How to Use Social Proof to Increase ECommerce Sales
It comes as no surprise that today’s era has drastically changed how people shop for products. Instead of retail stores, people prefer shopping online. Rather than a company’s advertisement, consumers look for customer reviews to determine if the product is “worth it”. In short, eCommerce has taken over the world, times are changing, and so should your business.
Social proof has become one of the most popular and effective ways to promote your product authentically and influence the mind of your consumers into purchasing your product. Social proof holds the power to persuade an audience through user-generated content, testimonials and much more displayed on your site. Social proof refers to the idea that people like to follow the masses or something that is in trend because they believe it to be the right choice.
According to BrightLocal, more than 80% of consumers look for customer reviews before making a purchase, and a drastic increase in this percentage happened after 2020. Whereas, testimonials on your site can increase the conversion rate up to 30% according to VWO.
If these stats are not enough to sway you to the cause, keep reading to learn more about social proof and how it impacts your eCommerce business.
Principles of Social Proof
Social proof was first studied in detail by psychologist Robert Cialdini, who explained that people considered a behavior appropriate when they saw other people performing it. And you must have been in a similar position yourself once in your life as well when you had to use an unfamiliar machine or try a new store.
Social proof consists of 3 core principles, namely similarity, uncertainty, and expertise. Do you know that 80% of the consumers ask their friends and family for recommendations before buying something, why? Because they share the same group of thoughts, likes, dislikes, etc. Social proof also reduces uncertainty by displaying how other people are using their product and how it helps, this impacts decision-making immensely. And when you display testimonials on-site from experts in that industry, it also solidifies the belief of your audience in the quality of your product.
Social proof has multiple benefits for an online business, the major among them are increased sales and revenues, and building customer trust and loyalty. All of which is crucial if you want to sustain and grow your business. This can be implemented with the help of the WooCommerce social proof plugins, which will help you display the content beautifully and effectively.
Below we are going to mention how you can implement social proof on your site and how it will help you increase sales.
How is Social Proof used to Increase Sales?
1. By Creating Urgency
One of the most common ways you can implement social proof on your site is by creating a sense of urgency. Displaying your best-selling products or deals in a time-limited frame, such as a countdown timer helps create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) on your audience and urges them to order the product before the time runs out.
You can also create urgency by showing the remaining stock left below each product or displaying a best-selling tag on your popular products as this shows that a certain product is in trend and thus instantly makes it desirable. Retail and eCommerce store owners have used this technique to their advantage since the beginning by displaying their deals on big banners to grab customer attention and it works.
2. By Displaying Real-Time Activities
Nobody is going to believe how good your product is until they see it for themselves. You can display on-site activities to your audience who are visiting your site. These activities can include the number of customers on-site, what people are browsing, what customers ordered, or something they added to their wishlist.
Now you are thinking how does this help? When visitors see other customers on your site, browse or purchase the same products, they realize that your site is popular, credible, and trustworthy.
Numbers also have a great impact on the audience. So you can also display your follower count on all social media platforms and subscriber count as well. But only when your follower count is high or this could easily backfire.
3. By Showing Customer Reviews
According to Podium, more than 90% of the consumers have stated that online reviews on-site impact their buying decisions. That’s a huge percentage of the market right there and thus that’s why displaying customer reviews and ratings is one of the most common and effective strategies out there.
There are many ways you can display customer reviews on-site. Such as on the landing page, you can showcase customer reviews about experiences with your business. Moreover, you can also show reviews for each product individually to create a more credible look.
Another way to display previous client experiences is through case studies, which is just another type of review, but detailed. These reviews help in authenticating your site and bringing a more natural and honest feel to your marketing.
4. By Employing Celebrity Endorsements and Influencers
Here we will talk about an old and new marketing technique that is similar in their work. Starting with the old strategy, celebrity endorsements. Many businesses to date still use and employ celebrity endorsements to increase their reach and it works! How? Celebrities have an amazing fan following on their social media accounts and people would love to use the products that their favorite celebrities also use or are associated with. But this could be an expensive approach that not all businesses can afford, which brings us to the current trend in marketing.
Influencer marketing is a cheaper and effective way to market your products and it’s really popular nowadays on social media. Instead of celebrities, you can work with influencers like models, CEOs, industry experts, etc to promote your brand.
5. User-Generated Content
What does UGC mean? Any content that is shared by your customers is called user-generated content. By sharing this content on your website and social media accounts, you can increase credibility and gain customer attention. Although customer reviews are also included in this category, content with images and videos has a different and more powerful impact and thus needs to be mentioned separately.
Images and videos show your audience how your product is impacting the life of the users. Try to include as much authentic content as possible to increase trust and loyalty.
As far as we can see, there are no drawbacks associated with social proof. It is a marketing technique designed to persuade your customers throughout the shopping journey to buy a product through honest and authentic content like reviews, trust seals, and testimonials. It’s bound to work! There are many plugins available that can enable these features on your site and benefit you with increased sales, brand awareness, and customer loyalty.