You have been in a health kick lately. And you know what sounds good?
A fresh bottle of cold-pressed juice.
So, the first step you do is search online.
You have two options to buy your favorite juice from.
One store is the customer's all-time favorite. It features many written reviews and customer testimonials listed on its eCommerce store. The other store contains no reviews and ratings at all.
If you choose the first option, you're not alone!
Humans tend to trust ratings that are backed by other people's experiences.
We have more trust when we see most people spend money on products we're planning for our next purchase.
That, my friend, is the power of social proof.
And it also forms the foundation of eCommerce marketing.
92% of customers read other customers' reviews before purchasing online.
And 47% of buyers only trust brands that are rated 4+ by other customers.
As you can see, social proof in eCommerce is highly essential.
But despite this, only a few businesses leverage social proof in their marketing strategies.
This makes them miss out a lot on the opportunity to increase sales.
In this article, we're going to go over 18 proven ways to use social proof to boost your online store conversions.
Let's dive in...
What Is A Social Proof?
The term "social proof" first appeared in "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert Cialdini. It says that we determine the correct behavior by analyzing other people.
Social proof is a type of conformity that helps someone decide based on other people's opinions and reviews.
And as a savvy eCommerce brand owner, you can leverage social proof in a lot of ways. For instance, it can help ease the anxiety of online shoppers.
You see, the behavior of online shoppers dramatically changed in recent years.
The buyer's journey evolved.
Online customers no longer visit just one online store and buy things. They don't just check out different websites and compare prices. They also go through reviews and then consider a purchase.
That's a good reason to apply social proof to your eCommerce business. Let me tell you more reasons...
Why Should You Incorporate Social Proof In Your Brand?
"Is it worth the price?"
That's what website visitors ask when they check out your eCommerce site.
Especially prospective customers who have not purchased anything yet. And with social proof, you can nudge customers into buying.
Social proof acts as a conversion driver.
Social proof encourages potential customers to buy by simply going through reviews of other buyers.
Plus, online stores increase conversions by up to 18% through social proof strategy, a case study conducted by Reevo revealed.
Creating social proof can be your brand's greatest asset for more sales. Keep reading to know the types of social proof you can use...
Types Of Social Proofs
While any feedback you receive for your product and services acts as social proof, it is not limited to this.
There is so much more to social proof than written reviews from your previous customers. You probably heard some of the forms of social proof before. Have a look at the different types of social proof you can use for your brand online.
- Influencer/celebrity endorsements
- Review and ratings
- Case studies
- Likes and shares you receive from social media platforms
- Affiliations from your social network
- Expert social proof
There are many different ways you can go with social proof. Now that you know what social proof is and why you should use it when building trust with prospective customers... it's time to explore 18 unique and proven ways to use social proof to increase your online conversions.
18 Proven Ways To Use Social Proof To Boost Your Online Store Conversions
1. Display Product Reviews For Each Product
The most popular type of social proof is the one that comes from real customers. Many eCommerce store owners make the mistake of displaying positive reviews randomly here and there. They put this social proof mostly on their home page.
But a more effective strategy is when you showcase customer reviews on specific product pages.
For instance, a customer left a positive review about the smartwatch you sell. You should proudly display it on that particular smartwatch page.
This will help customers know more about the product specifics they're interested in purchasing.
And what's more? The product ratings give your brand extra credibility to new customers. They would not think twice about a second purchase, too!
2. Create Urgency By Displaying Scarcity
During the pandemic, I felt a major sense of FOMO. And I bet you did, too.
So, what is FOMO? It stands for Fear Of Missing Out.
And it's a popular social proof choice for eCommerce digital marketing strategy.
Let me explain.
People tend to feel left out when they miss an opportunity. So, your customers can also feel on edge when they are missing out on a profitable deal.
Exhibiting scarcity is one way you can prove to your buyers that your products are popular and in demand.
