Shrimp & Grits Kids, a direct-to-consumer children’s clothing company, partnered with Refersion to upgrade their affiliate marketing technology, resulting in a 40% increase in new customer growth six months after program launch.
Megan Hewitt, elementary school teacher and owner of Shrimp & Grits Kids, translated her passion and knowledge of children’s developmental needs towards retail to create a sustainable brand that would grow alongside her littlest customers. Inspired by elements from the South Carolina Lowcountry, Shrimp & Grits Kids features comfortable and whimsically patterned clothing ranging in size from infants to eight year olds.
After founding Shrimp & Grits Kids while simultaneously raising her young daughter, Megan recognized the value in being able to work from home with her children. In order to offer other moms the same opportunity, she designed the Shrimp & Grits Kids Rep/Host program. Through this program, mothers could achieve independent financial growth while building personal relationships and selling adorable children’s clothing from the comfort of their home.
Trying On A New Technology
However, the direct-to-consumer children’s clothing company was struggling to effectively drive new revenue for their affiliates, who delivered approximately 60% of the company’s annual revenue. It was evident that the Shrimp & Grits Kids Rep/Host program was founded on technology that failed to deliver results for their hard-working affiliates.
Since the children’s retail market is driven by referrals from trusted sources, Shrimp & Grits Kids needed to engage with an affiliate management technology that could support the personal referral element of their business. Driving new customer growth had become a challenge due to the affiliate management technology being unreliable, clunky, and archaic. It would commonly break, resulting in the loss of tracking affiliate revenue while their system was down.
It was apparent that their current affiliate technology’s features required customizations, and they needed a partner to help ideate those features to:
- Improve the memorability and trust of affiliate links among shoppers who are wary of tracking links that end in letters and numbers, causing slower sales cycles and lower conversion rates.
- Personalize the shopping experience to help assure referral customers that their purchase would be credited to the referring affiliate.
- Automate affiliate payouts of Shrimp & Grits Kids’ gift cards from their online store in lieu of a manual process that created opportunities for human error and slower payouts.
- Deliver on-demand custom reports that would calculate complex commissions in real-time to help affiliates measure success and optimize the Shrimp & Grits Kids team’s time.
“Our old system was so cumbersome. It was so expensive and difficult to make any changes. Refersion has been a breath of fresh air and has given us the tools so it’s easy to customize and automate our affiliate system. We can also customize to build for our future.”Megan Hewitt, Owner and Founder at Shrimp & Grits Kids
Customizations Crafted for Success
Refersion worked alongside Shrimp & Grits Kids’ ecommerce agency, Alpha Omega Agency, to migrate their ecommerce store to Shopify Plus and devise a custom affiliate management solution. Consequently, the Refersion team designed and built custom features focused on solving problems from Shrimp & Grits Kids’ previous system to help them realize their revenue potential.
These new features utilized Shopify Plus’ exclusive API, webhooks, and Refersion’s custom work services to create a flexible platform capable of scaling and improving as the network grows. Together, Refersion and Alpha Omega Agency worked to identify critical, value-add features for release at launch.
- Custom Vanity URLs to Improve Memorability of Affiliate Links
Refersion created the ability for affiliates to have a custom vanity link with their first name, last name, and two random digits. The result is an affiliate link that is memorable, branded, and trusted by their shoppers. This level of personalization was accomplished using Shopify’s redirection API, allowing affiliates to get customized tracking links quickly from their affiliate portal.
- “You’re Shopping With” to Personalize the Buying Experience
Alpha Omega Agency and Refersion personalized the buying experience for the shopper by building a ‘You’re Shopping With’ feature. When a shopper clicks on an affiliate’s vanity URL and lands on the store’s page, the affiliate’s name is shown in the lower right corner of the screen. This feature assures the shopper their affiliate received the credit for their purchase, speeds up the sales cycle, and reduces abandoned cart rates.
- On-Demand Gift Card Requests to Automate Affiliate Payouts
Refersion leveraged the Shopify Gift Card API, exclusive for Plus, to enable Shrimp & Grits Kids’ affiliates to instantly generate Shrimp & Grits Kids’ store gift cards directly from their affiliate dashboard. The gift cards are provisioned inside their Shopify Plus store and sent to the affiliate through email or within their affiliate portal for immediate use.
- Customized Commissions Calculations Flow to Deliver On-Demand Custom Reporting
The Refersion team developed and automated a custom commissions calculation, factoring in sales tax, shipping, gift card usage, and SKU specific promotions, that resulted in real-time custom performance reports. In addition to their custom calculated commissions, affiliates could now understand other KPIs such as clicks, customer email, SubId performance, and more in real-time. Affiliates can generate and download these reports directly from their affiliate portal, reducing the time Shrimp & Grits Kids’ team members spend working on custom report requests.
“Our affiliates and their customers love their personalized affiliate links and the ease of shopping through them. They also love their personalized dashboard where they can see their sales in real-time. Refersion has revolutionized our affiliate system.” – Megan Hewitt, Owner & Founder, Shrimp & Grits KidsMegan Hewitt, Owner and Founder at Shrimp & Grits Kids
The Results Speak for Themselves
With Shrimp & Grits Kids abilities to personalize the shopping experience, automate affiliate payouts, and provide real-time custom commissions calculations, they were able to achieve significant growth in just six months after the program launch.
After partnering with Refersion, Shrimp & Grits Kids experienced:
- 40% increase in new customer growth
- 14% conversion rate increase
- 20% increase in AOV
As the Shrimp & Grits Kids team looks to the future, their plan is to scale to new affiliate audiences across the country with tactics like gamification of their affiliate program. Most recently the team has begun developing custom features, like leaderboards, to keep current affiliates engaged with consumers and consistently motivated.