Glossier Referral Program Case Study

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Glossier’s founder, Emily Weiss, attributes 70% of the company’s online sales and traffic to peer-to-peer referrals. So it is no wonder that the brand lays strong emphasis on its referral program while prioritizing its customers above all else. Since its transition from the beauty blog, Into the Gloss, to a $1.2 billion D2C beauty brand, Glossier has no plans of losing its focus on its most important asset; its customers. The company has gained experience building a massive community of loyal beauty and skincare product lovers who double as their salespeople. In addition, the brand has seen great success leveraging social media, quality user-generated content, and an army of micro-influencers who never cease to share recommendations about their products to their online network.

In this post, let’s take a closer look at how Glossier’s referral program works, how the program has been so successful among its customer base, and some of the ways they could have made it more attractive to customers.

How does the program work?

The Glossier Referral Program offers promotional reward credits to its customers. These reward credits are earned when Glossier customers refer their friends and family members to shop with them.

The company uses a double-sided referral incentive in its program. The two parties eligible to earn credits are Referrers (registered Glossier customers who are legal residents in the United States) and Referred Customers (friends or family members who are new to shopping on

Referrer discounts are worth up to US$10 and can be used for future purchases on To earn this, users need to share their unique referral links with their friends and family. Then, when a new customer clicks on the link, creates a new account within the same session and places their first order on the website, they are eligible for a discount. The referrer discount will be granted within seven days after the referred customer places their first order. However, customers can only refer up to fifty family members or friends.

Referred Customer Discounts are also worth 10% off their first purchase on the company’s website. This is earned when a referred customer clicks on a referral link, creates an account, and places an order within the same session on the company’s website. The discount is automatically applied to that order and is valid for use once. After that, it expires within 90 days of reception.

What are the good things about the program?

There are a couple of factors that have made the Glossier Referral program stand out among its competitors. Some of these are listed below.

Clear Value

Glossier has been successful with its referral program mainly due to the precise value it provides to both existing and new customers. The company offers US$10 worth of promotional discounts per referral and up to 10% off on a referred customer’s first purchase. Details about the referral program have been carefully explained on a specific explainer page on the company’s website.

Glossier Referral terms

Existing customers are excited to share their referral links because of the awareness that they will be earning a discount and helping their loved ones achieve the same. The discount rewards provide an excellent incentive for new customers to shop and for existing customers to keep inviting their friends and family. It also has the potential to increase repeat purchases from existing customers who want to redeem their referral discount rewards. Since both parties see the value in joining the program, not just for the rewards but also for the brand’s positive experience, they become more attached to the brand in the long run.

Strong Community

One of Glossier’s most obvious secrets to a successful referral program is how the company has leveraged its online community. The brand’s strategy of crowd-sourcing new products, gathering feedback, and revealing behind-the-scenes stories of products has proven to be highly effective in building a robust customer-brand relationship. Over the years, Glossier has included its customers in every part of its journey through transparent and well-crafted interactions. Their most common method, asking people about their favorite products on their social media platforms, often produces best-sellers. The sense of community and involvement their customers feel also urges them to share word-of-mouth testimonies to their friends. They also feel encouraged to share their referral links on these social media platforms because of the positive community experience the brand has built over the years.

Glossier Call-to-action

Visibility & Promotion

Another good thing about the Glossier referral program is how visible and well-promoted it is. A referral program achieves more success when people are aware of it. Glossier does a great job at making sure that its program is constantly being promoted to its customers. A visit to the company’s website will expose you to a glaring “Get $10” link in the menu, leading you to an explainer page that sheds light on the referral program. The referral page also shows up at checkout and on top of order confirmation emails to catch customers’ attention.

Glossier Referral Program

How could they have made their rewards program more attractive?

Discount Expiration and Limit

One of the areas Glossier’s referral program falls short is the duration in which referrer discounts expire. As part of its terms and conditions, referrers can only redeem their referrer discount within seven days of their referred customer placing an order. Considering that the discount is worth up to $10, this period may be too short and could reduce the value of the reward altogether.

For instance, if a person refers a friend but is not ready to place an order on the store within that same week, they won’t earn their referral reward. Meanwhile, referred customers enjoy a ninety-day expiration period. This could prove discouraging to infrequent shoppers. Glossier could make the program more attractive by extending the expiration period for referrers from seven days to ninety days. Again, referrers are limited to referring fifty friends. If most of their referrals are not placing their order within that same session, they will not be enjoying any referral rewards. With this possibility in mind, it would be fair if Glossier removes the limits on referrals to increase the chances of earning rewards for their actions.

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