Social Proof Strategy For Shopify: The Ultimate Guide

Social Proof Strategy For Shopify: The Ultimate Guide
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So you just built your Shopify website.
Time to start driving traffic, right!?

You start bringing people in through Facebook Ads, Affiliate Marketing, Google Search, and any other network you have a hold of.

And then you wait for the conversions to start coming in.
Crickets!

What could be going on?
Is it the products? 
The website’s look and feel?
The payment method?

Most of the time the answer is none of the above.
Your website is just missing Social Proof.

“What is Social Proof?”, I hear you ask.
Well, that’s why I’m here!

What Is Social Proof

Have you ever been to a restaurant simply because everyone was talking about it?
Or simply posting stories of delicious food with location hashtags on Instagram.
Or watched a show on Netflix, like La Casa De Papel because ‘everyone’ is talking about it?
Or bought one particular watch over another, simply because it had better reviews?

All of that is Social Proof.
It's everywhere around us, influencing our behavior daily.

The same is true for your potential customers.
They are also heavily influenced by Social Proof or lack thereof.

This guide will help you implement our Social Proof strategy, inspired by the world's largest and most successful brands, like Amazon and Booking.com.

The result can be an increase in your conversions by up to 17%.

So, let's get started!

Strategy #1: Leverage UGC

One of the greatest issues most e-commerce brands face, especially those in the dropshipping niche, is the lack of original content.

This is not bad on its own but think of the following for a second.

The human brain has 2 basic sides, which we’re trying to influence as Marketers.
The logical side and the emotional side.

The logical side is trying to figure out if this is a reasonable purchase, if the price is right, etc.
The emotional side is looking for things like “How cool AM I going to look if I’m wearing this?”, “This is going to make everyone jealous”, “Others like me use these same products”.

At the same time, people who buy products, want to show off their purchase, as proof of who they are. As a way to say “I belong in the cool / hip / extroverted / smart / conscious / etc. crowd”.
Products do more than satisfy a human need. 
They are a way for us to express our identity and show to the rest of the world that we are part of specific tribes that matter to us.

This means that our users will more than gladly create and publish content containing our products, given of course that our products stand for something.

By showcasing this content, often called User-Generated Content, or UGC, we are getting potential buyers to imagine what it would look like if they were wearing the same watch, or watching the same show, or using a certain brand of makeup, etc.

Cupshe — a rapidly growing Shopify Plus merchant and Yotpo customer that has scaled beyond $3 million in monthly sales — leverages UGC throughout their offsite and onsite funnel.

Cupshe

How Does Cupshe Leverage UGC?

They use Yotpo to create customized email sequences tied directly to their product catalog and each customer’s purchase history.
Yotpo sends out an email to each buyer post-purchase, asking for their feedback on the product, and giving them the ability to share content with the brand.

This way, Cupshe can collect reviews and product photos they can later display on their website, again, thanks to Yotpo Visual UGC.

⚡How To Implement UGC

Collect product photos through automated emails that go out after someone buys from you.
Incentivize users to submit their product photos to you, or upload them to Instagram under a specific hashtag
Display a curated feed of product photos right on your product pages from Instagram or user submissions.

How to implement UGC

Strategy #2: Integrate Social Signals

A sales booster you might already possess is your Social Media following.
By that, I mean having a large audience on a particular Social Media platform like Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube.

Showcasing the number of followers, subscribers, and likes you have across your social profiles can help build trust with the people visiting your website for the first time.

⚡How To Implement Social Signals

You need to have at least 1k followers on your Social Media accounts for this to make sense and work as social proof.
Use ProveSource to create a Social Counter-Notification.
Display the notification on your website homepage or landing page.

Make my landing page

Strategy #3: Display Reviews

We know that before we buy, we tend to look at reviews.

We’re trying to avoid the disappointment of a faulty product, missing features, and bad surprises.

One of the reasons people shop from Amazon or at least browse through it is because it has reviews available for most products on the market.

Display reviews
As consumers, we want other users to tell us about their experience with the product. Not brands.

So, instead of making users browse other websites, you can showcase verified reviews, from real users, right on your product pages.

