5 Data-Backed Reasons Why Your Website Needs Social Proof
Within eCommerce, retailers risk putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage if they don’t optimize their websites to incorporate one crucial marketing tactic: Social Proof.
Top eCommerce brands have long known about this concept and have been using it to significant effect. The likes of BestBuy, Home Depot, & the giant that is Amazon all use social proof to drive transactions and improve their conversion rates.
Social proof is defined by a social psychology concept called the bandwagon effect. Simply put, the bandwagon effect means that people are more likely to engage in an action or behavior if they see other people performing the activity or behavior first.
Incorporating social proof in reviews and user statistics throughout websites plays to this concept and can help visitors generate feelings of trust and authority.
Generating these feelings can ultimately persuade visitors to take action on the website, such as a purchasing decision or subscribership, which makes for successful eCommerce stores and drives conversions.
Below, we’ve compiled the top 5 reasons your website needs social proof, and we’ll let the statistics speak for themselves!
1. To Build Trust
Building trust is the first step in converting a new visitor into a paying customer. When new visitors land on your site, they are looking for reassurance that your brand is reputable and that your products are genuine – give it to them!
The easiest way to generate trust is in the form of reviews from satisfied customers. Studies have shown that 92% of consumers are most likely to trust non-paid recommendations over any other form of advertising. In addition to this, up to 70% of users will automatically trust reviews from people they don’t even know.
This means if you have hordes of happy customers, adding a review section to your website can encourage new customers to make a purchase decision based on the recommendation and satisfaction of others.
2. To Influence Buying Decisions
As well as reviews, another impactful piece of social proof you can present is in the form of ratings. When you are a new business, it can be hard to acquire in-depth reviews, but signing up for external rating sites such as TrustPilot can increase your conversion rate.
In the above example, we displayed a notification showing a message of reassurance to users that had been on a product page for 15 seconds without adding a product to their cart in the hope of increasing transactions. This led to an increase of more than 50% in revenue for Healthy Chef. So, you can take our word for it. Social proof works.
Surveys have also revealed that 57% of consumers will only purchase from a business if it has a 4-star rating. On average, as little as a one-star increase across review sites such as Yelp and TrustPilot usually leads to a 5 to 9% increase in overall revenue.
If you are not able to collate a lot of reviews, but you could implement a rating scheme within a close of purchase or thank you for an email, do so. Something as simple as a star rating can assure new customers that their decision to buy from you is the correct one. Even displaying the trust badge logos carries an impact on sales.
3. To Boost Sales
Often, consumers judge products on their value proposition. The value could present as the benefit a consumer would receive from using it, or how much easier their day-to-day life would become by owning it.
If you’re unsure of something’s value proposition or critical USPs, reviews from customers who have previously purchased the product – whether competitors or your own – will indirectly reveal this information, and these reviews are the first place potential buyers will check.
Once this information is attained, the product can be tactically marketed using FOMO, or the fear of missing out. Research suggests that using FOMO can boost your conversions from 40% to up to around 200%.
This is mostly down to evidence that shows 32% of consumers’ next steps after encountering excellent or favorable reviews of a product is to visit the brand’s website then and view the item.
If good reviews or reports mainly center on one aspect of your product and are beginning to create a buzz around your product, highlight these across your website and into your marketing. The bandwagon effect will take effect and almost instantaneously convert first-time visitors into first-time buyers.
4. To Build Reputation
How many times do you hear people ask whether a product or service has good reviews upon first hearing about it? How many times are people assured once hearing that yes, the product or service is worth its money?
This positive feedback builds a brand’s reputation, and it can occur through natural word of mouth marketing and testimonials and online reviews.
A study of consumer habits found that 82% of customers specifically look for negative customer reviews. A further 94% of online shoppers had stated that a negative review did convince them to avoid using a business.
With a large percentage of the customer base on high alert for any negativity, establishing a strong brand reputation is crucial to combat this. Social proof in the form of well-placed testimonials, such as on the landing page of any website, can instantly assure new visitors that your brand is reputable.
Finding further good reviews across product pages will only support this notion, and if you can nurture brand ambassadors, word of mouth marketing will do the work for you. With 63% of consumers reporting they need to hear company claims 3 to 5 times before they believe it, your reputation can speak before you do.
5. To Establish Authority
If you are in a saturated market, one key marketing tactic is to establish yourself as an authoritative figure. While blogging is one way to do this, another is using influencer marketing.
Like the bandwagon effect, people are prone to following their idols and attempting to replicate their lifestyles by purchasing or using the same products. So-called “celebrity endorsement,” whether using celebrities or popular influencers, has influenced the purchasing decisions of over 40% of consumers once they have seen it used by an influencer or celebrity on social media.
A separate study found that 49% of consumers solely rely on recommendations from influencers on Twitter and Instagram.
If you can establish a good relationship with an influencer or even a micro-influencer, these referrals can automatically boost you as an authoritative figure in your niche and provide priceless social proof.
After all, if someone as popular as the influencer is using your product – it must be the best.
Social proof is an increasingly valuable marketing tool and certainly not one to be missed out on.
Whether you have access to a single type of proof such as reviews, or whether you can create content around testimonials, the quicker positive feedback is implemented, the quicker your website will benefit from increased conversions.
So, go forth and jump on the social proof bandwagon!