While in e-commerce turning new prospect into potential customer is hard, social proof makes this process easier and conversion friendly. Using social proof is a great way to build trust among potential customers.
Why would customers buy something that make them feel insecure to pay for it? Why would they believe words from your mouth? E-commerce consumers tend to be more cautious and doubtful during purchase anything from online. It is quite natural to be doubtful when buying from online where both the seller and the product is unknown and untouchable. It is like being blind and touching the elephant for the first time. In that case, social proof works like magic. Simple recommendations from previous users or buyers could influence a huge number of new customers to purchase the product or service from you.
Social proof is becoming one of the most powerful marketing tool to increase not only conversion but also to build a strong brand value in the market.
What is social proof?
Social proof is simply the social acceptance of your brand and products by your legit customers that you use in your site to make others to believe that your product is absolutely great for them. This proof can be in various form and ways like subscription counts, reviews, social posts, social shares, recommendations or ratings. The more proof you have the more trust you can build among consumers.
Social proof is a psychological term that is used for defining people’s action according to following others’ action which they believe is the correct or right choice to follow. Human being prefer to follow others action and then decide their own. e-commerce marketers adopt this theory and apply it in e-commerce marketing as a converting tool.
Social proof in the context of e-commerce , make people to trust your deals and offers as these already been shared through social networks by your fan or followers or even customers. So when a new customer takes a sneak peek into your site, your proofs make sure that customer certainly convert not just only roaming around and leave.
Why it is important?
Social proofs help e-commerce marketers to build trust among consumers. It is actually the basis of building trust- turning non-believer into believer. You may have a lot of sales but every new sale is a challenge to you as you have to turn a confused mind into a believer. You may have hundreds of happy customers but that is not a fixed number and enough to fit in. When you are showing customers something that ensure you are not a fraud or whatever you are selling is a good fit for them- you are ultimately increasing your conversion.
Social proof is not only converting; it is a sales tool too. Studies show that nearly 70% of online consumers look at a product review before making the purchase. Not only that, a product review sells better than product descriptions. Consumers trust third party opinion about products and brands and act quickly when they are recommended by their peers.
Types of social proof
Social proof is easy to generate. You can use any type of social proof that you have and can ultimately increase your conversion. There are many types of social proof among which 6 types of social proof is prominent in increasing and improving sales and conversions.
User reviews is one of the most powerful social proof that actually comes from users or the consumers. Leveraging reviews is beneficial as these help marketers to target new customers knowing them what other people think about their products and services.
According to a study, sales increased 10% to 50% when the total number of reviews grew from 1 to 15 and the accompanying star rating moved from 3.5 to 4.5 stars. Amazon uses customer reviews to build trust among consumers and have build a strong position with this powerful social proof. Another example of leveraging reviews as social proof could be Yelp that utilizes user reviews to rate restaurants, bars, places and have increased their followers roughly 145millions each month.
Testimonials are somewhat different than reviews in term of presentation. Where reviews are generally about product and services that a retailer provides to his consumers, testimonials on the other hand are actually more concise recommendations given by the people about the business.
Testimonial is one of the most powerful driving force behind purchasing decision. According to Econsultancy, testimonials help to increase sales up to 18%, and increase the likelihood of purchase for 63% of visitors.
Here is an excellent example of leveraging testimonials by the leading e-commerce platform Shopify–
There are various forms and ways of using testimonials like plain quotes, quotes with images, influencial testimonials, social media testimonials, video testimonials. And you can mix them for better result.
When someone known by everyone advocates on behalf of you, your sales increase. Leveraging expert’s or celebrity’s endorsement is the most powerful social proof that cann bring a huge change in your business. This tactic is not only helpful to build trust but also to improve and increase your sales and conversion.
Leveraging celebrities, or industry experts, or social media influencers or even micro blogger to promote your product is undoubtedly beneficial to your business. These experts or celebrities play the role of connector to build connection between their fan or followers and your brand. People like to follow whatever their icon does. This is the loop hole that e-commerce marketers leverage for their business. The psychology behind the process is simple. When a celebrity endorses your products on both social and electronic media, your products get exposed and the fans and followers rush to purchase that products to feel secured as they have the same product their icon used. Thus your celebrities followers become your loyal customers.
Ratings are a part of reviews where users rate the service or products by hitting on stars. Many users and customers don’t pay any attention in leaving reviews boring or disturbing. In that case rating works. Who doesn’t love to hit the stars!
Many e-commerce website only use reviews but leading sites don’t miss the chance to show new customers what others rate there service or products. Amazon use the both and successfully increased their sales and engagement.
Hoping that you now understand the “what” and “why” part of leveraging social proof. Let’s drive in “how to” part. How you can leverage these social proofs for getting better engagement and to increase your sales.
Your web site is the first place where consumers look for your products. And that is your ultimate chance to turn a traffic into your loyal customer.
You can use social proof on your site in three ways such as reviews from old customers, customer generated contents and the third way is to showing the number of your happy customers or the sales you have made.
Ask to your niche experts, leading marketers or your well-wishers for testimonials and use them on your site, blog or even on social accounts. Leveraging testimonials will help you to create a trust and secure environment for your customers. Its better to add images of person with testimonials that make the speech more trustworthy.
When leveraging social proof on social media, be creative. Make a buzz with your social mentions and boast number of followers.
Social media is the best place to showcase your social proof. You just need to be a bit creative when using and leveraging social proof on social media. Otherwise your effort will be fade away in front of your competitor’s.
Most of marketers generalize all of their social proof on social media which is absolutely foolish step. Better segregate your social proofs and list down what type of proof you want to use for what reason. For example, if your goal is to increase engagement then focus on social sharing of your proofs and mentions.
One of the best practice of leveraging social proof is to tell stories through clients and case studies. This is absolutely the most powerful way to motivate visitors or customers to pay attention.
Sharing case studies is effective to build user confidence and trust. And thanks to social media, it is now too easy to get everyone enticed with your story. Ask permission to your clients before sharing their stories and share them on your social accounts. Let your followers and users to involve themselves in your posts and inspire them to share. Invite customers of the stories you are sharing to tell their stories by themselves. This will help you to get the better engagement as people prefer to hear stories from the person rather from third person.
Promo emails are great ways to showcase your social proof. When you send promo emails or thank you emails to your new customers or existing one, add your testimonials, ratings, or the links of what others say about you in emails.
It is better to add specific product photo with reviews and if possible the name of reviewers. This actually make your attachments more reliable and trustworthy.
Social proof can be the most powerful marketing tool if used properly and effectively. It is the basis of building trust and showing authenticity of your business. People will believe and trust you when other people will certify you as trustworthy. So, do not just use social proofs for decorating your sites or blogs, use them as sales tool to increase engagement and conversion.