What if I told you I bake and sell the best red velvet cupcake in the world?
Would you believe me immediately and buy my products? Or do you need to hear what others say about my cupcakes before buying them?
Because that's what consumers feel, too. Before believing your advertisements, they want to hear what your existing customers think of your products.
It's called social proof or informational social influence, which we'll discuss later. But in this blog, you'll learn...
- A quick definition of social proof
- How can customer reviews strengthen your social proof?
- 3 Quick ways to gain customer reviews
So, are you ready? Let's get started.
What is social proof?
Social proof is a term coined by Robert Cialdini in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. It's a social and psychological phenomenon, which we can also call informational social influence.
So, what does it mean? According to him, people would take clues from people around them and copy their actions... especially when they're unsure of how to behave.
For example, you're looking for a restaurant to eat at. You see this place with many people queueing to get a seat.
Then you might start to consider that restaurant because many people are waiting. You'll probably assume that the food and service must be good.
The same goes for shopping online.
Before purchasing a product, they need to see how many satisfied customers or the positive reviews people have about a product.
Now, you need to know...
How can customer reviews make your social proof more compelling?
First, social proof reviews can...
1. Shape brand reputation
Imagine this... your eCommerce store has 5-star reviews everywhere. And your customer reviews are almost 100% positive with dozens of user-generated content.
That affects how people perceive your brand because consumers read online reviews. They will know your products and services are efficient because of all the good reviews you're getting.
And having a good reputation will also...
2. Boost credibility
If you want to acquire new customers... you should increase your brand credibility. Why? Because these are potential customers who haven't purchased from your eCommerce store.
They must read online reviews before hitting that "Check out" button so they know they can trust you. And speaking of which...
3. Influence purchase decision
Yep, reviews can affect purchasing decisions. As I said, potential customers want to see positive feedback before transacting with your online store.
If they see many negative reviews, they might not purchase. See how customer reviews can influence customer behavior.
That's why you need to showcase social proof so prospects can see how great your products are... coming from the customers themselves.
Another reason is customer reviews can...
4. Trigger FOMO
When social media influencers post product reviews, they usually go viral. So, this triggers the FOMO of consumers or the fear of missing out.
Since social proof is a social phenomenon, some people want to hop on the trend and buy a product because an influencer says good things about it.
The same goes for online reviews. If they see on independent review sites or social media that many people are giving a product positive feedback or selling fast...
They'll be more likely to purchase before it goes out of stock. As a result, you can...
5. Increase conversion
Online reviews give potential customers an honest insight into your products. These are insights from your actual customers who transacted with you.
Of course, if they see that many people had the same positive experience transacting with you... they will be willing to buy from you, too. And that can increase your conversion rate.
Since you already know how customer reviews can strengthen your social proof and elevate your brand, let's talk about...
3 Quick and easy ways to gain customer reviews
If you want to receive more customer testimonials, you can...
1. Give incentives
Did you know that 73% of consumers said they'd be motivated to write a review if offered an incentive?
Yep. Because, let's be honest... leaving reviews can take time, even if it's just a few minutes. So, it's great to offer something in return for their time.
But what are some incentives you can offer?
One is a discount coupon or code. After they buy from your online store and leave a review, you can give them the discount code, which they can use on their next purchase.
So, it's not only a token of appreciation for leaving reviews. It's also a great way to turn them into repeat or loyal customers because they might return to your store and use the code.
You can also try implementing a point system. For every star rating or thoughtful review your customers leave, they will earn points.
Then they can convert the points into discounts on their next purchase. Again, this is a great marketing strategy to make your customers return to your online store.
2. Ask for reviews
Not all happy customers will have the time and energy to write reviews. But don't worry! This doesn't mean you can't have them write at all.
Because you can ask them to write reviews! Don't hesitate to ask. If you tell them how their reviews can make a difference and be helpful to your eCommerce store, they are willing to write reviews.
So, how can you ask for reviews? There are different ways to do so.
One is by including a note in their orders. You can give them personalized messages or a "Thank you" card, which can also make them feel valued.
Then you can ask them to leave a review and say how helpful it will be for your business. You don't need to be pushy.
Did you know that 70% of reviews come from post-transactional emails? This just proves that sending emails is one of the most effective ways to gain reviews.
The good thing is you don't need to send a long email to get reviews. In fact, you just need to be straightforward. It makes it easier for both parties and saves time, too.
Don't forget to include a button redirecting your customers to your review form. But to make it more convenient, you can also have a review form within the email.
So, what are you waiting for?
Leverage social proof to boost your brand reputation!
You're totally missing out if you're not yet taking advantage of customer reviews for your social proof. And you should highlight these reviews to gain the trust of your potential customers.
So, don't forget to gain more customer reviews by using the techniques we discussed! But did you know there is an easier way to collect and manage reviews? And that's through Debutify Reviews.