What is Social Proof? How does it Optimize eCommerce Conversion Rates?

What is Social Proof

Introduction

If you want your customers to end up making a purchase as soon as they view a product, you need to make the decision easy for them. The best way to do so is by enabling social proof on your site. Social proof is one of the most powerful marketing techniques available that can help your gain increased traffic and sales.

Social proof is based on the psychological phenomenon that “what is followed by the masses is right”. Thus, people tend to trust and instantly buy products that have customer reviews or high order count.

There are multiple types of social proofs available that you can employ in various styles. In this article, we will cover the importance of social proof, its types, and its benefits. So without further ado, let’s get started!

Why is Social Proof Beneficial?

Social proof is not a new marketing technique, it has been employed since the beginning of retail markets. Suppose you are a consumer, and you come across a retail store where you have never shopped from before, but the featured products on display and the rush of customers are sure to get you intrigued enough to explore, and voila! Soon enough you are making your first purchase.

The same goes for online stores. Creating a compelling shopping experience is important to gain customers. The more attention you put towards customer reviews, testimonials, and trust seals, the more crowd you can gather. More than 60% of customers look for reviews before buying a product. This highlights your business expertise and how many customers trust you, thus building trust in potential customers. Social proof is a foolproof way to market your business and reach your goals swiftly and easily.

Types of Social Proof

Types of Social Proof

There are many types of social proof available, categorized as direct feedback and engagement volume. We are going to discuss some of the common types of social proof from both these categories.

1. User-Generated Content

One of the most effective platforms to gather social proof is Instagram. Almost all consumers nowadays share their purchases on their social media accounts, such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Pinterest, this is termed as user-generated content. UGC can be in the form of photos, videos, blogs, and much more.

Sharing user-generated content on your website or social media account is a great way to gain more followers. This helps in building trust as visitors see other people using your products and have a positive experience.

2. Certifications and Trust Badges

Another form of social proof involves showing certifications and trust badges on your website. This helps in increasing trust. It is also statistically proven that displaying trust seals and certifications increases your conversion rate up to 40%.

If your checkout or landing page has trust seals such as Norton, McAfee, TRUSTe, etc, your customers are more likely to complete their purchase instead of just abandoning it. Similarly, if you have some certifications in your field, you can also display them on-site and increase the sense of trustworthiness and credibility in your work.

3. Expert Opinion

By incorporating expert opinion or seal on your site, you can also increase customer trust and brand recognition. For example, you must have noticed toothpaste commercials, which end with a “Doctor’s approved” seal, thereby announcing the fact that your product is supported by the experts in the field. Similarly, displaying such a seal or comment on your website could help you increase sales.

4. Customer Reviews

One of the most common and effective forms of social proof is customer reviews. Many products and service websites show customer reviews and ratings on their site to build customer trust and security. As stated above, more than 60% of the visitors look for customer reviews before making a decision.

Similarly, a testimonial from your trusted clients also helps in increasing sales. Thus it’s important to dedicate an area to customer reviews and ratings on each product page. This helps in assuring customers of the product quality and user experience.

5. Celebrity Endorsements

Never underestimate the power of an influencer or celebrity increasing your brand’s reach. Another old technique but still effective, celebrity endorsements have been used as a marketing tool for many years. Similarly, influencer marketing is one of the trendiest promotional techniques in this era. Most endorsements are paid and an agreement is settled which is beneficial for both parties. But it’s important to keep in mind that just choosing a popular personality is not enough, it’s better to find famous and credible influencers in your niche and incorporate them into your brand and reviews.

Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are the biggest platform for endorsements where the paid celebrity or influencer reviews and recommend your product.

6. Social Media

Do you know that more than 50% of the consumers review their products on social media, through images, videos, or live features. Whatever the case may be, social media is a powerful marketing tool that you need to take advantage of. Showcasing your number of followers, likes, and shares, sharing user-generated content on your feed, and much more leads to increased customer engagement and sales. But if your follower count is less, this could have the opposite effect, so use this wisely.

