Access to reward program analytics.
Small – $29 per month
You get everything in the Starter plan for up to 250 orders per month.
Medium – $49 per month
You get everything in the Small plan for up to 500 orders per month.
Growth – $99 per month
You get everything in the Medium plan for up to 1000 orders per month. Plus, integrations with Klaviyo and Omnisend.
Large – $199 per month
You get everything above for up to 2,000 orders per month.
Enterprise – $299 per month
You get everything in the Large plan for up to 3,500 orders per month, plus:
- Access to Growave’s API.
- Customers can spend reward points at checkout.
- You can create custom reward programs.
Custom – custom pricing
Everything in the Enterprise plan for more than 3500+ orders per month. Plus:
- A strategy manager and integration technician.
- Support for multiple domains.
Yotpo allows you to create targeted loyalty program campaigns with set goals. You can send emails and SMS messages to encourage customers to make purchases, leave reviews, or become social media followers. You can offer a decent range of rewards, from coupons and discounts to free shipping. Just choose a reward structure that you think will best meet your businesses needs:
You can choose to target customers based on their point balance, the number of referrals completed, last purchase date, VIP tier, and more. You can launch scheduled, time-sensitive campaigns and monitor their progress from your dashboard. Get actionable insights on customer behavior, status, and engagement. Then generate customizable reports on your program’s performance.
Yotpo comes with several integrations to help you broaden and manage your loyalty program campaigns. For example, HubSpot, MailChimp, and Recharge.
You can create loyalty programs from the convenience of your Shopify dashboard. The Yotpo drag and drop feature doesn’t require coding or developing experience. Instead, you can build your program using 19 out-of-the-box campaigns to drive transactions and engagement.
You can also customize your program to offer your chosen loyalty redemptions and amend these any time you choose. At this point, it’s worth adding that you can run ‘goal spend’ campaigns. Here you can offer reward points to customers when they reach a specific spending target you’ve set.
You can use Yotpo’s white label pop-ups to engage shoppers and encourage them to spend with you and refer their friends in exchange for rewards and discounts. Yotpo’s fraud prevention function automatically blocks referrals based on duplicate shipping addresses, IP addresses, billing addresses, etc., to prevent people from claiming referrals more than once.
- Yotpo has a free plan
- Competitive starting price
- Access to social media marketing on the paid-for plans
- You can create customizable loyalty programs
- You can build and launch your loyalty program on your site.
- Paid plans come with additional fraud protection
- You benefit from a pop-up widget for your website.
- No email integration is available with the lower-tiered plans.
- No pop-up widget is available on the free program.
- No email marketing or reminders are available on the lower-tiered plans.
- No fraud prevention on the free plan.
Yotpo plans are billed monthly. The packages listed here are only for their loyalty program; other services can be purchased at an additional subscription price (i.e., ratings and reviews, etc.). In addition, they have a free plan available. After that, there are several paid tiered plans based on the number of monthly orders you generate:
Free Plan – Up to 100 Monthly Orders
Here you get:
- A loyalty page builder
- You can offer custom rewards
- You can run referral programs
- You can run ‘goal spend’ and social media-orientated campaigns
Silver – $29 per month- Up to 200 Monthly Orders
- You can reward customers with points for leaving product reviews
- You can launch a Twitter and Facebook follow campaign and reward customers when they follow your brand on these socials
Gold – $249 per month up to 800 monthly orders
This further unlocks:
- Access to email marketing integrations
- Access to a ReCharge and Shopify POS integration
Premium – custom pricing
This further unlocks:
- The ability to run VIP incentive programs
- You can award customers points for photo & video reviews.
- Referral code share functionality via SMS & Whatsapp
- You can launch a post-purchase referral pop-up.
- Customers can redeem points at checkout.
- Customers can redeem points for free products.
- Access to advanced customization features like setting up custom VIP loyalty tiers. These alert customers when they’ve achieved VIP status and show them what they can receive on each tier.
- A dedicated customer success manager
Enterprise – custom pricing
Last but not least, you’ll get everything above, plus:
- A dedicated implementation manager
- Unlimited scalability
- Dedicated security and compliance
- A customizable UI
- An enterprise customer success manager
Stamped is split into two separate apps: Loyalty and Rewards and Reviews and Ratings. Here we focus on the former.
