American clothing brand, Outdoor Voices has, since its formation in 2013, achieved success, especially among its millennial customer base for selling “athleisure” apparel primarily online. As a predominantly eCommerce brand, Outdoor Voices attributes much of its growing success to its flagship referral program, which rewards its loyal customers for referring their friends.
By the end of this post, you should gain insight into how the Outdoor Voices referral program works, why it has seen tremendous success, and some of the features the brand could enhance to make it more attractive.
How does the program work?
Outdoor Voices offers discount codes to its customers and uses the double-sided incentive approach in its referral program. In other words, the company rewards both the people inviting their friends to shop with them and the invited friends.
With this program, any person can earn a referral reward, even if they are not a current Outdoor Voices customer. However, whoever you refer must be a new customer and use your unique referral code to make their first purchase. In using the refer-a-friend codes, referrers can send a one-time $20 off code to as many friends as they can. Then, when that friend makes their first purchase for an order of $100 or more at Outdoor Voices, they can apply the referrer code to get $20 off. Once the referred friend makes a purchase, the referrer also receives a reward email indicating their receipt of a one-time $20 off code for a future order above $100.
All codes can only be redeemed online and cannot be combined with other Outdoor Voices offers. Codes have a two-week expiration date. This means that they cannot be redeemed two weeks after the date of distribution via email. Additionally, both the referrer and friends codes can only be applied to one purchase.
What are the good things about the program?
The most obvious benefit of joining Outdoor Voices’ referral program is the value one stands to enjoy. The program rewards a $20 discount code to referrers and referrals for a $100+ purchase in their online store. All information and the terms and conditions surrounding the referral program are easy to understand. They communicate what an individual is liable to earn as well as how they can gain these rewards. Again, since the incentives are double-sided, it creates a win-win notion for customers and increases the likelihood of promoting the referral program to more people.
Outdoor Voices upholds a strong community approach in its branding, and this reflects in its referral program. The company sells the idea of joining a community of like-minded people while promoting its program. With its “doing things” hashtag, shoppers and customers are constantly reminded that they will not be alone when they become a part of the brand. In addition, OV’s social media pages and the website incorporates a lot of user-generated content and influencer promotions, further reflecting the brand’s goal of creating a strong community of athleisure wear lovers.
Incorporating Social Psychology
One of the greatest things about this referral program is how the company has done a great job infusing social psychology into its campaigns. Social behaviors are mostly goal-oriented. However, the truth is that most people want to feel connected and included in activities together with their peers. Outdoor Voices applies this knowledge by pushing their referral program with messages such as “Doing things is more fun with friends.” This caption is usually backed by an image of people engaging in a fun activity together. This evokes a particular emotional response from customers and their referrals because they can easily relate to the message and its goals. Ultimately, it increases the likelihood of more people joining the referral program when prompted by their friends.
What could have been done to make the program more attractive?
Referrer codes in the Outdoor Voices referral program are designed to expire two weeks after the date they were distributed via email. This means that if a customer tries to use them after this period, the codes cannot be redeemed. However, considering the fact that both of OV’s codes are for single-use and can only be redeemed for a one-time purchase of items worth more than $100, the expiration period for the codes could be extended to make the program more attractive. Likely, a section of customers who refer their friends might not be ready to purchase items worth the said value immediately after receiving their code, hence may not be able to enjoy the referral reward. But, again, since the code is limited to one-time use, it will not hurt the brand much if the redemption period is extended to at least a month to cater to irregular shoppers.
The Outdoor Voices Referral program is a good example of how eCommerce brands can ride on the power of word-of-mouth marketing to build a solid business and increase their customer base. While referral marketing seemed to have worked the magic for the fitness apparel brand, they seemed to have built an even stronger commitment by engaging with most of their customers via physical gatherings at their outlets and on social media. Undoubtedly, Outdoor Voices customers are more intrigued about staying active, using and showcasing the company’s products because of the strong community spirit that backs them.