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An online make-up store with a unique referral program


Alex Fazelli, Founder of ArtDeco


California, USA

The Background Story

The German brand ArtDeco has been in the makeup game for 30 years and continues to acquire loyal customers every day. While Europeans have known ArtDeco for a few decades, Americans are only now being introduced to the brand.

We had previously worked with Alex Fazelli, Founder of ArtDeco, to successfully launch the Medshop Express online store. And when he decided to launch ArtDeco in the United States and introduce the brand to a broader audience, he asked RubyGarage to bring this idea to life with a US-specific website.


We decided to deploy ArtDeco’s online shop on the Spree platform. Spree was a great choice because it’s a completely free, user-friendly, and scalable solution that offers efficient store management and a variety of plugins to extend its core capabilities.

When visiting ArtDeco, customers are offered functionality common to any online store. They can browse goods, filter by categories, sort by name and price, add products to the cart, and place orders. But we also extended ArtDeco’s functionality by integrating with third-party services to track shipments, import Google SpreadSheets, send email notifications (about submitted orders, promo codes, etc.), support product reviews, and track the website’s performance (with tools like New Relic). Additionally, we added a few features that are not so typical for an ecommerce solution.

We realized that in the cosmetics industry, clients use products such as foundation and mascara on an ongoing basis, which is why we implemented auto-reorder functionality to subscribe customers to products they regularly buy.

Another nice bonus of ArtDeco’s site is that it allows users to become wholesalers and receive special discounts and offers. We developed a complicated Referral System and Rewards Program that allows referral partners to share referral links, build personal groups of referrals, earn rewards for their orders, and cash out on the rewards earned through a connected PayPal account.

One of RubyGarage’s solutions for the Rewards Program was a gem that our team developed from scratch to let ArtDeco customers receive rewards for each order. After an order has been shipped, a customer gets virtual dollars that are automatically applied as a discount on their next order.

Even though ArtDeco’s website was mainly built with Spree Commerce, RubyGarage developed a custom one-page checkout that allows customers to purchase goods without creating an account and signing in. One-page checkout is important for any ecommerce website, as it decreases shopping cart abandonment.

Finally, we made all screens responsive, so the ArtDeco site can be viewed comfortably on any mobile device.


RubyGarage team implemented a number of integrations that offer effective tools for website performance monitoring, bug tracking, payments management, shipping management, social media integrations, customer support, and more.


Stripe & PayPal — handle payments within the shop and let the main account owner manage all transactions.

PayPal Payouts API — a PayPal service that lets you send money directly to PayPal accounts for rewards earned within the system by participants of the Rewards Program.

Performance and Bug Tracking

New Relic — performance management tool for monitoring application performance and fixing vulnerabilities.

Airbrake — bug tracking tool. Airbrake allows developers to note the place where bugs occur and fix them.

Shipping Services

UPS & Fedex — worldwide shipping services for returns. UPS and Fedex charge fees based on shipping address and order details.

Shipstation — shipping software for managing orders imported from Spree.


Facebook Login — quick login with Facebook accounts.

ShareThis — a platform that allows customers to share information about products via social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

Juicer — pulls posts from social media accounts.

Klaviyo — email marketing platform for sending promotions and functional email notifications to customers.

Product Reviews

Yotpo — generates reviews, questions and answers about products.

Customer Support

Zendesk — cloud-based customer support platform that allows website owners to easily interact with customers to provide support.

Notable Challenges

Spree Referrals Expert

To explain the logic that our gem uses to implement the Rewards Program, let’s call those who share referral codes the “Code Owners” and those who use the codes the “Referrals.” Any customer can be a “Code Owner” and a “Referral” simultaneously.

“Referrals” receive their benefit in the form of a discount on their next order using the referral code provided by the “Code Owner.” The “Code Owner,” in turn, receives some amount of commission from their “Referral” and also from their Referral’s Referrals. More specifically, our gem allows “Code Owners” to receive rewards from three generations of “Referrals.” We call this the tree system: a rewards system with multiple relationships.

With our system, a “Code Owner” can redeem their commission when they place their next order, or they can cash out their commission. Most ecommerce websites implement reduced referral systems with only two generations or promo codes that work only for the first order, so our three-generation system is really unique.

Phys Labs Gem

In addition to ArtDeco, we’ve built two more shops for Alex Fazelli on the Spree Commerce platform. All of these stores needed to be launched within a short timeframe and had to be easy to support in the future.

We allocated all of the common functionality that we implemented for Artdeco in a separate gem. In the long-term, this gem will allow us to reduce development time when adding any new features, and these features will be able to work in all other shops in the same way. This saves a lot of time on support and development.