That way users don’t have to look at other websites (like Capterra, Amazon, Facebook, Google, etc.). 

Booking.com takes the whole social proof thing to a different level.
They are considered one of the top companies in leveraging reviews and hotel ratings across their product to drive more bookings.

reviews

How Does Booking.com Leverage Reviews?

They include a breakdown of the hotel’s scores and actual, verified reviews on the hotel page.
They also mention the most popular facilities, guest favorites, location insights, and a lot more information that answer travelers’ questions swiftly and effectively. 
Using machine learning, they generate insights from user reviews and show those insights inside the hotel pages.
They showcase a star rating, a thumbs-up symbol, and then the number of times a hotel has been marked as “favorite” for every listing.

⚡How To Implement Reviews

Make the reviews personal & targeted, by including the location, name, and picture of the reviewer.
Don’t fake your reviews. Keep them honest and real.
Use a platform like Capterra, Trustpilot, G2, or Judge. me to automatically collect reviews from users who buy from you.
You can incentivize users to leave reviews by offering Amazon gift cards or product discounts (e.g. a 90% discount on your product for one month, or a 60% off coupon).
Display the reviews on your product pages either embedded as a full section or as notifications using a solution like ProveSource.

Strategy #4: Use Hot Streaks

We tend as humans to change our decisions, beliefs, and ideas according to the number of people who act the same way.

In 1969, Milgram, Bickman, and Berkowitz conducted an experiment.
They wanted to figure out how passersby are affected by a crowd of people standing and looking up at a building on a busy New York street.

There was nothing special to look at, the researchers paid some actors to help by standing there and just looking up. The results were quite interesting!

Simply stated – when 2 or more people were looking up, 60% or more of passersby also looked up. As the “stimulus crowd” increased, more and more people stopped and joined the crowd, looking up.

Use Hot Streaks

Use Hot Streaks

We can leverage this bias in our Shopify stores by making it visible on our product pages how many people are actively interested in, browsing, or buying our products.

Hot Streak Examples

Recent sign-ups and purchases
Form submissions or leads generated
The number of people on a product page
The amount of traffic your website

⚡How To Implement Hot Streaks

Start tracking purchases, sales, website traffic, or any metric that matters to you.
Create hot streak notifications that match your website’s look and feel as well as your specific niche.
Display hot streak notifications on Product pages, landing pages, and sales pages, alongside product reviews and User Generated Content (UGC).

How to implement hot streaks

Strategy #5: Remove Barriers

One of the main reasons that people don’t buy, is unaddressed biases.
These can come in the form of questions they have and cannot easily get the answers to through your website, unclear next steps, or doubts about product quality and the offer you are putting in front of them.

The goal is to show your visitors they are in good hands by removing uncertainty and unnecessary barriers, thus getting them through the finish line.

Start by adding notifications close to the conversion step that explicitly describe the process, affirm the users’ choice, and answer the most frequent support questions.
I call these notifications and types of messages “Conversion Boosters” because they help significantly increase the conversion rate.

Conversion Boosters

-Shipping costs (e.g. free shipping over $45)
-Money-back guarantee
-Order delivery estimate
-Payment plans
-Supported payment methods
-Return policy
-Coupon codes
-Awards and certifications

⚡How To implement Hot Streaks

-Figure out the 5 most answered questions your support team receives.
-Make a list of USPs your product has that you can leverage to push for a sale.
-Create notifications for your cart page or places in your funnel with a high drop-off rate from one step to the next (e.g. multi-step form), to help users complete their purchase faster.

Next Steps

You now have the complete Social Proof strategy to turn your Shopify store traffic into conversions and actual sales. Start by selecting 2 or 3 strategies that actually fit your case, implement them, and see the results.

Not all Social Proof notifications and banners are created equal, though, so it’s important to track the conversions that each notification brings, and optimize accordingly.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments section below. We'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Good luck!

About The Author

About the author
Bill Stathopoulos / VP of Growth @ ProveSource
Bill is on a mission to grow ProveSource to $1M ARR. Having a background in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, working with startups and enterprises from 15+ countries, he’s currently orchestrating the Marketing team and building the growth processes at ProveSource in a sustainable, scalable way towards their next big milestone.
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