Participants are the users that have provided their email addresses to the corresponding Viral Loops pop-up, even if they found it by themselves or a friend of theirs invited them. You can read how participants are calculated for your account quota here.
Referrals are the successful referrals that the participants have brought. In other words, the number of people that were referred to join the campaign, people that were invited by participants, and joined the campaign by providing their personal details.
There are templates, such as our "Refer a Friend" template, where the referrals are simply “referred sign-ups”, as the only thing the invitee needs to do is provide their email address, or sign up, to say it more generally.
There are other templates, such as our "Altruistic" template, though, when the invitee has to sign-up first and then make some kind of conversion: a purchase, a booking etc. In other words, each referral consists of two steps, a sign-up and a conversion. We can say there are two steps required for a referral to be counted.
For our Shopify template specifically, it can be both since the it can reward referred sign ups as well as referred purchases. Similarly, with our updated Milestone template, you can choose to reward either sign ups or referred purchases (bear in mind that the latter is only available on Power plan).
To simplify, most of the times, when we refer to “referrals” we usually mean "referred sign-ups", whereas in the other case we should say "referred conversions” or, more simply, conversions.
You can see the referrals of a participant by clicking the person image 👤 next to a participant in the Participants section of your Campaign Dashboard in Viral Loops.
Entries in the Tempting Giveaway template are the number of entries the participant has in the sweepstake. The participant receives one entry as soon as they join the Tempting Giveaway campaign and then gain one more entry for each friend that they refer (Referral).
Shares is the number of times a participant has used one of the sharing options of the Viral Loops widget (either popup or Sharing Widget). For example, 100 shares on Facebook means that someone clicked the Facebook sharing option 100 times. This does not mean that they actually shared on Facebook 100 posts, but that they just opened the sharing dialogue 100 times.
Is this clear? Let us know if there's any other term that we could better explain. 💜