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Are you looking for some proven ways to use social proof to increase conversions? Yay! You landed on the right page!

The power of social proof and customer reviews are the only things that have not changed in all these years compared to the ways people find and buy products. Unfortunately, only a few businesses have a foolproof strategy for using customer testimonials and social proofs in an online marketplace.

In this article, we’ll be highlighting some of the ways you can build and use social proof to improve e-commerce conversions.

What is Social Proof?

Social proof is a psychosociological notion wherein people follow the actions of others. This concept was coined by the famous psychologist Robert Cialdini. According to him, “we view a behavior as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it.

The idea is when a person is unsure, they often look to others for hints. This is one of the biggest reasons why social proofs are used by e-commerce website owners to build trust and improve conversions.

For online sellers, this means people are more likely to invest in your products if you can show that your products are popular and that others are already buying them. 

Many surveys and studies have been conducted in the last couple of years that confirmed the significance of social proof in the e-commerce world. An internet survey by ReviewTrackers in 2018 revealed that more than half of customers check Google reviews before they check in to any website. One another survey is the 2018 consumer review by BrightLocal that revealed more than 95% of individuals between 18-35 years old read reviews before purchasing anything from local brands.

Theory of Social Proof

The concept of social proof revolves around three key elements – uncertainty, similarity, and expertise. Let’s take a look at each element in a bit of detail.

  • Uncertainty – people need confirmation when they confront uncertain situations.
  • Similarity – Customers are more inclined to follow the buying patterns of others who belong to the same income and social group as them.
  • Expertise – In uncertain situations, people tend to follow the footsteps of others especially those who’re experts in the space.

Types of Social Proof

There are 10 different types of social proof that you need to take a look at so you will get a better understanding of how to use it.

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are more or less like testimonials. Reviews are generally available on popular review websites.

Testimonials

Testimonials from your previous customers touting the perks of your products can be an effective way to encourage other prospects to buy your products. 

Case Studies

Case studies or success stories can be featured on your website if your experience with clients cannot be expressed in a single-line testimonials.

Influencer Endorsements

An endorsement by a popular figure or an influencer in your area of expertise also serves as social proof. 

User Generated Content (UGC)

Ask followers to engage with your brand by sharing their content. User-generated content (UGC) can skyrocket your brand especially if your brand or business has a huge following. Dedicate hashtags your followers can use while submitting their testimonials, comments, images, and more. Keep in mind that if you want to repost the user-generated content, you need to do it the right way.

Social Media Shares

As marketers, one of the marketing goals is to make our content go viral. Social media share is social proof that can help you to establish your repo as an industry expert in your area of expertise.

Social Media Following

The total number of followers you have on social media pages can also act as social proof. It is a way of saying that people admire your products or services and trust your brand.

Email Subscribers

Include a quote under your subscriber box to show how many users have already joined your email list. When people see a quote like “Join 200,000 happy subscribers!” they will automatically be interested in joining the crowd.

Credentials

Awards, degrees, and quality certifications help your brand to look more trustworthy and reliable. Make sure to include it on your website and social media accounts. Let customers know that you have gathered a certain amount of knowledge and expertise that demonstrates your abilities and professionalism.

Ratings

Ratings from customers act as social proof for other customers who are only interested in buying highly-rated products.

Now you know that social proof is one of the most important elements of your customer acquisition strategy. It’s time to highlight some of the ways you can use social proof to increase your conversions.

7 Proven Ways to Use Social Proof to Increase Conversions

Social proof can help your business improve sales and conversion. There are many ways to use social proof that can be done by business owners and brands.

1. Encourage Product Reviews

The more product reviews on your page, the more people are likely to purchase your products. Just like some researches suggestions, products with 20% reviews will have an 83% higher chance of making sales than products that has no reviews. Only a 1-star increase in rating on Yelp can yield a brand’s revenue by a whopping 5% – 9%.

Almost all prominent e-commerce platforms and dropshipping stores, including Amazon and Walmart, make efforts to get this one step right. Here are a few things you can do to get more product reviews on your store:

  • Always send a follow-up email and request  your customers to send genuine feedback on your website
  • Attract customers by offering them a discount or a cashback offer for writing reviews
  • Choose a theme that allows you to emphasize reviews on your website

2. Product Page

The online buying experience is quite different from real-time shopping in the sense that the latter allows you to touch and feel the products. The lack of tactile experience is one of the biggest reasons why many customers abandon their carts at the last minute. 

Your customers are 6X more likely to purchase from your store if you include images on your product pages. By including high-quality images of your products that have been used by your real customers, you can build credibility and trust.

