The growth of eCommerce stores is undeniable. You see new online stores popping up every day, and the biggest challenge is getting consumers to buy from your store over others. So what can you do to entice shoppers to throng your eCommerce store, shunning away your competitors?
Simple - social proof. Fret not, as this isn’t rocket science. Social proof is typically a psychological habit of people to follow others, especially when uncertain about something. In eCommerce, social proof confirms that others have made the purchase and found value in the product/service.
Social proof enforces a bandwagon effect; this is a social psychology chain effect that ripples throughout the masses. If others have enjoyed using the product, chances are, you will. People want validation, and social proof helps justify their purchases and allays any apprehension they may have.
Trust, which is key to the success of any eCommerce business, can be cultivated via social proof. Since many customers are happy and satisfied with the online store, this conveys trust and convinces them that your store is legitimate and can be trusted.
Social proof conveys authority when a buyer reads reviews from experts in the said field or sees logos of reputable clients under the portfolio. Hence, social proof helps build authority, trust, and credibility; this helps to break through the barriers to purchasing online and increase conversions.
eCommerce trends show that you cannot remain stagnant and should get with time. So, take full advantage of using social proof to grow your eCommerce store.
Let’s take a look at the different ways you can utilize the power of social proof to your advantage and boost your sales:
Caption: Amazon emphasizes customer reviews and ratings (Source: Amazon)
In recent years, almost 70% of online buyers check out user reviews before making a purchase. People naturally trust such written reviews and ratings more than the business marketing effort. Hence, it is no wonder that more websites are displaying online reviews and ratings as social proof.
Include a review and rating section in your online store. Encourage your buyers to leave reviews by motivating them with some gifts or discount vouchers. Show off your positive reviews but be careful not to omit the negative ones, as doing so only raises doubts in your readers’ minds about their authenticity.
Also, negative reviews help identify where you need to improve. You can consider compiling the positive reviews and sharing them via social media, your ads, and other marketing channels.
Caption: Mouqy encourages buyers to tag their photos wearing Mouqy’s eyeglasses on Instagram (Source: Mouqy)
The number of social media users will reach almost six billion in 2027. You would be silly not to leverage this powerful media platform to generate social proof. Having a presence on social media would mean that you naturally already have an audience talking about your products. And, whenever someone mentions you and posts something about your brand or product, this creates user-generated content (UGC).
UGC is an obvious form of social proof that can impact your business in a positive sense. The more people are talking about you, the more publicity you get, and the higher your brand awareness; this generates more talk and more people getting to know about your brand and products.
Run online contests to create the needed hype. Ask participants to upload a selfie of themselves using your products and post something about them. Make your giveaways attractive enough to entice more to join and increase social engagement.
Your goal is to have your products positively mentioned on social media. Then, gather all such posts and share them. People who view these posts will form a more positive view of your business and products, increasing conversions.
Reading user reviews is one thing, but expert reviews are on another level. Highlighting expert reviews is a potent way to influence consumers to buy from you, especially when these are raving reviews from recognized relevant industry experts.
For example, a dentist endorses a toothpaste perfect for sensitive teeth. Or a sanitary pad is recognized by gynecologists. Such recommendations play a huge role in impacting a consumer’s perception and decision when buying the product. So, reach out to the relevant professionals for your product and gather recommendations from them.
Doing so can help you and your products garner more credibility and give that needed validation to consumers.
Caption: Siteground showcases their customers’ success stories in videos (Source: Siteground)
Unlike user reviews, testimonials are more in-depth. Testimonial is an effective medium that helps validate your business and brand. These testimonials are usually more persuasive and effective for pricier products/services or intangible purchases. They can be in the form of a written context or a video. Videos contain the appealing human element that is effective in convincing a buyer.
However, ensure that your eCommerce store is speedy to accommodate these videos. There is no point if they cannot run smoothly; your potential buyers will give up and leave. Your effort in putting up these quality testimonial videos will all be in vain.
When it comes to testimonials, quality is better than quantity. Narrow down a few satisfied customers and reach out to them. Seek permission to interview them and create your testimonials. Then, use these powerful pieces of social proof across your marketing channels. They do help generate more confidence in your brand and business.
Caption: Seeing the number of buyers helps assure consumers (Source: Lazada)
Showing the number of buyers is a powerful way to reel in more buyers. Since many consumers have purchased the product, you will feel more at ease and confident in the said product from the merchant.
This type of social proof shows the psychological effect of a more in-demand product being more attractive. If used wisely, numbers are powerful to build trust and create a sense of urgency.
Aside from using numbers, featuring labels such as ‘Best Sellers,’ ‘Fast Moving,’ ‘Hot Product,’ ‘Flash Sale,’ and more certainly puts you on the map. These labels impact your customers’ mindsets, pushing them to buy as they indicate that many have tried the products, stirring curiosity in the buyers to try them out.
As such, highlight your best sellers and display them prominently in your eCommerce store.
When a buyer is shopping around, it is good practice to include recommended products similar to their interests, as this introduces your buyers to more options in the market. Aside from being solid social proof (many have bought and tried these other recommended products), suggesting similar products is a great way to upsell your existing customers.
Just add a section alongside the product page with ‘Others have also bought’ followed by the list of a few recommended products. Your buyers will explore them and feel motivated to buy more.
Engaging the relevant influencers and celebrities is another compelling social proof to grow your eCommerce store. Influencer marketing can build a lot of useful user-generated content (UGC) for your business, which boosts your brand and ultimately influences a massive audience.
Influencers and celebrities have solidified their reputation and thus have a loyal following online. Whatever the influencer or celebrity recommends, the followers will buy them. You’d want to leverage this audience of enthusiastic fans to help grow your brand and eCommerce store.
Be careful who you choose. Go for an influencer who is relevant to your industry and brand. Also, the influencer must be respected and liked by your targeted market. Finally, woo someone who has a high engagement rate.
Or you can consider working with a brand ambassador. Unlike influencers, brand ambassadors are in a longer-term relationship with your brand. They regularly promote your product and mention your brand while engaging with customers.
Caption: Most reasons for abandonment during checkout in the US in 2022 lie in trust issues (Source: Statista)
Trust badges may seem like tiny emblems on your eCommerce store, but these little guys are powerful visual reminders of your online store’s legitimacy and credibility. Each badge represents a guaranteed area of your online store. These recognizable forms of social proof impact how your customers view your store and also assure them that they can safely shop in your store.
Many cart abandonments are due to trust issues. A simple Mastercard or Visa logo could help allay fears upon checkout. Many types of badges are available that can help with uncertainties of purchases - money-back guarantee, satisfaction guarantee, free returns, and more.
Also, look into third-party endorsements that you can apply for and seek approval, such as being accredited by the Better Business Bureau or Google Customer Reviews badge.
Social proof is incredibly beneficial for eCommerce as it helps to build trust, credibility, and authority. Leveraging the power of social proof cements your brand’s image and reputation as a trusted seller. Hence, you get more customers on your side over your competitors. Your business will ultimately see higher conversions, greater customer satisfaction, and enjoy exponential business growth.
And if you need help to keep track of your progress give TripleWhale a try.
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