For this, you have to show a low inventory level to your customers. You can even put a countdown timer to encourage customers to buy quickly. That makes them feel anxious that they're missing something if they don't make a purchase now.
Now unto the next social proof strategy...
3. Display Sales Pop Up And Other On-Site Activities
As mentioned above, customer reviews aren't the only type of social proof that boosts online store conversions.
You can consider every on-site activity as social proof.
This includes customers adding products to their carts and wish lists. And even browsing your landing pages is an act of social proof for your online business.
With social proof, you can also reach your target audience through social media. Check out the next one...
4. Influencer Marketing
People admire buying from stores with 5-star ratings and plenty of good reviews.
And you know what else they admire? Celebrities.
Hence, they also trust brands endorsed by their favorite celebrities. It goes back to the essence of social proof. Celebrity endorsements give more credibility to a brand.
Celebrities usually have a huge social media fan base. So when they mention your brand or use your products, this will automatically create social proof for your business.
You can do paid social media sponsorships for this social proof.
You can choose macro-influencers (who're pretty expensive) or go with local ones with a decent social media following. They aren't that expensive to collaborate with. Just make sure that you both have the same target audience.
Check out one of Lights Lacquers' social media posts. They collaborate with micro-influencers who then post photos of them using the product.
Another way of social proof that builds trust with more people is when you...
5. Ask for Reviews From Industry Experts
Aside from brand advocates, experts working in your industry can also endorse your products and services.
It goes without saying... customers regard an industry expert as an authority figure. That makes them feel confident when investing in brands acknowledged by one.
For example, West Elm is a furniture and home décor store. They collaborate with New York Magazine editors who recommend their products.
Proudly display expert reviews! That way, you can establish authority within your industry. It can greatly affect your customers' purchasing decisions.
Similarly, if you're offering a skincare range, you can partner with dermatologists or beauty experts to endorse your brand on your behalf.
Yes, positive reviews are great social proof. But don't forget to also...
6. Display Employee’s Testimonials
Did you know people working for your business are the best people who can validate the quality of your products and services?
Working with you means they know how your business works.
They already know how your products are prepared, packaged, and delivered. Also, they're familiar with the internal functioning of your brand.
As an online business, creating a friendly working environment is crucial.
It encourages your employees to become your brand ambassadors. They are the best examples of how your brand is trustworthy. People follow brands that create a positive experience for their own people.
Marriott shows this social proof very well. They feature real people from their company. Take a look at their Instagram post.
Each social media post also includes a caption with their employee's experience.
Continue your social proof strategy and...
7. Exhibit Trust Badges
Newsflash: Many people abandon their carts only because they don't find a brand reliable and trustworthy.
So, how do you reduce shopping cart abandonment?
Another opportunity to boost conversions involves trust badges or quality certifications on your website.
Doing so will help you earn visitors' trust. It also ensures your buyers that their confidential information is in safe hands.
Gain customer trust with numbers! Go ahead and...
8. Showcase Social Media Statistics
Social media has taken over the digital landscape in recent years.
Almost every business, big or small, has a social media presence. And you can use yours to demonstrate your credibility!
The number of followers you have on your page can affect your potential customer's perspective. Even the number of likes you get on your posts matters.
So make sure your customer base is aware of your social media accounts.
Many social media users check out your social media profiles to validate if you're a genuine seller.
Another way of using social proof is when you...
9. Display The Logos Of Your Partners
If you have partnered with prominent brands and third-party services, then you can use their logos as social proof for your customers.
It will increase your brand credibility and visitors' trust because others have chosen your brand over others.
This is especially important if you're just starting out and have worked with a few prominent brands. You can incorporate their logos on your site to build trust.
Don't let user-generated social proof go to waste! Make sure to use visual social proof and...
10. Curate User-Generated Content
User-Generated Content (UGC) is compelling social proof that can help you grow your business in no time.
