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Need a way for your eCommerce brand to stand out? Turn your attention to acquiring and sharing social proof. From glowing product reviews to heartfelt customer shoutouts, social proof is one of the most effective ways to get your target customer’s attention, build trust and close more sales.
82% of consumers have purchased, researched, or thought about buying after seeing friends, family, or influencers post about something. To help you take advantage of this underutilized hack, in this post, we’ll dive into what social proof is and what it’s not. We’ll also highlight why getting social proof should be a priority when scaling and share some ways to secure attention-grabbing social proof.
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Social proof is a term born from the idea social influence impacts the way people behave, swaying their beliefs and breeding conformity. In action, this could look like getting a recommendation from a friend for a coffee brand you’ve never heard of and taking a chance on them by purchasing.
Social proof comes in many shapes and forms, which brands mix and match. Some formats useful for eCommerce marketing include:
Each type of social proof will carry different authority levels depending on whether a third party generated it and who your target is. For instance, recommendations from an employee on your website will be met with less enthusiasm than a review from a fellow shopper on a regulated review site. Telling the world about your product’s benefits isn’t social proof and falls more into the broader marketing category.
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Perhaps your products have viral status, and more people are hearing about your brand each day or you may have mature sales and marketing strategies that have sales pouring in. Either way, it can be challenging to see the value of social proof as anything more than an acknowledgment of your hard work. But social proof can help your brand in many ways. Let’s run through a few:
Want to know one of the top things social proof generates for your brand?
Knowing a product has been tested and approved by peers reduces the perceived risk factor of buying, making shoppers more open to learning about your brand and completing the checkout process pause-free.
Recommendations and reviews can also reduce buyers’ remorse when shared as part of your post-sale marketing. These are just some of the reasons reviews play a critical role in a product’s success on a marketplace and why platforms like Amazon have had early reviewer programs and now the Vine program.
Reviews don’t just make your brand look good; they make its bank balance, Average Order Value, and Customer Lifetime Value healthier. For example, Social proof can increase conversions by as much as 270%, and higher-priced products can benefit from a jump of up to 380%. Also, shoppers are likely to spend 31% more when a brand has fantastic reviews.
Social proof from the right people and in the correct quantity can take a brand from an unknown newbie to a rising star. And, if you’re an established player in the eCommerce world, getting shoppers’ approval tells other consumers why you’ve stood the test of time. In other words, the more social proof your brand acquires, its brand authority becomes stronger.
No matter what audience size you have, you can garner social proof to drive more leads and sales. You’ll need a well-thought-out game plan to acquire different types of social proof. To get started, here are some ways you can gather reviews, shoutouts, recommendations, and more:
Giveaways aren’t just great ways to build your email list; they’re also a great way to garner social proof. For example, say you have a teeth whitening line, you could create a competition for your customers, offering 6 month’s worth of products for the best:
Social proof produces the best result when you take a blended approach. So break away from the norm and trial different content types to create social proof with influencer marketing:
Top tip: Not sure how to execute an influencer campaign? Check out brands in different niches with a winning strategy like Showpo, GymShark, and Frank Body.
Despite 9 out of 10 consumers reading reviews before making a purchase, on average, just 10% leave reviews. So sometimes, even your loyal customers need a little nudge to get talking. Give shoppers a reason to leave honest reviews by giving perks that they’ll be interested in. For example, you could offer a discount code, unlock a special deal on their next purchase or offer loyalty points.
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Now that you know how to create different forms of social proof, the next step is to position them to supercharge conversions. Here are some ways you can fill your sales funnels and pockets with social proof:
A fantastic way to get social proof in front of your potential customers is to mix it into your web design. Examine other brands’ social proof strategies for inspiration on how to present it in a way that’s native to the sales platform. For example, if you have a website, you could:
Give your reviews, recommendations, and testimonials the shine they deserve by displaying them on your social channels. Test different formats like video, star ratings, and text to find which style resonates the best. Don’t forget to add a call to action for shoppers to buy the item and a link to the product in your bio to increase conversions.
Look through comments sections for shoutouts and impromptu testimonials your fans may leave on product posts and request permission from them too. Also, take note of how shoppers display their social proof for more ideas to trial.
Whether it’s a sell-out launch, a 3-month long wait list, or increased profits, sharing case studies from your wholesale and corporate accounts can help you attract more customers. Zoom in on crucial stats representing the positive changes your brand has brought other businesses and include positive quotes from customers to provide additional context and validity. You can also include snapshots from case studies in your outreach and adverts to up your meeting booking rate and account sign-ups.
There are some instances where tooting your own horn is entirely acceptable, and sharing your store’s most impressive milestones is one of them. So if you’ve secured 0 to $1 million in 60 days, 100,000 customers, 5 years in business, or something similar, it’s time to let the world know. This tactic will uplevel your brand value in consumers’ eyes, inspiring them to start their customer journey. Some other achievements you can share include:
Something about that little blue ticket on a social media profile makes people stop and pay attention. Yet verification is an overlooked way to showcase brand notoriety. So, research which social platforms your ideal shoppers spend the most time on and take action to get your brand verified on them. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to this task, hire a social media marketing agency to help you achieve the respected verified status.
Gone are the days when shoppers formed their buying habits solely on word of mouth; social proof has gone digital. From online reviews to influencer mentions and expert recommendations, consumers are becoming more comfortable with the online vetting of products and brands.
With the right approach for gathering and distributing social proof, you can get more eyes on your stores, improve your product’s perceived value, and upgrade your brand’s reputation.
So start today. Collect and share notes, pictures, and videos from happy customers and share them with the world. Soon your products will be selling themselves with a trail of satisfied customers in tow.
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