The Benefits of Using Social Proof in Your E-commerce Marketing
In the digital age, where customers cannot physically touch or try products before purchasing, social proof serves as a bridge of trust. It reassures, influences, and guides them in their buying journey.
What is Social Proof?
At its core, social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people follow the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are the correct behaviour. It’s the online equivalent of a crowd gathering around a street performer; we’re more likely to stop and watch if many others are doing the same. In e-commerce, this can manifest in many forms: customer reviews, testimonials, celebrity endorsements, and user-generated content, to name a few.
Why is Social Proof Important?
- Builds Trust and Credibility
Customers often hesitate to purchase from unfamiliar brands online. By displaying positive reviews and testimonials, you provide reassurance that others have had positive experiences with your products, thereby enhancing trust.
- Influences Purchase Decisions
A whopping 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business, and 84% trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. By showcasing these reviews, you’re directly influencing potential customers’ decisions.
- Enhances Brand Value
User-generated content, such as photos of real customers using your products, adds value to your brand by showing genuine appreciation and satisfaction from your community.
- Decreases Cart Abandonment
By addressing doubts and uncertainties through social proof elements, you reduce the chances of customers abandoning their shopping carts.
- Highlights Product Popularity
Displaying best-sellers or ‘frequently bought together’ items can nudge customers towards certain products, ensuring they don’t miss out on popular choices.
How to use Social Proof to your advantage?
- Prioritise Genuine Reviews: Encourage customers to leave reviews after their purchase. Showcase both positive and constructive feedback to maintain authenticity.
- Leverage User-Generated Content: Create campaigns that motivate customers to share photos of them using your products. This not only provides authentic visuals but also engages your community.
- Show Real-time Statistics: Plugins that show ‘X people are viewing this product’ or ‘Y people bought this today’ can create a sense of urgency and popularity.
- Collaborate with Influencers: Partnering with influencers who resonate with your brand can tap into their follower base, further amplifying your reach and credibility.
- Showcase Certifications and Badges: If your products are organic, vegan, cruelty-free, etc., showcase these badges prominently. They serve as endorsements of your product quality and ethics.
Social proof isn’t just a strategy; it’s an essential tool to improve your reputation and drive sales. Used well, it can build trust and best of all, it’s free! If one of your customers has a particularly positive experience with your business, you can capitalise on this by asking them to post a review. Most people will be happy to spend a few minutes of their time to help your business shine.