The statistics show that people are more likely to become paying customers if they trust the information on a given ecommerce website. Сredibility leads to money, which makes sense. I bet you wouldn’t buy from someone you don’t trust, would you?
Unless you’re a trustworthy online store like Amazon, you should put forth a strong effort in building credibility around your brand. The question is, how do you put this into practice? The answer: social proof. In a nutshell, social proof serves as recommendations from existing satisfied customers who confirm that your ecommerce store is reliable.
It’s also a conversion machine because 89% of people say that testimonials and reviews influence their purchasing decision. So, using social proof tactics can build brand trust among your prospects, as well as effectively influence their behavior when it comes to closing deals.
In this article, we’ll run through 5 ways that show how social proof can help your online store boost conversions.
The psychology behind social proof
Social proof is the theory that tells us people will follow the experience of those whom they like or trust. Science has uncovered that the best way to motivate your prospects to do something is to claim that other customers in their situation have done so. In other words, try to draw similarities among your prospective clients and existing customers with the help of social proof elements.
Additional research supports this statement and shows that when people are unsure what to do, they look around for advice on what should be done. The vast majority of marketers agree that social proof mixed with conversion rate optimization has a tremendous impact on ecommerce revenue.
1. Provide independent third-party social proof
The first step you can take is to use partners’ logos to show who your allies are (with their permission, of course). This convinces prospective clients that you’re in good company. So, if you have affiliated partners, don’t hesitate to add their logos to your ecommerce website. It is one of the easiest ways to borrow social credibility.
Mentions in the press are another option when it comes to featuring third-party social proof on your online store. Still building your media section? Start by showcasing even simple blog post mentions to prove the fact that you are recognized enough to receive attention:
2. Use the power of social media
Social media is a sure-fire method to convert prospective clients in no time. How to achieve that? First, make it easy for your fans and brand advocates to share your story and products on social media. This will help convince your target audience to convert. Second, add share buttons on your product page or even corporate blog post as illustrated below to encourage your followers to share with their networks:
The next way to adopt social media for the sake of brand credibility is to show off your fan base (to help you grow yours, add follow buttons to your website!). Brands can use social media statuses to highlight what their customers are saying about them. For example, NYX features their clients’ Instagram posts on product pages:
Social media can be a perfect source of testimonials that confirm the quality of your services. Leverage social posts with the mentions of your brand right on your online store:
3. Highlight user-generated content
Encourage clients to share the products they’ve purchased and used. This is social proof at its best. In addition to building genuine credibility around your brand, user-generated content can inspire prospective customers to buy from you. For instance, MAC offers its clients the ability to upload images of their makeup using the brand’s products:
4. Ask for reviews
Reviews are a crucial part of ecommerce websites. Why? Numbers show that 90 percent of consumers are influenced by positive reviews in their decision to buy. In addition, more than 70 percent of them said that positive reviews make them trust a brand more.
Just note that having reviews from verified buyers rather than from anonymous ones is preferable to impact conversion rates. And ensure you don’t filter out the neutral or negative reviews as well.
Want to feature more reviews? Reach out to the clients after they’ve made a purchase. Include an incentive in thanks for providing a review, like a discount on a future purchase.
5. Activity notifications
Live and dynamic social proof can make a huge difference to your conversion rate. Create urgency around purchasing the product with ‘activity notifications’ to show your website visitors how many people are doing the same things at the same time:
- The number of visitors currently looking at the same product
- The number of users who bought this product recently
- Other items consumers who have looked at this product ended up buying
A few things to remember
There are a few best practices to follow when adding social proof to your website. First, don’t overcrowd your web pages with too many elements. This will take away from the user experience of your site.
Second, remember that different people are influenced by different things. It’s crucial to have a strong understanding of your target audience. Know what impresses your prospects and feature content that aligns with what speaks to them.
That brings us to the next point: people are influenced by others who are similar to themselves. When it comes to valuing the opinions of others, we tend to trust those who are most like us. Feature customers that represent what your ideal prospect looks like and can relate to.
Last but not least, demonstrate your credibility by following through on your promises. Be honest and accurate in your claims and avoid providing misleading information.
If prospects don’t trust your online store, they simply won’t convert into paying clients. Use the above social proof tips to help you grow your ecommerce site today.
Have you adopted any of the above tactics for your online store? Have these experiments increased your conversion rate?
Julia Samoilenko is a marketing manager at Chanty — a simple AI-powered team chat. This powerful and free Slack alternative is aimed to increase team productivity and improve communication at work. With five years of experience in digital marketing, Julia is responsible for Chanty’s online social media presence and public relations. Feel free to connect with Julia on LinkedIn.