Did you know that user-generated content can increase your conversions by 10%? That's a huge deal! Not only does it raise awareness about your brand, but it also increases eCommerce sales.
So make use of visual UGC on your social media accounts. Include pictures of happy customers using a particular product.
You can also feature user-generated content on your product pages. Other happy customers will also see it and encourage them to post their photos!
Let's take the example of the company Boxed Water here. The company deals in sustainable drinking water. They don't just feature plain product images. They mostly share user-generated images on their Instagram feeds often.
So you can follow the same strategy and use user-generated content on your Instagram feed to build your business repo.
User-generated content is not the only visual social proof you can use. Don't forget to...
11. Display Your Bestsellers
Presenting your products with "bestseller" or "most bought item" will give your buyers confidence that their online purchases are worth it.
Now combine this tactic with FOMO marketing, and voilà! People will make every possible effort to purchase your best-selling items. Especially if they're already getting low in inventory.
This strategy can go a long way for eCommerce brands if done right.
Make the most out of media coverage and...
12. Highlight Press Reviews
Many customers still follow media outlets and media recommendations. We get an impression of "unbiased opinions" when we hear about press reviews.
You can use this tactic to your advantage by displaying media mentions on your website.
Now you must be wondering how to get positive feedback from the press.
If your products are reliable and you attend industry events regularly, this process must be easier than you think.
To get this social proof, you can directly send requests to different media journalists and writers in your area.
When your social proof works well, you can...
13. Rank Higher In Search Engine Results Pages
Regardless of your industry, ranking higher in SERPs is a foolproof social media marketing strategy.
Higher search engine rankings indicate that search engines trust your brand. They consider it a user-friendly resource for the customers.
Also, higher search engine rankings mean you'll get more traffic to your store.
14. Recommend Similar Products
When I shop online, I always check the "People who bought this also bought..." section. And it isn't just me.
With this section, customers have a tailored set of choices that they can trust without exploring your entire website.
Look at it this way. Many people find it overwhelming to check out the entire collection.
Implement the appropriate upselling and cross-selling techniques. This way, you can provide your existing customers with fewer, more specific choices. This will increase your AOV and reduce customer acquisition costs.
Keep going on using social proof and use...
15. Regulatory Social Proof
Displaying regulatory social proof on your site is another effective way to show your customers that regulatory authorities approve of your brand.
For instance, some websites include ISO certification to build trust. Similarly, money lending websites display Consumer Credit License Numbers and Data Protection Numbers to gain the trust of their site visitors.
Do you know what is one of the best social proof examples out there? It's displaying customer testimonials...
16. Include Social Proof In Your Ad Copy
The good news is you can also exhibit social proof in your ad copy.
For instance, you can include an expert recommendation or a celebrity endorsement in your ad. It shows your visitors that your brand is liked and acknowledged by known people.
Also, include your happy customers!
You can mention the number of customers or downloads you have. It will encourage other potential customers to invest in your brand.
17. Ask For Referrals
Let's admit it. We all trust recommendations from colleagues, friends, and relatives.
In fact, more than 84% of people trust recommendations coming from friends and family. They are even more effective than customer reviews.
It is your chance to ask for referrals from your existing customers. Don't forget to offer a discount in exchange for this favor.
For example, many brands offer an incentive to their customers when they bring their family members and friends on board.
Last but not least...
18. Re-Engage Customers After Payment
The last tip on our list is to re-engage customers after payment and create a double funnel.
Here is how it works.
Show frequently-bought items on your checkout pages. You can also offer bundle deals that encourage your customers to make another purchase after completing their first.
And there you have it! The 18 Proven Ways to Use Social Proof to Boost Your Online Store Conversions.
So keep being socially smokin' and...
Use Social Proof To The Fullest!
These effective ways are more than enough to get your social proof running. It may seem a lot, but take it one step at a time. Your conversion rates will thank you in the long run!
And to help you get started, check out Debutify Reviews for your social proof!