Social Proof for eCommerce [TOP GUIDE]


This is your definitive guide to social proof for eCommerce websites. You’ll find valuable information about why social proof is an extremely important element in online sales. After this, you’ll find different methods on how to implement social proof for eCommerce and increase your conversion rate immediately.

Have you ever wondered why people purchase online something they would never think of buying? You’re not alone. The first realization we need to make as a marketer or business owner is that people don’t buy what we are thinking we’re buying. We don’t consume just to consume, but rather for the feeling we get out of buying things.

Think about Apple products.

No one has a real desire to buy own brand new iPhone. We have desire to be part of the community and get our pain points solved as a customer. When we buy a brand new Apple product, we don’t only get social acceptance from the community, but also our deepest needs fullfilled when it comes to the fact what a smartphone really offers.

If people would be completely rational, they would always calculate rational outcomes and compere these to the costs of the product or service.

In this article you won’t find anything new and fancy knowledge of how to maximize your product’ actual rational benefits, but instead we go through how you can optimize the psychological side of marketing.

Purchasing behaviour is mostly driven by emotional feelings.

It really matter that much how good or bad you offering is, as long as you realize the psychological side of things and how it impacts on sales.

Think about McDonald’s. Do they really provide the best hamburgers in the U.S.? I highly doubt. Still, it is the strongest market leader in the U.S. market. Next, think about your product or your competitor’s products. Does the market leader has to have the best product to dominate the markets?

Now you might think that the price of the offerings might be the key driver to success. WRONG! Take Apple as an example. Apple provides “high quality” products and it’s definitely not from the cheapest end of the price pool. There must be something else that really gets people to pull their credit card and purchase goods.

What YOU can do to maximize your eCommerce sales? Solution is:

Social proof for eCommerce

Here are the most effective ways to use social proof as an advantage and increase your online sales.

Transaction popups

Use of transaction popups as social proof has grown significantly during last years. No one really doubt why; It really works. On average, this “trick” alone improves conversion rates 15% on average. Some sites might gain even three-figure improvements just by adding simple elements that raises trust in their customers.

Pros and cons of using Social proof tools

+ Shows users that your site is trustworthy

+ Super easy and relatively cheap to implement

+ Immediate and trackable results

– You might need to test several tools to find what works for you

– Can be pricy if you have a high volume site and your profit margin is low

According to UseProof’s case study, the company itself managed to increase its conversion rate by 53% only by using their “Hot Streaks” feature. This feature allows you to show your users how many visitors have actually purchased (or signed up) during the last 24 hours.

This is one of the strongest and easiest ways to increase your social proof instantly because visitors trust these metrics and it increases the feel of scarcity and the fear of missing out. These results are obviously exceptional, but their testing experiment had over 30 000 sessions and they reached a statistical significance of 97,5%.

Of course, you might not get a +50% increase in your conversion rate, but it’s definitely worth testing what is the actual increase in your case. In case you want to read more about this, check UseProof’s website.
Also, check our definitive guide of the best social proof tools for 2020. The guide has over 12 tools reviewed and you will find all tools that offer free trials to test how huge impact these tools can have. This is something you definitely should use in your online business unless you want to leave money on the table.

On-Site Reviews

As you might have noticed, all of the major online market places and eCommerce sites are using on-site customer reviews (when that’s possible). Think for example Amazon or eBay. These site are huge online empires that have enormous recourses to improve their conversion rates. When you think about these sites, you don’t need to wonder if they have tested customer reviews’ impact on their sales. It is obvious that real customer reviews play massive role in gaining new customers’ trust when they are thinking of buying anything.

How many times you have searched honest reviews when you were about to buy something? According to PowerReviews, over 80% of shoppers have searched for negative customer reviews of the product they were about to purchase. The same study shows that especially younger consumers trust these reviews and this is the reason why you should never overlook this aspect.

Off-Site Reviews

Often online businesses focus purely on getting positive on-site reviews of their products, it’s very important to gain positive reviews on sites like Google Customer reviews, Trustpilot, Facebook reviews, etc. These off-site reviews can also be embedded on your website to gain huge eCommerce social proof and trust. Check Elfsight’s website.

Trust badges and certificates

Using trust badges and certificates is nothing new for many of us. Still, many online businesses overlook this aspect completely. Certificates and badges always build trust. One might think these being a waste of time and useless, but if you think your own purchasing history.

How many times have you felt uncomfortable buying something from a website you really don’t know? Usually, customers need to add their credit cards and personal information in order to buy anything online.

Often companies offer satisfaction guarantees or secured SSL connections, but often they simply just leave this information out of their landing pages and checkout pages. That is nonsense!

Website Crazy Egg says that a substantial amount of trust is needed to be built in order to confirm sales. These badges and certificates give this to the users and it is crucial to show these if you want to maximize your sales. ConversionXL Institute published a report that showed that over 62% of respondents have had security concerns when shopping online. webpage element

Collaborations / Influencers

Brand collaborators (“influencers”) can be a game changer for any business that lacks of social proof. Influential marketing has been an extreme buzzword during last years because it works. By using partnerships and influencers you can gain massive brand awareness, but also trust in your potential clients and customers.

Collaborations with different companies can help you to expand your current customer base and reach broader audience and acquire new customers very effectively. This type of marketing is widely used in B2C businesses, but you can also gain great results in B2B businesses as well.

The typical and simplest example of this is to reach out to influencers in your own niche or industry and offer them something (Products or money) for a return of promoting your brand and products. Even though there has been a lot of discussion about the “bubble” of influencer marketing, there is always room for new opportunities at least in micro-influencer marketing where the prices are not too high. 

There are a lot of studies about celebrity endorsements. A Taiwanese research study shows that people tend to trust products and services that are endorsed by known influencers and celebrities. Our brains are adjusted to recognize celebrities in exactly the same way we recognize people we really know. People tend to perceive these endorsements as if they would be their actual friends or acquaintances. This is the main reason why you see celebrities all around the internet, TV, and magazines promoting products and services.  

Pros and cons of collaborations and influencer marketing

+ Very effective performance-wise

+ Builds brand awareness

+ Increases trust

+ Reach a relevant audience

+Long-term benefits

-Might be expensive

-You might lose control of

-Measuring results is difficult

-Might do more harm than good

In case you’d like to collaborate with another company, you should seek companies that share the same values and vision with you. Here’s a great article on collaboration marketing examples.

How to implement social proof for eCommerce?

We have listed the top social proof tools in our blog, so that’s something you definitely need to check if you want to maximize your sales.

It’s also worth noting that we highly recommend optimizing your whole eCommerce website to get rid of all the bottlenecks you might have. We have compiled a checklist for eCommerce sites to analyze your site’s performance sales-wise.

In case you’re not running an eCommerce site, these articles and knowledge is universal whether your business is an online webshop or any other type of online business. The main principles always remain the same.

Please share your thoughts on social proof and what are your methods.

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