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Social proof has been around since the dawn of marketing and advertising. In the bustling world of eCommerce, where building trust with potential customers is paramount, social proof has still stood the test of time, remains as relevant as ever, if not more so. By harnessing the influence of customer reviews, testimonials, and user-generated content, businesses can instill confidence and amplify conversions.
In this article, we'll explore the art of utilizing social proof effectively to drive sales and create lasting customer relationships.
Social proof capitalizes on the psychological phenomenon that people tend to follow the actions of others, especially in uncertain situations. We all want to make the right decision, and we trust the crowd in something we don’t know.
When it comes to eCommerce world, potential customers tend to look at experiences from previous buyers before making a purchasing decision. So basically, social proof leverages the persuasive power of third parties to cultivate trust among potential customers. It usually comes in form of reviews, examples, case studies and testimonials.
In fact, consumers often consider social proof to be more authentic and trustworthy compared to ads. They see social proof as an endorsement, affirming that the company, service or product is great, thereby helping them feel more confident in making purchasing decisions.
And numbers don’t lie:
92% of consumers say they read online reviews.
79% of consumers specifically look for websites with product reviews.
82% of shoppers say they are more likely to purchase after seeing positive star ratings and reviews
By showcasing real experiences and recommendations from happy customers, businesses can break down barriers to purchase and encourage potential customers to take action.
There are many different forms of social proof that you can leverage to enhance your busines. By getting a handle on the pros and cons of each, you can put social proof strategies to work on your specific goals and, in turn, build customers' trust and boost sales.
Customer reviews act as a virtual word-of-mouth, providing insights into the product's quality, usability, and overall experience. Positive reviews not only showcase the benefits of the product but also alleviate potential concerns.
This type of social proof is often displayed through star ratings and reviews next to your product.
For instance, a beauty brand can display reviews from customers who saw a noticeable improvement in their skin after using a particular skincare product. By sharing these success stories, the brand creates a sense of trust and reliability, encouraging others to give the product a try and enjoy similar positive results.
HoneyPot places the review section in a visible and attractive spot on their website, which boosts customer trust when they are visiting the website.
Pro tips: Put your review section in appropriate locations with a clean and intuitive design. Users should find easy to rate or leave their feedback there.
If you are stuck for ideas on how to create a good-looking customer review section, a library of high-converting templates from GemPages can get your creative juices flowing and make your design process a breeze.
Testimonials offer a more personalized touch, often sharing how a product or service positively impacted an individual's life or business. These narratives resonate with potential customers and create an emotional connection.
For example, an online fitness platform website can feature testimonials from users who achieved their fitness goals and improved their overall well-being. These testimonials can highlight the personal journeys, challenges, and how this platform has made a significant impact on their healthy lifestyle.
A testimonial section created by GemPages. You can easily design your own using GemPages’ template library.
Pro tip: Authenticity is key. Genuine, heartfelt testimonials can turn a visitor into a customer. You should include the full name of the customer or their company, and any relevant credentials, to enhance the credibility of the testimonial.
Learn more: How to design Testimonial section
User-generated content includes photos, videos, and posts created by customers showcasing their experiences with a product. Customers often trust content created by their peers more than traditional advertising, making UGC a powerful tool for increasing brand credibility.
UGC not only adds authenticity but also provides a sneak peek into real-world usage.
Example: An outdoor gear retailer can curate a gallery of customer-submitted images featuring their products in action during various adventures.
Fresh Juice Blender features UGC videos on their website.
Collaborating with influencers in your industry can significantly boost your credibility. Influencers have their own loyal followers who trust their recommendations, providing a broader reach and tapping into their authenticity.
Example: A sustainable fashion brand can partner with eco-conscious influencers to promote their clothing line, reaching a like-minded audience.
Pro tip: If you are a Shopify store owner, you can use the Shopify Collabs app which offers you a database of content creators to partner with. You can easily search for and connect with relevant influencers based on your industry, target audience, and budget. Explore other social media tactics to supercharge your sales!
Highlighting positive mentions and comments about your brand on social media platforms can demonstrate a loyal community and foster a sense of belonging among potential customers. Every positive Facebook or Instagram post, or Twitter comment about your product or service has the power to win customers’ hearts and minds.
Example: A coffee company can showcase social media posts from customers raving about their unique blends and exceptional taste.
Social proof is a potent tool that leverages the innate human tendency to rely on the experiences of others when making decisions. By incorporating customer reviews, testimonials, user-generated content, and influencer endorsements, businesses can build trust, alleviate doubts, and drive conversions on an unprecedented scale. In the fiercely competitive e-commerce landscape, harnessing the power of social proof can be the game-changer that propels your brand to new heights of success.
Now, get ready to make your online store truly shine and inspire trust. Start designing your dream storefront with GemPages as we provide you with all the elements you need to drive conversions and skyrocket sales.
This article belongs to the Inkathon, an illuminating series focused on eCommerce. This series offers a comprehensive repository of expert knowledge, informative case studies, and practical use cases that help you gain valuable eCommerce insights.