Utilizing Reciprocity and Referral Marketing for WooCommerce

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“There is one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life: reciprocity.” – Confucius 

This little piece of Chinese philosophy contains the gist of human interpersonal behavior. 

Reciprocity is a concept that’s been around since the dawn of time. You see it all around you. Those who do social or moral good expect that they get a similar treatment in return. While the realities of those expectations may vary, it’s a time-tested relationship-building process. 

As a concept, this is applied to any aspect of human behavior – it’s not just limited to your friends or family members. 

With the right strategy, it is also applied in your business operations. In this article, we’ll explain how you can use the concept of reciprocity in business. 

More specifically, we’ll be talking about using the WooCommerce platform to build conversion-centered customer relationships. 

But before we begin, we have to elaborate on the very concept of reciprocity. 

The Concept of Reciprocity

Let’s start with an example: 

A friend goes the distance to help you out with a problem. A few years later, that same friend is facing a similar situation. At that point, would you help him out? 

If you’d said yes, then it means you have reciprocated the favor. In the end, you and your friend participated in a mutually beneficial relationship. 

Now, let’s look at what the textbooks say: 

In social psychology, reciprocity is a series of actions wherein one positive action corresponds with another similar action. These positive exchanges help build positive and mutually beneficial relationships.”

This is literally the “textbook” definition. Don’t worry, though, since it’s implying the same concept as the dilemma discussed above. 

Now, how would reciprocity look in a business setting? 

Have you ever noticed why a restaurant server treated you so nicely? Or how the flight attendants made extra sure that you have a calming experience during a flight? 

It’s customer service at its very best. The goal is to provide such an excellent service that customers reciprocate by returning for the same experience. 

It is the reason why airline services like Emirates do so well. Through stellar customer service, they build ever-lasting customer relationships.  

Now, you can’t go as far as big businesses in your reciprocity. What you can do is integrate a rewards program on your store to create a system of reciprocity that’s just as effective. 

Let’s look at how such a program might look like. 

Creating Reciprocity Through a Rewards Program

To create a rewards program in your store, you should first understand what kind of rewards you can give out on your eCommerce store. These include: 

  • Promotional discounts 
  • Product trials 
  • Special events 
  • Members-only access 
  • Coupons 

All of these are distributed to customers to ensure brand loyalty and return customers. 

Consider rewards as an investment. The more you invest in making your customers happy with their purchases, the better returns you can get with those customers. 

Most businesses, seeing as how they’re losing money instead of making it, don’t entertain the idea of rewarding customers with giveaways and such. 

Little do they know that integrating such a process can make for even better business in the modern digital landscape. 

Not only will customers purchase from your store, but they will also embody the voice of your brand. 

The result is that not only are you nurturing leads already present in your store, but are also getting referral customers through those leads—reciprocity at its finest. 

Introducing a rewards system to your business requires a long-term thought-process. It means that the part of the bottom-line you’re sacrificing in the short run can give you serious returns in the long-run. 

Implementing A Reciprocity Program for Your Store

At this point, you have both a psychological and business-centric understanding of the concept of reciprocity. 

Now it’s time you learn how to implement it. In the next sections, we’ll use the WooCommerce platform’s Referral System plugin to introduce a rewards functionality in your store. 

Why WooCommerce? It’s a powerful platform used by more than 3 million users on the internet. Because of its sheer volume of users, we feel that it’s an excellent choice to include such functionality. 

Let’s see how the Referral System plugin can help you introduce a rewards system in your store. 

Offer Sign-Up Points and More

At a very basic level, you can offer points for users who sign-up for your store. Other than that, you can also incentivize your newsletter subscriptions and offer birthday points.

The end-goal of this process is to entice the customer into staying within the ecosystem of your eCommerce store. Given enough time and incentive, you can create a loyal customer out of a user. 

It’s the psychological tendency of feeling valued. When customers feel valued, they are more than likely to reciprocate by purchasing more from your store. It directly leads to better conversions and more sales. 

With a Referral System for WooCommerce, you can integrate such a customer loyalty program in your store. Here’s how: 

  • You can set up points for specific actions on your store (i.e., newsletter subscription points, sign-up points, etc.) and then specify the monetary value of each point. 
  • When a user performs those actions, they can avail of those points. 

With the plugin installed, you can integrate a rewards program with relative ease. 

Reciprocity and Social Sharing

Social media engagement is crucial for an eCommerce brand. While it’s not easy to get shares and likes on social media, there is one way you can improve social engagement for your brand. 

Getting your customers to do it. 

Incentivization is the end-goal here. You should offer your customers with points or coupons if they share your content or become your brand’s voice on social media.

If your product quality is right, you can gain an additional advantage: customers will share without needing much persuasion. 

Combine superior product quality and rewarding customers for purchasing, and you can gain a powerful social media presence. 

You can reward your customers even further by showcasing your brand advocates in your store. This has the potential to share your brand even further. 

Not only does this allow you to reach out to a broader customer base, but it also encourages current customers to purchase from your store. 

Introduce Referrals

This process is three-pronged in its approach and allows you to build strong relationships with your customers. When done correctly, it can help boost your business significantly.

Here’s how the process works: 

When a referrer refers a product to a family, friend, or acquaintance, they are getting points for a successful referral. The referee, once signed-up, can also benefit from sign-up points. Both these parties avail of purchase benefits when they redeem their points for discounts. 

And what are you getting? More sales for your business. With referrals, everybody wins. 

If you have a running list of new customers coming to your store through referrals, you can nurture them through email marketing and other such methods. 

Referral System for WooCommerce allows you to include such a referral functionality in your store with relative ease. You can set up points, discounts and set up either a fixed percentage or price rewards on successful referrals. 

Add Value to Customer Purchases

To entice a customer to purchase a product, you have to add value to it. You can provide stellar customer service or offer “freebies” on your customers’ purchase. 

If you put customer loyalty as your goal, you will not feel bad, giving your customers a little something extra.

It’s a Program That Offers Success!

Reciprocity is an essential process in both business and real life. 

To conclude things, we would like to say that reciprocity is an essential factor in real life and any business setting. 

Investing in reciprocity and rewards looks counter-intuitive at first, but it can prove significantly beneficial to your processes in the long-run. 

So, what are you waiting for? Start benefiting from the fantastic concept of reciprocity today! 

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