Marketing tricks for more sales: Social Proof

Marketing tricks for more sales: Social Proof

The competitive pressure in e-commerce is constantly growing. Therefore, it is particularly important to develop a solid marketing strategy.
Among other things, this includes considering the four P’s of marketing – product, place, price and promotion. If you want to move away from the basics and towards more creativity when developing your strategy, our new blog series is for you. We’ll show you how to incorporate the human psyche into your tactics and add sophistication to your marketing approach in no time. 

Have you ever wondered why social proof elements are so popular in e-commerce? In the first part of our blog series, you’ll discover how they work and explore the possibilities for your webshop.

What is Social Proof?

Briefly explained a social proof element is something that is meant to convince that an item or service has already worked for numerous other customers – in other words, it has proven itself socially. It’s meant to eliminate any potential concerns and encourage people to buy. Have you too ever had an indication of how many users are also currently looking at the same item or have purchased it within a certain period of time? Or maybe even that there are not many items left? Social proof can now be found in almost every online store and is considered by many customers to be useful for their decision-making process.

Social Proof from a psychological point of view 

Do you find it strange that displaying the number of people who are also interested can influence a customer’s decision? One study found that 35 percent of customers rely on the opinions of other users when making a purchase decision. This has a simple psychological basis: social proof. People are socially impressionable and the opinions of others play a decisive role in their choices. Especially when shopping online, users often research products in advance esearch products in advance on rating platforms or through customer reviews. If they are convinced that numerous other customers have already chosen the product or service, they are very likely to follow suit.

Additionally, another psychological aspect also plays a role in social proof: loss aversion. According to psychology, people tend to place higher value on avoiding losses than on gaining equivalent rewards. When customers are uncertain about a situation, this can lead to irrational behavior. If they perceive that they might miss out on an opportunity – for instance, when there are limited copies remaining – this can influence their purchase decision, making them more willing to invest in the offer.

Social Proof for your online shop 

Now that you understand why social proof is highly effective in e-commerce, are you still unsure about how to implement this marketing technique in your webshop? No worries, here are three options:

1. Product reviews 

The most commonly used social proof element is the product review, which can be found in almost every online store. This is not surprising, as it can assist customers in making the right purchase decisions and provide orientation. However, users often encounter the challenge of differentiating genuine customer reviews from fake ones. Online stores can reduce this uncertainty by implementing safety precautions, such as allowing only customers who have actually purchased the product to post reviews.

Typically, these reviews are integrated directly below the product on the product detail page. However, every store can test where exactly they are best placed, as user perception varies from store to store. The presentation may also vary. Stars are often awarded, but some users also provide written feedback about their assessments.

It’s important to note that your sole objective should not be the optimization of the conversion rate. Product reviews should also serve the purpose of building trust, helping in making a decision, and preventing bounce rates. Therefore, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusively positive – constructive criticism can also be valuable.

2. Group Motivation 

Another variant is the Group Motivation. This way you can show your customers how often the product has been recently purchased or how many users are currently viewing it. You can also intensify the urgency to make a purchase by incorporating a “Only a few items left” prompt. Your customers will perceive a sense of urgency and will be more inclined and motivated to complete their purchase right away. Group Motivations can be placed as an overlay directly next to the product photo or as an in-page element below the product information.

3. Influencer Marketing 

Influencer marketing is more popular than ever, with an increasing number of companies relying on collaborations with content creators. It’s no surprise, as  the younger generation, in particular, relies on the opinions of their favorite influencers. However, success fails to materialize if the products from the influencer campaigns cannot be found easily on the website. There are various methods to achieve this. For instance, you can display testimonials from content creators about the respective products on your website, or you can have them create an entire landing page featuring their favorite products. To delve deeper into this topics, our blog post on influencer marketing is a valuable resource.

More conversions and satisfied customers

Social proof elements can have a big impact on your customers’ buying decisions. Our customer Ecco wanted to see this for themselves and tested it together with us. You can find the result in our case study.

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