The Stamped loyalty app aims to empower you to run various loyalty programs. You can set up rewards such as free shipping, discounts, gift cards, etc. You can create a customizable, mobile-friendly landing page where customers can see what loyalty programs you offer. Choose your theme, colors, and logo to match your brand. Then choose your program structures:
- Points and rewards
- VIP tiers
- Referrals programs
Customers can sign up for an account with you. From there, they can undertake different actions to earn points. For example, they can upload a photo, write a review, or make a certain amount of purchases to redeem points. You can also set email reminders to prompt customers to spend their points.
One of the benefits of Stamped is that you can set goals for your loyalty programs and launch different campaigns based on your aims. Example targets might be: getting customers to sign up with you, making more purchases, increasing engagement, etc.
You can then integrate your loyalty program with Stamped’s other features, such as their review and rating pages.
Once you’ve launched your campaign, you’ll receive critical metrics on your program’s performance from your analytics dashboard. From here, you can see who your best customers are, how many points have been redeemed, and the best-performing incentives.
- Stamped comes with a free plan
- You benefit from your own loyalty program landing page
- You can offer a range of reward options
- Paid plans come with analytics and reporting
- There’s an additional price to access Stamped’s rating and review features.
- Integrations aren’t available on the free plan
- Some users complain about bugs
Monthly and yearly billing is available. If you opt for the latter, you’ll benefit from a 20% discount. Stamped Loyalty and Rewards pricing plans are as follows, with prices quoted below based on monthly billing:
Free plan- Up to 50 monthly orders
Here you have access to the following:
- Up to 50 orders monthly
- Referral Program
- Points Starter Program
- Multiple Reward Types
- Theme Branding
Premium – $39 per month: Up to 500 monthly orders
You get everything in the free plan, plus:
- You can run points-based and referral-based loyalty programs
- Customizable branding
- Two Loyalty and Reward integrated apps
- Simple email customization
- Multiple types of rewards to offer customers
- Display widgets
Business- $149 per month: Up to 1500 orders monthly
You get everything in the Premium plan, plus:
- Personalized referral codes
- A POS integration
- Advanced email editor
- Five Loyalty and Rewards integrated apps.
Professional $479 per month: Up to 3,500 orders monthly
You get everything in the Business plan, plus:
- VIP Program
- HTML editor for email templates
- Custom sender domain
- Unlimited Loyalty and Reward integration apps
Enterprise: Custom pricing: for orders over 3,500 per month
You get everything in the previous plans, plus:
- API access
- A dedicated onboarding and customer success manager
- Ongoing customization support
Lastly, there’s a Full Suite pricing structure. This gives access to both Stamped’s loyalty program and their review and rating features and is aimed at larger businesses.
Briefly, this comprises of the following:
- Business – $229: Up to 1500 monthly orders – here, you get access to Stamped’s reviews and rating features, loyalty and rewards features, and fully customizable branding
- Professional – $659: Up to 3,500 monthly orders- You get everything in the Business plan, plus you can run VIP loyalty programs and access an SMS integration, custom email domain, and marketing suite.
ReferralCandy’s specific is – yes, you guessed it – referrals. ReferralCandy makes it easy to turn your customers into your top supporters. You can launch a loyalty program in just 30 minutes. Just create your personalized landing page using your brand colors, logos, and images – and even translate your copy into 12 different languages!
You can use a range of email and pop-up incentives to encourage customers to join the program. In addition, ReferralCandy has a range of email marketing integrations, such as MailChimp and Klaviyo. That’s as well as a Google Analytics integration.
You can offer your customers cash rewards, store discounts, or custom gifts for their referrals. In addition, you can track your program from your ReferralCandy dashboard. Here you’ll find insights on where your referrals are coming from, industry benchmarks, and sales. In addition, the referral tracking system can help to detect fraudulent accounts/ uses of your program so you can take action against suspicious activity.
Lastly, if you run into trouble, you can get advice from the ReferralCandy resource page and online help center or contact their team (available 24/7).
- Unlimited customers
- It’s easy to launch referral programs.
- You benefit from fraud protection.
- Referral Candy integrates with 14 eCommerce platforms.
- The customer support is reportedly excellent
- You can use widgets, embed sign-up forms, send emails, and launch pop-ups to push your loyalty program.
- Fully customize your loyalty pages, so they reflect your brand.
