A Closer Look at Amazon App Refer-a-Friend


Sarah Perez from TechCrunch just became Amazon’s top advocate with her post highlighting Amazon’s new referral program using her personal share code. Our hunch was proven right last week. Amazon continued to show its increased investment in referral marketing, this time with a referral program specifically geared towards driving downloads and conversions inside of their mobile shopping app. Released quietly over the past couple of weeks, it’s now being aggressively pushed out as an ad to Amazon shoppers within the mobile app.  Below, we offer Amazon a few tips on how they can get even more out of referral. My good friend, ShaDanta, referred me to the mobile shopping app, which I hadn’t used before. It began when she was presented with an opportunity to share inside of the app right as she opened it and shot me a referral email.  In her words, her sharing experience was “quick, easy, and super simple.” Good job Amazon.

The Referred Friend Landing Experience

Thanks to Shadanta’s referral, I had $5 worth of Amazon credits calling my name. After clicking on the share link in the email she had sent me, I was taken to the friend landing page, where I was presented with two options, as you can see in the image sequence below (click to enlarge).


Step 1 took me through the app store to download the Amazon Shopping app. Simple enough. But once I was inside the app, there was no alert or notice of my referral reward. I had to head back to my original share email to find it. Click the images below to take a closer look.

After clicking on the same share link, I was presented with Step 1 and Step 2, once again. This time I went to claim my code and was sent back inside of the app where I was finally alerted to my referral reward. Success. Show me the money!

Refer-A-Friend Pro Tip: Make It Seamless

Referred friends can drop off the face of the earth (or at least leave your website or mobile app) at anytime, so it’s smart to streamline the conversion. Present the friend with their referral reward immediately upon download. A two-step conversion flow is one step too many. One thing Amazon did nail? They automatically apply the referral discount. No rummaging around in emails to copy and paste coupon codes. Amazon has done the heavy lifting, all but ensuring a smooth conversion.

Missed Opportunities

We know that customers that have come to your brand through the referral channel are over three times more likely to refer others themselves. We call this the R-Factor, and it represents an incredible viral opportunity for marketers to take advantage of. Presenting recently referred advocates with an opportunity to refer can scale a brand’s referral program fast. There’s plenty of places for Amazon to engage their shoppers next as they scale the referral channel. The more the better, we’ve recognized a few that have proven to be very effective in driving additional referral activity.

Refer-A-Friend Pro Tip: Take Advantage of the R-Factor

Placing an ‘Invite Friends’ CTA on the order confirmation page, the order confirmation email, and the shipping confirmation email are great opportunities that Amazon can leverage to take advantage of their R-factor.

Coincidentally, just after I made my purchase, I found myself in the sharing spirit, hoping to earn additional $5 Amazon credits, and spread some holiday cheer. I had a harder time finding the referral program. Unlike ShaDanta, I wasn’t presented with a mobile ad asking me to refer friends upon login to the mobile app. After a few minutes scouring the app, I finally found the ‘Invite Friends’ CTA in the ‘Your Account Dashboard’, under ‘Personalized Content’, as you can see in the image below (click to enlarge).


We believe it’s safe to surmise Amazon is running an a/b test, and that once the results are in, the in-app referral program will become much easier to find.

Reward Fulfillment

Once I had finalized my purchase, I asked ShaDanta to keep an eye out for her advocate reward. Hours turned into days and days into weeks until finally, the reward email came through.

Refer-A-Friend Pro Tip: Instant Gratification

Another optimization Amazon can make would be to cut down their reward fulfillment time. Why? Because instantly fulfilling rewards result in even more sharing. If Shadanta had been rewarded immediately after my purchase, she would have been more inclined to refer again sooner. Making it personal helps too. Let your advocates know which of their friends converted. Amplifying feelings of gratitude that your brand provides customers is a powerful tool marketers can take advantage of in encouraging more advocacy.

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