You can integrate social proof to your product pages by:

  • Highlighting the total number of people who have invested their hard-earned money into your products
  • Highlighting user reviews/ratings shared by your customers
  • Showcasing UGC to attract sales
  • Showcasing expert opinions/video reviews 

3. Community Pages

Your customers are your brand’s most valuable asset. The more effort you put in to convert your customers into your brand advocates, the more successful your e-commerce store will be. 

Today, many brands have included a dedicated section for user-generated-content on their website. Doing so will help them involve their customers in the process.

Pro tip: Let your customers comment on your website. This way, your customers will feel involved and motivated. Needless to say, you should also respond to those comments to make your customers feel that their concerns are properly addressed. 

4. Use Your Client Base

If you have worked with big brands and other prominent names working in your industry, then you can use this information as social proof for your customers to prove your credibility. 

Many brands have increased their conversion rate by a massive 300%-400% by just showcasing the logos of their clients on their website. If you’re also planning to use your client base as social proof, then make sure you:

  • Highlight the total number of clients you have
  • Display client’s logos/details who’re big names in your industry
  • Highlight the number of projects your company has completed and delivered on time

5. Promotional Emails

Next on our list is promotional email social proof. The impact of the social proof keeps on benefiting you even after the checkout process. Integrating user-generated content into your email marketing strategy will take your brand’s communication to the next level. It helps you build a loyal customer base, reduce the cart abandonment ratio, and eventually improve conversion rates.

When customers sign up for your newsletter, you can send them a welcome email along with user-generated content (images/reviews). Similarly, when a customer abandons their cart, you can send a reminder email along with social images of the products they have abandoned in their carts.

By doing so will help you build a more personalized relationship with your customers that will also increase your conversion rate in no time.

6. Home Page

Your homepage is the first thing that your customers see when they enter your store. It helps make a good first impression that can go a long way.

This is why you must incorporate your best social proofs on the first/home page of your website. You can include both text-based and visual proofs to help your target audience know that your products are worth their time and money. For instance, you can display images or videos of your customers (who have already invested in your products) just underneath your featured products.

Simply add some reviews and ratings on the same page, and you’re all set to persuade your potential customers without any additional effort. Pretty amazing, isn’t it.

7. Use FOMO

FOMO is also known as Fear of Missing Out. It is a well-known concept where customers are encouraged to take an action immediately before the deal expires. 

Many brands are leveraging the power of FOMO to trigger urgency. The idea is to convince your buyers to make a purchase now or miss out on a hot-selling product. You must have seen banners showcasing messages like ‘End of Season Sale! Limited Stocks only’ or ‘Biggest Sale – ‘Only 2 Days Left’. 

Here are some of the things you must keep in mind if you’re considering FOMO for your e-business.

Limit the Number of Products Available on Your Website

One of the ways you can use FOMO for your e-commerce business is by limiting the total number of products on your website. When your visitors see everything ‘sold out’ or only a few products remaining in stock, this will trigger a scarcity incentive for your brand. But, do not overuse this strategy. If you display that every single thing on your website is going out of stock, your customers will quickly consider this as a hard-selling strategy.

Offer Products for a Limited Time Only

Another effective way to use the FOMO tactic is by offering products for a limited time only. When you show your customers that they have to take action within a certain period, it will trigger a sense of urgency. Offer deals, discounts, cashback offers, free delivery incentives, and more for a limited time only. 

Bonus Tips

Social Ads

Social media marketing is an integral element of a profitable e-commerce marketing strategy. However, it can be challenging for start-ups to break through the noise on popular social media platforms when the competition is already aggressive and there are many brands already working in the same niche as yours.

There is no other tool as powerful as visual proofs especially when it comes to paid social ads. So make sure you take advantage of this aspect as much as possible to improve conversions.

Halo Effect

Proving that your brand is popular amongst the top celebrities, or that your products are used by influencers will create a positive halo effect for your online store. The role of social proof is critical. For instance, by creating a professional website with plenty of user reviews, partnership logos, awards, and badges, you create a positive halo effect for your store.

Customers prefer websites that look intriguing, trust-worthy, and user-friendly. If done right this one step can significantly boost your store’s conversion rate and sales.

Final Thought on Social Proof

There you have it – Seven Proven Ways to Use Social Proof to Increase Conversions. Feel free to add to this list by adding your comments in the comments section.

Ricky Hayes

Ricky Hayes

Ricky Hayes is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify - free Shopify theme, helping dropshippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies and mentoring programs.

Ricky Hayes

Ricky Hayes is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify - free Shopify theme, helping dropshippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies and mentoring programs.
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