Effective Ways to Use Social Proof

Now that you know what social proof is and what different forms it can take, it’s time to implement it on your site and see the results for yourself. Below we have listed some of the most effective social proof examples to go through.

● Show Real-Time Stats

Displaying real-time stats of how many people are active on your site is a great way to encourage visitors to keep exploring. The higher the number, the more your visitors are intrigued. Moreover, many websites also show the products being ordered in real-time, this leads to specific product marketing and shows popularity as well. You can use the TrustPulse plugin for this feature, which shows real-time stats in popup notifications.

● Host Live Sessions

As we said before, social media is a crucial part of social proof. Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, etc have opened doors for easy marketing and engagement. The best feature for widening your audience is to host live sessions with experts on your social media platforms. This helps in providing quality content and also gives you access to the expert’s audience. Moreover, it adds credibility to your brand as it is supported by experts in the field.

● Product Recommendations

Another way to enable social proof and attract customers’ attention is by displaying product recommendations by previous buyers. No matter how well you market your products, the impact will be stronger if it’s coming from a customer. Ask your buyers to rate and review your products, ask them if they recommend this to others or will buy it again, and display their answers on-site, it’s a game-changer.

● Display Case Studies

Case studies are more elaborate product reviews and they are also more effective. Case studies refer to the journey your customer had when they bought your product and how it helped them in their life. Displaying case studies on your site helps in increasing trust and credibility among your visitors. Clients provide factual data on how this product helped them and what areas were improved. Thus, it is a great way to increase conversion rates.

● Create FOMO

FOMO means fear of missing out and with the hustle and bustle of social media, this can easily be created in your audience. FOMO creates a sense of urgency in your customers if you create amazing time-limited deals which are once in a lifetime opportunity. Another way is to limit the number of products available and showcase the remaining items left to create scarcity which will compel the customer to make the purchase right away.

● Display Integrations

Another way to gain customer trust and show authenticity in your branding is by displaying third-party integrations or logos of famous clients that you have worked with. You can display these logos anywhere on the landing page, such as the footer or sidebar. Showcasing popular integrations ensures customers about your product or service and ultimately leads to more sales.

● Show Best Sellers

With so many businesses dealing with the same products, customers are looking for the best option available. Thus, displaying the best sellers on your site is a great way to grab visitors’ attention and bring the focus to a popular item that is sure to get you positive reviews.

We have curated a list of the best WooCommerce Social Proof plugins to enable these features on your site.

Benefits of Social Proof

Benefits of Social Proof

There is no denying the fact that social proof is a powerful tool and can help you achieve your goals faster. Let’s look at some of its benefits.

1. Increases Brand Recognition

By enabling social proof on your site, you can increase brand awareness and recognition as you widen your reach and increase your conversion rate. This also helps in word-of-mouth marketing, which is excellent for increasing the popularity of your brand.

2. Builds Trust

The only reason people are skeptical about online shopping is that they are not aware of the quality of the product or the customer service. Social proof helps in eradicating this skepticism and provides solutions that let your visitors know about your products and services through previous buyers, such as reviews, recommendations, testimonials, trust seals, and much more. These actions help in building trust and a loyal customer base.

3. Increases sales

The more you follow our tips, the more your community will grow. And your growing community is going to consist of buyers that will frequently purchase from you as trust and credibility are built. Thus, social proof not only leads to increased conversion rates but also increases sales and revenue.

Is Social Proof Worth the Hype?

Yes, it is! Social Proof enables you to widen your reach, remove uncertainty with online shopping, and reduce the decision-making process. It is suitable for small and large businesses alike and has been used since the beginning of marketing as a successful marketing strategy.  You can use any of the above-mentioned strategies and notice the difference instantly in conversion rates, sales, and revenue.

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