Social proofing is a powerful tool and something that many of us encounter and interact with, whether we realise it or not. When it is used by eCommerce businesses, social proofing can be an incredibly powerful strategy to help grow and expand.
In this article, we explore what social proofing is and how you can use it to boost your online sales and grow your eCommerce business.
What is social proofing?
Social proof is all about normative social influence, which is when people conform to what others around them are doing to feel like they fit in.
This concept was first studied by social psychologist Solomon Asch in the 1950s, who conducted experiments that showed how peer pressure can influence people’s actions and decisions. In his experiments, he found that people were more likely to conform to the majority opinion, even if it was clearly wrong.
One example of social proof is when you are browsing a website and see a large number of 5-star product reviews.
Other examples include testimonials from an expert in the industry that you respect or if you see someone that you respect or follow using a product on social media. Social proofing is all about third-party influence.
How can social proofing grow your eCommerce business?
Now that we know what social proofing is, let’s explore how you can use this concept to grow your eCommerce business.
Social proofing allows you to:
Turn customers into brand ambassadors using social share buttons
One way to take advantage of social proofing is by leveraging social share buttons on your website and product pages. This allows customers to share your content with their networks, which can help you reach a larger audience and generate more leads.
In addition, when customers share your content, it acts as a testimonial for your business. Their friends and followers will see that they trust your products or services enough to share them with their networks. This can help increase conversions, as people are more likely to buy from businesses that have been recommended by someone they know and trust.
This approach will enable web visitors to act as ambassadors of your brand.
Leverage customer feedback and reviews to increase sales
If you are looking to bring social proof into your eCommerce business, one way to do so is to use the power of reviews.
Make sure you display your ratings and reviews on your website – people want to leave reviews, especially if their experience ended positively.
In fact, a survey from BrightLocal revealed that 80% of consumers are “likely” or “highly likely” to leave a review.
To enable automatic transactional emails to follow up with customers after a sale and get their feedback.
Earn media mentions and share customer testimonials
Another great way to take advantage of social proof is by sharing customer testimonials on your website or social media channels. This can help build trust with potential customers and show that your business is credible.
If you have any earned media mentions, be sure to share those as well. This can include press coverage, blog posts, or even social media posts from influencers. These mentions create trust, which is critical when it comes to consumer behaviour.
Take a look at some of the insights that American public relations and marketing consultancy firm Edelman shares about this here.
Effective social proofing comes from the medium of video
Social proof doesn’t just have to be in the form of text. You can also leverage video social proof to showcase your happy customers. This can be in the form of customer testimonials, case studies, or even behind-the-scenes footage.
Video is a great way to connect with potential customers and show them that your business is credible. It’s also a great way to build trust and show off your products or services in a more personal way.
Offering incentives such as future discounts or gifts can be a great way to encourage video testimonials and reviews.
Be diverse with your user-generated content
User-generated content is another great way to take advantage of social proof. This is when customers or fans create and share content about your brand, such as product reviews, blog posts, or social media posts.
User-generated content can be a great way to show off your products or services in a more authentic way. It can also help you reach a larger audience, as people are more likely to trust content that has been created by someone they know and trust.
Utilise case studies
Case studies are a great way to show off your products or services in a real-world setting. This can help you build trust with potential customers and increase conversions, especially if the case studies highlight the positive impact your company or your products have made.
Use social media to drive brand awareness
While using social media as part of a social proof strategy is effective for B2C products and services, the same is true of B2B businesses.
Keep a close eye on the praise that you are receiving on social media and be sure to share them or engage with them to create more positive awareness.
And keep a close eye on any posts that display your products – off-the-cuff online conversations with customers can be a great way to get additional brand awareness and encourage brand advocacy.
Install trust icons to enhance social proofing
Installing trust icons on your website is an important part of getting your social proof basics in place. Don’t just rely on the icons though. Consider adding reviews from trusted websites or platforms.
Think about movie posters for one second. They don’t just add a publication’s name on their designs, but also the actual review.
Use data and numbers to further build belief
If you have any data or numbers that add weight to your social proof, be sure to include them as well. This could be things like how many customers you have, how long you’ve been in business, or even how much money you’ve raised.
Consider the data you have that will create more trust in your product or service, and make sure you highlight them.
Grow your eCommerce business with ParcelPlanet
Social proofing is a great way to increase conversions for your eCommerce business. By employing some of the strategies mentioned above, you can create more trust with potential customers and show them that your business is credible.
It’s something we know very well at ParcelPlanet because when it comes to the eCommerce world, we will always strive to be an authoritative source.
We will continue to share the latest trends and strategies that you should be employing in your eCommerce business, so take a few moments to browse through our blog and resources to find out about the latest developments in the eCommerce space.