Social proof is an extremely important part of any eCommerce business. People don’t have the time to buy and test every product out there by themselves. Therefore, we often rely on the experience and opinions of others so that we make a better shopping decision. Social proof could come about in several different ways and it’s on you to take advantage of it.
The most common type of social proof is written reviews left by the customers. If a person has bought some of your products or services he could leave a review to share his experience. In turn, this could help future costumers to form a better opinion and whether they should buy as well. But written reviews aren’t the only form of social proof. What follows is a more detailed look at several aspects of social proof.
Written Reviews & Ratings
As mentioned earlier, people don’t have the time to buy and test every product and service that is out there. We neither have the time nor the resources to do that. But what could be of great help is to consult other people who have already bought something we are considering. This could come from people who are close to us, like friends and family, but not necessarily. Researches have shown that people value the social proof of strangers as well.
Customers who have used your products or services could leave written testimonials that speak of their experience. These could be accompanied by ratings such as the option to leave up to 5 stars. Written reviews could be easily incorporated to your online store and made available for new visitors to check them out. Positive reviews and high ratings are a great way to increase the confidence of your potential buyers. If they see that other people have had a positive experience with your business, they’re more likely to buy as well.
Make the Reviews More Effective
The value of written reviews is rather obvious and it’s definitely a form of social proof that you should utilize. However, it’s not just about having the reviews but you should also make them more effective. People are more likely to trust reviews that come from customers with similar characteristics as themselves. That’s why it’d be wise to include details that reveal such information. You may also include pictures of the customers who wrote the review in order to add more credibility.
Let’s say that you are in the business of selling hair products for men. Some of your products may include items such as hair cream, hair clay, or hair wax. Well, different people have different types of hair. Some may have curly one while others may have thinning hair. If the product review includes a picture or information about the customer then visitors with similar characteristics could greatly benefit from that. If a person with thin hair sees that another person with thin hair liked your product, he’s more likely to buy as well.
Visual Social Proof Is Very Empowering
While written reviews may be the most common type of social proof, they’re definitely not all there is to it. In fact, a very powerful kind of social proof is one that showcases your products in a visual way. Of course, what we’re referring to here is pictures and videos. To exemplify, imagine that you’re looking to buy a Halloween costume for your kid. You may see a mask that you like but if the reviews include pictures of the person wearing it, this will give you a better sense of it.
Videos work even better. Most people would appreciate and like to watch a video of your product to see it used in person. This could vastly increase their confidence because they will get a better feel of the product. That’s why unboxing videos are so awesome. They capture the person’s enthusiasm in regards to purchasing the product. It also adds to the authenticity because it’s real people using it rather than a manufactured commercial.
Credibility Is Key
Other than the usual customer reviews there are different sources of social proof that you could use. This is when celebrities and experts come into play. These could add massive credibility to the products or services that you offer. Take Pepsi for example. They often have commercials involving famous soccer players i.e. athletes that have huge followings. This could inspire their fans to buy Pepsi because they have seen their idols enjoying the product.
Regarding the opinion of experts, they could make your products appear more trustworthy. The reason behind it is obvious because experts know their fields very well. Chances are they know it better than the average customer, so if they approve – that’s huge. Let’s take it back to the hair products example. If your hairdresser speaks greatly of some hair cream that you’re considering, you’ll be more likely to buy it. They have probably used way more hair products than you so their judgment is more refined.
Don’t Forget About Social Media
The popularity of social media nowadays is immense, to say the least. For one, this ties into the credibility that celebrities and influencers provide, as mentioned above. These people could through product placement and positive descriptions, add social proof to your products or services. If you’re selling clothes, for example, you could send some free ones to an influencer for them to promote. They could take a picture or a video of them wearing the clothes and mention your business in the process.
This could create a positive loop of sorts. Influencers have a lot of followers who would like and share their posts. From there, part of these followers could actually buy some of the products they see promoted. If they do so, they will be encouraged to further spread the word and positively speak about their purchase. In relation, if your products or services get a lot of likes, shares, and retweets, this could catch the attention of many new potential customers.
