5 Best Shopify Loyalty Apps Compared [With Pricing]

Last updated June 23, 2019
best-shopify-loyalty-app

Customers who have an emotional connection to your brand offer 300% higher lifetime value. 300%! Cultivate connection and loyalty, and you’re golden.

In addition to increasing your store’s value in the eyes of customers, customer loyalty programs also increase your customers’ value to you! Everybody knows that it’s cheaper to drive existing customers to purchase again than it is to find a new prospect. Wise business owners invest in cracking the code of customer retention, as well as the science of increasing customer lifetime value and average order value.

best-shopify-loyalty-app

So how does one go about nurturing that customer relationship to prime its 300% potential? One key component is an impressive loyalty program. A customer rewards program makes your brand more attractive (and re-engagement worthy) by its very existence. The better it is, the better your market’s reaction will be.

The long and short of it is that smart Shopify store owners are selecting and optimizing loyalty apps. But search the Shopify App Store for “customer loyalty” and you can peruse 690 results. How do you choose?

We took a look at some of the top contenders and wrote up our findings (and rated each one, since that’s fun), so you can be more informed when choosing which loyalty program should have your loyalty.


Marsello

Marsello combines a loyalty program with email marketing and marketing automation components. Behind the scenes, the program creates customer segments and automatically sends emails to retain, engage and encourage purchases. The reward system is point-based, granting customers rewards for purchases, on-site actions or referrals.

Marsello has a free plan which gives you access to their basic loyalty plan for up to 1000 customers. If you want to access all the features, you’ll pay $49 for the first 1000 customers, and $5 for every additional 1000.

Charges based on: Features + Number of customers

Free trial: 14 days

Rewards supported: discounts, free products

Customer service: Shopify reviews indicate that Marsello is interested in hearing customer feedback and working to solve issues

Doubles as: email marketing program (you can scrap your Mailchimp if you want)

Shopify rating: 4.9/5 in 253 reviews

Overall rating: 8.5/10


Swell

Swell offers a point-based loyalty program that enables rewards for numerous actions or triggers ranging from purchases to friend referrals to social media interactions to viewing specific pieces of content. The loyalty program is presented to your customers with a beautiful UI that integrates with your website design. Email capture is also a built-in feature.

Swell has a free plan with reward campaigns, a referral program, and email capture that can be used until you hit 100 orders a month. Once you go over, you’ll need to upgrade to their $29/month plan, which includes extra features and can be used until you reach 400 orders (or you could upgrade earlier if the extra features are important to you). (Note: once you go over 200 orders, you will be charged an extra small amount per order.) Their $249 plan is for stores with 400-1200 orders (again, with extra charges per order once you go over 800 orders).

Charges based on: Number of orders your store receives + Features

Free trial: 30 days

Rewards supported: fixed discounts, % off discounts, free products

Customer service: Shopify reviews are mixed – some very happy with the support, and some complaints that support didn’t do enough to resolve their issue

Doubles as: nothing – this is simply a rewards program

Shopify rating: 4.8/5 in 2099 reviews

Overall rating: 7.5/10


Smile.io

Smile.io offers just what it says: a rewards program without many bells, whistles or extras. A point-based reward program and a referral program are available on all plans, and a VIP program is available on the paid plans. Smile.io is unusual among the apps we surveyed in that pricing is based purely on features, and not on your number of customers, orders or rewards. Ostensibly you could have 100K customers making 50K orders and earning 70K rewards and as long as you’re satisfied with the basic features, the plan would remain free. (We didn’t test out that theory, though, so don’t quote us on it.)

Smile.io’s free plan includes point-based and referral programs, along with limited reward emails. The $49/month plan gets you a few more features and the $199/month plan gets you all the integral features you’d be looking for in a robust rewards program.

Charges based on: Features

Free trial: none, which cost them in our final rating

Rewards supported: fixed discounts, % off discounts, free products, free shipping

Customer service: Shopify reviews indicate that customer support is quick and responsive.

Doubles as: nothing – this is simply a rewards program

Shopify rating: 4.8/5 in 2341 reviews

Overall rating: 8/10


Rise.ai

Rise.ai aims to bring simplicity to the world of reward programs. Instead of complicated point-based systems that can present confusion, Rise.ai enables you to offer rewards in the currency customers appreciate: your store currency. Any customer participating in the program receives a stored-value digital loyalty card, which can be topped up and used by the customer to purchase, as well as used by your store to reward through automated rules and workflows. You can set up rules based on order value, customer lifetime value and other segmentations, special occasions (like birthdays and holidays), VIP status and more. While discounts and coupon codes can sometimes cheapen your store’s or products’ image, the Rise.ai rewards are store credit, perceived as free money, delivered in real time, via their preferred device.

Rise.ai started its path as the GiftWizard app, and so as a (very large) added bonus, Rise.ai provides a top-notch gift card program with original features like the ability to run email re-engagement campaigns using bulk-created, low-value gift cards.

Rise.ai begins at $12.49/month for the starter plan of 20 “gift transactions,” meaning rewards of store credit awarded directly to the customer gift card. The sum rises to $29.99/month for 50  (50 rewards) and $119.99 (200 rewards).

Charges based on: Number of store credit transactions given + Features

Free trial: 7 days

Rewards supported: store credit

Customer service:  Shopify reviews rave about the support team’s service and responsiveness.

Doubles as: a complete gift card program

Shopify rating: 4.9/5 in 333 reviews

Overall rating: 9.5/10 (WINNER!!)


Loyalty Lion

Loyalty Lion offers a free plan for up to 800 orders and unlimited people, but with a reward program limited to certain actions that confer points that lead to fixed discount vouchers. You need to spring for the $159/month plan to get referral features as well as to award points for expanded on-site and off-site actions.

Charges based on: Features + Number of orders your store receives

Free trial: 14 days

Rewards supported: fixed discounts, % off discounts, free products, free shipping, buy with points

Customer service: Shopify reviews give customer support good marks.

Doubles as: nothing – this is simply a rewards program

Shopify rating: 4.6/5 in 247 reviews

Overall rating: 7.5/10


So which is the best Shopify loyalty app for you?

Ultimately, every Shopify store owner needs to do his or her homework to arrive at the perfect loyalty solution for their store.

One critical component to take into account is the perspectives and needs of your customers. Are they adventurous types who enjoy trying new things? Make sure your loyalty program enables you to offer store credit specifically for brand new products as rewards, so you can treat them to experiences and products they wouldn’t have discovered. Or, is your customer base full of steadfast purchasers of the tried-and-true? They won’t appreciate a new and exciting free product. For them, provide rewards that will enable them to save on (or buy more of) their favorite products.

Consider the impression made by the type of rewards you offer. Sometimes “discounts,” whether they be a fixed amount or percentage-off, can cheapen a product or brand. In contrast, “store credit” – even though, practically, it gives the same benefit – can feel more valuable and luxurious to a customer. If you’re a higher-end brand, that’s worth taking into account.

Regardless of which app you select, the crucial piece here is that you deploy a loyalty program in your Shopify store. Rewarding your customers, increasing engagement and building loyalty have proven themselves as the most effective tactics for increasing revenue. Go forth and deploy!

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giles thomas

Author:

Hi, I’m Giles Thomas. Founder of AcquireConvert, the place where ecommerce entrepreneurs & businesses go to learn how to increase conversions & profits. I’m also the founder of ecommerce growth agency Whole Design Studios. I’m a head marketing mentor at the Google Launchpad Accelerator & Google Marketing Expert. Ps. Check out my new blog RisePro.co

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