Social Proof is a helping hand not only for eCommerce businesses who wants to increase their Conversion Rates, but also for e-buyers who want to buy but need assurance that they are buying the right thing. Using Social Proof for Psychological Persuasion is one of the most trustworthy and effective eCommerce techniques.
Search engines and wisdom of e-crowd has empowered e-buyers with an easy access to information and reviews about products and brands before deciding to click the “Buy Now” button. Social proof is a recommendation of others, which communicates to an e-buyer that real people like the product, which helps the e-buyer decide whether or not to buy that product. Here are 9 Proven Social Proof Strategies that an eCommerce business must use to increase conversion rate.
One of the oldest and the trusted eCommerce Social Proof is Product Review & Rating. ECommerce pioneers like eBay and Amazon since 1997 have used product review and rating for their customers to evaluate products before buying it.
Why should I have Reviews & Ratings on my eCommerce?
About 71% online shoppers indicate they would not even buy the product without consulting online reviews first. Customers really appreciate the ability to judge the product before buying and expect each eCommerce portal to share the Review & Rating in an honest manner. Therefore, if your eCommerce portal is missing on Review & Rating, it is already having a big disadvantage.
e-Buyers Trust Product Review & Rating 12 Times More Than, Anything Else!
Amazon knows that nothing says more about a product than the ones who have used it. Incorporating Review & Rating of buyers about products or services on your website is invaluable to potential customers. A couple of Review & Rating can increase a product conversion rate by up to 30%.
Never be afraid of negative reviews, as they make a brand seem more “truthful, realistic and natural,” as compared to no complaints at all.
Review & Rating not only improves user experience, but is also a powerful way to drive more traffic to your website. Search engines like unique and frequently updated content, user Review & Rating is a perfect method to attract more content to your website, thus increasing its chance to rank high in search engine results.
In A Nutshell This Social Proof Strategy Is A Basic Need For eCommerce!!!
Sharing Customer Sourced Photos & Videos on the product page or social media business page Fuels Marketing Opportunities. Consumers trust photos “modelled” or “being used” by a fellow customer more than photos provided by the brand or retailer.
ModCloth.com is a perfect example for customer sourced Photos, their gallery show real customers in outfits they sell.
The use of customer Photos & Videos using the product on the homepage, in galleries and on product pages, has proven to increase conversion rates. Allowing customers to upload and share Photos & Videos of them with your product is a great way to crowdsource ‘real life’ images of customers using your product. This not only persuades a potential customer to buy from you, but also makes your current customer connect with you and the product, and promote both.
Best in Class Amazon allows its customers to share their product experience via Photos as well as Videos, giving its potential buyers the ultimate assurance.
Highlighting Sales & Wish List Count of a product is the best way to show the popularity of the product. This Social Proof is best for persuading an uncertain shopper to make a purchase by showing that many already trust the product.
Knowing that a few hundred shoppers have already made the decision to buy the product helps. EBay a seasoned eCommerce site is the best in using this Social Proof. Their genuinely detailed persuasions leave no stone unturned to make an uncertain shoppers click the “Buy It Now” button.
Similarly, Groupon also displays its shoppers how many times a specific offer has been bought.
Trending stats, like “100 people viewed per hour, 120 people are watching, 250 people have bought this item,” etc., are instantly compelling and relevant for the online shoppers.
Always keep this in mind to show these “Sales and Wish List Counts” as Social Proof only when sales of the product has met some respectable threshold. As a low social proof can have an adverse impact on sales.
Sharing social numbers is a powerful form of social proof. About 43% online shopper’s use Social Media sites to help them make a purchase decision. Social Media numbers are valuable as they show credibility as well as trust.
Displaying the number of shares, followers and fans you have with social media is proof of your popularity and support. Social Media Likes and Shares are the driving force for potential traffic to your eCommerce website.
Endorsements from celebrities have a great effect online. In fact, there is nothing like it. Celebrity endorsement acts as a powerful social proof. Any product recommended or seen being used by celebrities is bound to get a boost in the eyes of buyers.
An Example being:
Mark Zuckerberg and iGrill
According to Mashable, article Mark Zuckerberg Facebook post caught iGrill by surprise and as they had no clue that even Mark Zuckerberg was their customer.
Research shows that a properly matched celebrity can do wonders for the company and its brand. If it is a mismatch, then it may yield a bad image for the company and its brand.
Celebrities are heavy-duty advertisements, customers look to the influencers they know and admire their vision. That is why companies like Puma and Nike invest heavily on Celebrity endorsements and get mind boggling returns.
Use of Product achievements in eCommerce is an add-on that definitely helps gain customer trust and peace of mind. Awards and recognition received from trusted boards or industry associations shows your credibility to online shoppers.
They are like to Media references, and are very useful for new businesses or new products/services where customers look up to trusted experts and authorities for opinion.
Highlighting “as seen in” media is a classic example of social proof. Displaying articles about your products in popular print media through Media box or Backlinks on your product page is a valuable social proof especially for new businesses.
Adding snippets from the press on product page adds credibility and shows product popularity because news sources would mention you only if they have reasons to believe in your story. Emerging companies often mention and/or show the news mention, which reviewed or has talked about their products, to prove trustworthiness to potential customers.
Made.com, an online furniture store, is good with adding media box as social proof on their product pages.
Trust/Security Badges on your eCommerce can Increase Conversion Rates.The first question that comes in the mind of any online shopper while paying for the product is “Is This Website Safe?”
You can give assurance to your customer about the security on your store by adding a trust badge of the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) that is being used on your website.
Some Trust/Security Badges can increase conversion rates by up to 30%. This indicates that Third party security certifications are necessary if your eCommerce store wants to give online shoppers assurance about privacy and security.
Displaying Expert Advice on the product page by trusted and honest product expert not only increases the conversion rate but also saves customers valuable time to search for an expert assurance before the purchase.
Endorsement by a dependable expert such as an authoritative industry professional, valued blogger or leading magazine can have an incredible positive impact on the conversion rate of the product.
Klout is a site, which uses social media analytics to rank its users based on their online social influence via the “Klout Score”. In 2011, Klout invited 217 automobile influencers with a high Klout score to test-drive the new Audi A8. Result:
All this happened in just 30 days, which shows the impact and reach of a true Expert Advice.
ECommerce giant Amazon has been using this social proof for persuasion from past few years.
It is human tendency to see an action as most appropriate when others are doing it. Social Proof is a proven strategy that not only helps you get a boost in Sales & Traffic but also increases your popularity amongst masses. Social proof is more substantial when we are not sure what to do.
Use Sales figures or Social numbers only when they have reached a respectable threshold. Low numbers can actually hurt you, as visitors might doubt your trustworthiness. This does not apply on Reviews and ratings, once above zero they give results at whatever count they are, provided they more towards positive side.
Celebrity endorsement and trustworthy expert advice are a gold mine, the more is their presence the better are the results. Customer photos, Trust badges, Product achievement and Media boxare sure shot and long-term investment with consistent returns.
While executing Social proof never fake anything, that is the worst thing to do as it all turns out to work against you in the end.
You can Use Social Proof “the art of psychological persuasion” wisely and extensively not only to make a new product popular in a short time but also to scale an already successful product
even further. If you are getting your ecommerce website designed by professionals, ensure they use Social Proof and Quality ecommerce Search plugins generously and smartly.
P.S. If you liked this post, you might also like 11 Incredible Techniques To Write Great Product Description – An article on how to write product descriptions for eCommerce websites to impress e-buyers and Increase Conversion Rates, with detailed examples.
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