- You have to pay a commission on the sales you make generated from your referral program.
- There’s no free plan.
- You can only run a referrals-based loyalty program.
- There aren’t many price options.
ReferralCandy has a 30-day free trial. After that, you’ll have to choose from one of their payment plans. ReferralCandy has two packages that are billed monthly or annually. In addition to the subscription fee, ReferralCandy also takes a commission on the sales you make via referrals. The commission rate starts at 5% and decreases depending on how many sales you drive.
Premium – $49 per month, only billed monthly.
- Unlimited customers
- Dashboard and data reports – you can see how well your loyalty program is doing so far. This includes data on how other companies are faring in the same industry as you.
- Access to live chat support
- Access to advanced fraud management prevents referral code sharing and coupon misuse. For example, an existing customer trying to use a coupon for new customers only.
Enterprise – $3999 per month, and this are billed annually.
You get everything in the Premium plan, plus an account manager and priority support.
Answer: To set up a loyalty program on Shopify, first, you’ll need to head over to the app store and pick which app you want to add. From there, follow these steps to add your program:
Click add app to store.
From your dashboard, find your app and install it.
From here, the steps will vary depending on your chosen app. However, generally speaking, you can expect the following to happen:
• You’ll be directed to the app’s website of your choice and prompted to create an account.
• You’ll have to choose a price plan to suit your business.
• You’ll be guided through setting up your program.
Answer: The kind of loyalty program that’s best for your business will depend on your organization’s specific needs, customers, and budget. To help you decide on the best course of action, we’ve outlined some of the pros and cons of different program types:
• Loyalty programs that are free to join can work wonders for attracting new customers
• Generally, they’re pretty good for collecting customer data
• They are popular with customers, with 72% of US adults belonging to at least one
• Lots of businesses use this model, so you might need to do something special to stand out
• It costs money to maintain
• A transaction-based approach might not inspire loyalty.
• This model is ideal for attracting high-value customers.
• It allows you to offer customers better rewards
• It’s a simple way to segment your customers
• This model isn’t as attractive to low-tier customers.
• It can be more complex to maintain.
• Members may become resentful if they’re moved down a tier.
Paid or VIP
• This model is suitable for collecting customer data.
• Membership fees can add to your revenue.
• The benefits of joining such a loyalty program are typically easy for customers to understand.
• A higher barrier for entry for customers may be a hurdle you’ll need to overcome.
• Higher maintenance is involved because you need to keep adding value to retain customers.
• This program doesn’t appeal to new customers because they want to get to know your brand first before committing to a paid loyalty scheme.
• This structure is suitable for generating new leads.
• It’s excellent for boosting brand awareness.
• It’s great for getting a feel for customer satisfaction.
• You don’t have as much control over your growth.
• Depending on how your customers go about scoring referrals, there might be an increased chance of negative repercussions for your brand.
However, at this point, it’s worth noting that you don’t have to stick to just one program. Instead, you can take a hybrid approach and incorporate different structures to target different audience segments and meet various business goals.
Our Final Verdict
So, that ends our list of the best Shopify loyalty apps. Let’s move on to our conclusion. Here are our top picks based on the best value for money, comprehensiveness, and beginner-friendliness:
Best value for money – Growave
Growave provides a generous Starter plan at just $19 a month. This is the lowest price on our list, yet it has all the essential features of a great loyalty program. In addition, your customers get a unique login and loyalty page to manage their points, referrals, and reward programs. All in all, it’s a great starting point for any business looking to launch a loyalty program and gradually scale as they look to expand their offering.
Most comprehensive – Yotpo
Thanks to their audience segmentation feature, Yotpo takes the crown here. You can launch a loyalty campaign with specific goals in mind, making it easier to measure your success and learn more about your customers. With this info to hand, you can run even more targeted campaigns. Moreover, you can create comprehensive campaigns across different channels and access various marketing features too!
Best for beginners – Smile
Smile has been an industry favorite for some time, with glowing reviews across the board. And with good reason. It’s easy to use, and launching a loyalty program quickly is a breeze. It gives you just enough customization and integration options to make a professional loyalty program. What’s more, it comes with a free plan. What’s not to love?
With that, we come to the end of our journey. We hope you’ve gotten a decent insight into the best Shopify loyalty programs on the market today! So, over to you – tell us about your favorite loyalty program apps in the comments below.