Your product is amazing, your website is stunning, your traffic is great and still for some reason sales conversions aren’t happening. Are you facing this problem? Maybe your site does not have enough social proof to turn a tentative shopper into a confident customer.
Here’s how Wikipedia introduces social proof-
“Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others reflect correct behavior for a given situation. This effect is prominent in ambiguous social situations where people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior, and is driven by the assumption that surrounding people possess more knowledge about the situation.”
Social proof in e-commerce
These social influencers can be a very powerful motivator for your site visitors and new followers. Today, an individual’s purchasing decision is influenced by a number of factors – with social proof being one of the key influences. That product reviews boost sales and ease customer indecision is not a secret. But to make full use of the power of product reviews, retailers need to understand the nuances of the social proof phenomenon. It’s not about just having product reviews on your site. The similarity (identifying and connecting with the profile of the reviewer) and scalability (having more people providing similar opinions for the product) of these reviews actually matter more when it comes to converting shoppers into customers.
Social proof is better than traditional product review
Traditional ways of generating product reviews do not facilitate the leveraging of these aspects of reviews. Social proof comes to the rescue here. Social reviews come with a real social profile of the reviewer – complete with actual profile photo, name, location, friends and other rich data. This adds the similarity benefit mentioned above. Aggregating these social reviews in one place and posting them on an e-commerce site creates a valid impression of numerous real customers endorsing the product/brand. It also provides the benefit of scalability, further empowering them for boosting sales conversion. Besides, such an aggregated view also allows social discovery of products. Shoppers can now discover products loved by real people with whom they can identify through their social profiles. It’s a definite YES for enhancing your social ROI.
How to implement social proof on your e-commerce site?
So how can retailers leverage the benefits of social proof on their site? In this post, we present two simple methods of achieving this along with real life case studies of retailers enjoying the social commerce success through social proof.
1. Encourage social sharing of purchases to gain SIMILARITY benefit of social proof
Customer delight is at its peak in the purchase cycle when the order is successfully placed. Marketers can capitalize on this delight and encourage users to share their purchases on social networks along with a quick comment. This sharing of purchases through the social channel also allows retailers to capture the social profile of the reviewers. ShopSocially’s Share-a-Purchase app achieves this seamlessly in the customer’s purchase flow. These social reviews go viral and attract high-quality “friend” traffic back to store which converts at high rate.
ShopSocially’s partner BrightTag makes it easier for retailers to enable this feature on their e-commerce stores in a matter of few clicks. Its real-time cloud-based technology allows retailers to embed Share-a-Purchase app and gain the similarity benefit of social proof.
Case Study: Carol’s Daughter
Popular beauty products retailer Carol’s Daughter encouraged its customers to share their purchases socially. This created thousands of word-of-mouth brand endorsements from users with their real social profiles that were displayed on website as social proof. This increased the credibility of reviews and resulted in a high sales conversion rate of 21.16% observed for referral traffic from these social shared purchases.
“ShopSocially has provided the tools for our customers to spread their love of our products to their social circle helping us acquire new customers, and eventually driving incremental revenue” – Jessica Klein, Director of E-commerce at Carol’s Daughter.
Share-a-Purchase app converts shoppers into word-of-mouth brand ambassadors.
2. Showcase aggregated social proof to gain SCALABILITY benefit of social proof
Social proof generated out of purchase-sharing can be aggregated and showcased in a visually appealing manner on e-commerce websites or on specific product pages. This leads to the scalability benefit of social proof in which shoppers see numerous customers similar to her endorsing the product. ShopSocially’s Product stories app facilitates showcasing social testimonials on retailer’s product pages as ‘social proof’. This adds social buzz to e-commerce leading to increased conversions.
Case Study:Plum District
Plum District is a popular mom-focused, daily offers and e-commerce site, ranked consistently by Forbes among the top 100 sites for women. Plum District aggregated the social reviews and showcased them on its website as social proof. These numerous social proof from real users – performing same action of endorsing the product/brand – added scalability benefit and influenced shoppers into purchase. This increased user-engagement on site and led to an impressive sales conversion rate of 36% for users interacting with these reviews.
“Social testimonials created out of social sharing of purchases are resulting in uplift in sales conversion and an improvement in SEO rank.”Jennifer Nuckles – CMO, Plum District
Product Stories generate shopper testimonials at 10x the rate of traditional product reviews!
In the age of the social web, social proof is the new marketing. If you have a great product waiting to be discovered, build social reviews around it by encouraging social sharing of purchases on your e-commerce site and add social buzz around it through showcasing these social proof on product page itself. It’s a sure recipe for social ROI.
What other tips do you have on social proof? Let us know your comments!