5 Social Proof Examples To Use This Holiday Season (eCommerce Guide)
October 26, 2020 –
In the world of eCommerce, psychological principles play a huge role in consumer purchase decisions. In fact, 84% of people trust reviews as much as they trust their friends.
One of the best examples of these psychological and social phenomena in action is social proof.
Using social proof is so effective because it stems from the core behavioral economics of experiencing confidence, safety, and validation.
Having purchase decisions validated through other people’s positive experiences builds trust, which is great news for your ecommerce store because it encourages purchases.
The majority of leading eCommerce retailers have been effectively using social proof tactics to drive more transactions on their websites for years.
The best part of social proof? It’s easy to get.
You’ve probably got some key elements sitting there ready to go. So, let’s take a look at six of the best social proof examples you can start incorporating on your product pages right now just in time for the peak holiday season.
1. Customer Reviews
Adding in customer reviews and star ratings alongside products is the old faithful of social proof. For new potential customers, reading reviews helps the visitor feel confident in the product and oftentimes, safe in the site.
In a report published by Consumerist, 70% of customers check product reviews before they purchase. So, it’s a key staple of any product page that should not be missed. If you’re not collecting product reviews, it’s probably best you start.
In the below example from Caudalie, the skincare company displays social proof not just in the form of reviews, but also in how many times the product was “favorited.”
Adding in a metric similar to social media likes and follows is another great way to generate social proof. Not everyone that buys a product will leave a review, so this is a great workaround.
Giving the visitor an idea of how many times a product has been viewed, researched, or purchased still produces the feeling of safety and confidence.
2. Purchasing or Follower Numbers
Whether you’re an eCommerce website, studio, or an influencer, you need trust. Metrics are one way to provoke feelings of trust in either your store, products, or persona.
Have a think about stats and facts you can provide visitors that will instill trust as soon as they see them.
This could be the volume of downloads, the number of purchases made, or the number of followers you have. Big numbers reassure potential purchasers that they are not alone in buying from you or investing in your brand.
Help a Reporter Out is a great example. Large numbers adhere to its amount of source materials and subscribers signed up to the site. This alludes to its popularity.
Displaying these prominently in a footer encourages visitors to sign up to access the breadth of media opportunities available on their website.
3. A Sense of Urgency
Urgency drives purchasing decisions. Consider the number of times you have developed an anxious rush after being notified that X discount only lasts for Y time. Or that there are only 3 pairs of your favorite shoes left in stock.
Urgency encourages the user to make a purchase where they otherwise may have put it off, left the website, or worse, used a competitor.
In eCommerce, showing stock levels helps decrease website abandonment. It also signifies social proof by implementing tools that show how many people are viewing the product right now.
This would work very well over the Holiday season as shoppers will want to make sure they can get their Christmas gifts in time. You could even add your Christmas delivery dates or a simple “Order now & get it for Christmas” type messaging to hammer home that sense of urgency.
For a first-time visitor, encouragement that other people are viewing, or even buying, their product reassures them about the validity of the site and also the popularity of the product.
4. Purchase Recommendations
Whilst reviews and a sense of urgency with website visitors viewing products can work as great social proof signals, purchase recommendations are another often overlooked element.
These not only work to encourage a purchase of the product a consumer is considering but can also initiate sales funnels for other products a visitor may be interested in but have not yet seen.
More specifically, Best Seller categories instantly play on the psychological element of other people having visited, bought, and enjoyed the products.
This automatically puts those products in a more favorable light for a first-time potential buyer.
Amazon takes full advantage of this by placing its Best Sellers category before any others. And of course, utilizing a chance to display some of their products before anybody else’s.
Again, if someone is buying a Christmas present for someone, they may be looking for a few gifts to buy. This is where a “complete the set” product recommendation could work very well.
For eCommerce websites this should be fairly easy to set up, most eCommerce platforms will have cross-selling functionality that can be used to great effect. You can easily find what items are frequently bought together and simply guide users down this path.
If you’re just starting out, it may not always be possible to have the likes of an A-Lister promoting your product or brand. However, you could look to experts in your industry or simply a public figure.
For example, a well trusted or followed influencer could give you some automatic trust points and recognition.
The thinking of “Well, if this product was [negative], [person] wouldn’t endorse it” will automatically gravitate purchasers towards being more encouraged to buy.
This works two-fold with the influencer effect. Many influencers’ fans purchase products they have promoted due to having already built a dimensional relationship with the person and wanting to experience lifestyles similar to their own.
In this collaboration, shoe retailer Sperry benefits from simplistic product placement that is neither pushy nor salesy.
For their target audience who are interested in boat shoes and the outdoors, this post should instantly resonate with them.
By providing a realistic example of its product being used, Sperry builds trust and encourages visitors that these are the right shoes for them.
So, there we have it, 5 instant social proof examples that you can use this holiday season to enhance your eCommerce store and boost your sales.
Administering any one of these, or even all five throughout your website should significantly improve your conversion rate. You may also see a decrease in bounce and page abandonment rates that you may have previously been struggling to curb as your users will be more engaged.
Plus, if you’re a new eCommerce store—using early reviews and initial product sales can help build the initial trust that is missing compared to more established stores.