Learn From Big Marketplaces
Big marketplaces like Amazon & eBay are a great source of inspiration when it comes to improving your eCommerce business. This is also true when it comes to utilizing social proof. Earlier, we mentioned how people could benefit from other customers who share similar tastes as themselves. On Amazon, visitors who are viewing a certain item could get suggestions for other related products. People who have bought that same item have also bought some other things, and the new visitor would see those other products as a suggestion.
In a similar fashion, you could perhaps design your store to offer listings of products that a certain customer has bought. These listings could depend on a customer’s favorite item which would get them included for that particular product. From there, new visitors who are viewing that product will get the chance to look at a listing of other items that they may like. Of course, these listings would be from a person with a similar taste as the current visitor. This will further encourage them to give the listing a look and potentially buy a few more items.
Big Numbers Draw Attention
Aside from reviews and star ratings, another important aspect to look at is the quantity of demand. The more a product sells the more automatic social proof it generates. Therefore, what your site could share is information that speaks on such numbers. This could be about the number of orders that item has received or how many people are currently viewing. Furthermore, you could include how many items are currently left. This may create positive pressure and urge visitors to buy sooner.
The reason this generates social proof is because it shows the demand for your products. Big numbers of sales indicate that a lot of people have been pleased with what you offer. It also makes a product popular and people always want to be in on the cool thing. It also creates an upward spiral because the more people buy a certain product, the more new visitors and potential buyers will be drawn to it.
Make Your Costumers Feel Appreciated
Social media could also be used to make your customers feel appreciated while improving the social proof of your business. Remember that new potential visitors and buyers are very likely to come across your business and products through social media. On that note, many of your customers are also likely to talk about their purchase on social media. For example, a person who has bought something from you may post about it on Instagram and tag your profile.
From there, what you could do is ask that person for permission to share their post on your account. Of course, you would credit them by tagging their profile back. This works great in two ways. On one hand, that customer will feel appreciated and be more likely to continue posting about your products. And on the other hand, new visitors would get inspired to do the same in the hopes of getting their post shared by you as well. This also adds authenticity to your social proof.
Search Filters & FAQs
As previously explained, the aspect of ratings plays a very big role when it comes to your social proof. That’s why it’s important to make your rating system even more efficient. A good way to do this is to add a search bar which customers could use to filter out reviews. Every customer is likely to have their own specific things to look for the most in a product. This could be about some feature, materials used, etc. A search bar will help them to find adequate reviews.
In relation, what stands obvious is that customers will have questions regarding your products or services. If your online store has a FAQ section this will show that you care for the needs of your customers. It shows that you pay attention to what your customers are looking for and that you’re always there to help. This will increase their confidence, improve their shopping experience, and tie in great with the social proof of your business.
Trending Items & Real-Time Activity
Another aspect that plays a big role regarding social proof is trending products and real-time activity. Trending products are the items that are selling the best and are thus the most popular. Again, people like to be in on the cool thing and would often search for the best-selling items. That’s a reason to make sure that your store design incorporates this aspect. In combination with awesome product description, trending items lists make great use of social proof.
As for real-time activity, this ties in with the idea of creating urgency for your potential customers. If some of your products are said to sell quickly, this could make visitors not wanting to miss out. A good way to do this is to show stats about how many people are currently viewing the product. Or you could also add information on when was the last purchase. Just try not to take away from the overall shopping experience of the customer by being too invasive.
Social proof is a great way to improve the efficiency of your eCommerce business. Whether it’s through written reviews or other forms, social proof will definitely increase your sales. People want to buy products and services that are credible and proven to work. Social proof is a way to confirm this and make the shopping decisions of your costumers much easier. Make sure to show the visitors to your site that you care for your customers and that many other people have had a positive experience when buying from you.
You have now most likely got a number of ideas in regards to the social proof of your eCommerce business. If that is the case, remember that DragDropr is an awesome tool that could help you with the design of your online store. It is a very easy-to-use tool that will make the process of incorporating social proof to your site a simple one. A great design will make your social proof to stand out.