“I’ll have what she’s having.”
How often do you make a purchase online without reading the reviews? Probably not often: Seven out of 10 consumers seek out opinions before making purchases, according to a BrightLocal survey.
Most shoppers look beyond product descriptions to make buying decisions. They look to peers to answer the questions, “Is this a brand I trust?” or, “Is this product right for me?”
The process of relying on the feedback of others to determine what to do—or not to do—in a given situation is known as social proof.
Social proof is a powerful way for ecommerce companies to build trust, put shoppers at ease, and drive sales. Here are a few common types of social proof you should use to boost your ecommerce business:
- Customer success stories or testimonials
Showcasing positive customer experiences is a great way to earn the trust of potential new customers. To connect with your target audience, focus on testimonials that address key consumer insights or objections to sales. Consider mixing up your content delivery by creating video reviews and posting them to YouTube or Vimeo.
- Ratings and reviews
A Bazaarvoice study shows adding just a single positive review to a product page can increase conversions by 10 percent. Good reviews are great for sales, but not all negative reviews are bad. In fact, a mix of both positive and negative reviews can make your content more trustworthy. Amazon shows the top positive and critical review all in one glance, allowing shoppers to make informed decisions.
- User-generated content
ModCloth does a fantastic job of using user-generated content as social proof. Product pages include a heart button and social icons for easy sharing, and many reviews contain real images of customers wearing the clothes sold on the site.
Why does this work? Models are meant to look great. Showcasing “real people” helps shoppers visualize what a product will look like in real life.
The benefits of social proof go beyond increased conversions and improved customer experience. It also helps SEO by attracting fresh, unique content for search engines and increasing click through rates in search results. If you don’t already use these forms of social proof to boost your ecommerce site, what are you waiting for?