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eCommerce store owners are always looking for new ways to market their brand and increase sales. But with so much online competition in this era, it’s hard to stand out and reach your required goals. The only way to increase sales and conversion rates on your website is by increasing customer engagement and reaching out to your audience.
Gaining your potential customers’ attention is a sure way to get you at the top and that’s why we have prepared this guide on how the Social Proof marketing technique can help you gain the trust of your customers and get you the results you need.
Is it right to call social proof a new marketing trend?
As far as we know, social proof has been around since the concept of marketing began. But the internet and social media platforms have given social proof an entirely new meaning.
Social proof is a strong and effective marketing tool that works on human psychology and benefits from their uncertainty.
When a consumer is uncertain about a brand or a product, they look for customer reviews and recommendations to make a decision. Social proof provides that nudge to your customer by showing real-time activity, testimonials, trust badges, and much more on your website to convert potential customers and increase sales.
Around 80% of the online consumers in the world look for user-generated content or reviews before making a purchase, thus having social proof on your website can be a big advantage if used wisely.
Social proof is an amazing marketing tool, but it’s not without its disadvantages. Let’s see some of the common pros and cons regarding social proof and how we can improve our strategy upon it.
Social Proof PROs
- Provides Authenticity
- Improves Customer Engagement
Social Proof CONs
- Low Social Proof
- Negative Reviews
2.1 Pros of Social Proof
Remember when you ordered something online, and what you got wasn’t what you were shown? Didn’t that break your trust regarding online shopping?
Well, it happens to everybody and thus people are scared of shopping online and wasting their money. That’s why social proof is such a success, it allows you to show authentic customer reviews and content on your website which ultimately leads to organic and trustworthy marketing.
Improves Customer Engagement
Social proof is also a great way to reach out to your customers and meet their expectations. The user-generated content and social proof plugins provide insights regarding best-sellers, customer reviews, and recommendations, which provides businesses with a great opportunity to improve customer experience.
2.2 CONs of Social Proof
Low Social Proof
The major downside of social proof is that the low follower or review count could backfire on your sales. With Social proof, you can also show the number of followers and recommendations you have on your page, a lower count could result in people thinking your product quality is low. Therefore, using social proof at the beginning might not be a suitable option.
Honestly is the best policy, and social proof takes it too seriously. That’s why even negative reviews are on display. Hiding your negative reviews is a bigger no-no.
The only way to deal with negative reviews is by reaching out to the concerned customer, fixing their problem, and getting positive feedback. Thus, negative reviews might be a disadvantage but you can easily turn it for your benefit.
When it comes to social proof advantages, we have barely scratched the surface. Social proof is an immensely creative tool for eCommerce stores. It helps in showcasing genuine reviews and user content on your website, which is a great way to influence your customers in making a decision which they are unsure of. Let’s see some of the other benefits of social proof for eCommerce:
Increases Conversions and Sales
Social proof helps you organically raise your brand’s reputation without asking you to boost yourself. The social proof uses genuine user-generated content and other trust badges to build trust and confidence in your customers. This can help in conversion rates and ultimately increase your sales and revenue.
Social proof operates on the principle of customer uncertainty. It mainly works on converting potential customers rather than retaining loyal customers.
Thus, the many types of social proof help in removing the uncertainties of new visitors to your site and provides them with the similarity and comfort that other people are also purchasing and following this business.
As social proof attracts new customers to your site, it ultimately leads to increased fame and popularity as traffic surges. Social shares and social media integration helps in reaching a wider relevant market without wasting tons of money.
We have shortlisted some of the best WooCommerce Social Proof Plugins to help you set these features on your website and benefit from increased sales.
One of the simplest and oldest forms of social proof is showcasing customer reviews and ratings on your website. It is encouraged that eCommerce stores have a review section for each of their products.
This helps in assuring a new customer about the product quality, customer management, and much more. You can also add star ratings below each product, so customers don’t have to read reviews. And don’t worry, an average of 3-star ratings is still better than no ratings.
Almost 90% of the consumers look for reviews and ratings before buying a product, thus we urge you to use reviews to your advantage.
Testimonials are similar to customer reviews, just a bit longer. You should have testimonials from your customers because they provide the deep insight of a customer from when they first purchase the product and how it helped them, kind of like a customer journey. These genuine reactions can be effectively shown on your homepage and help increase sales and conversion rates.
The reason why reviews and testimonials work wonders is that the visitor feels connected to the buyer, which helps in solidifying their decision regarding the product of interest. Thus you must reach out to your customers after their purchase for a review, this will indirectly help in strengthening your email marketing.
Adding certifications on your website is another form of social proof that increases sales to about 30%. It is recommended that business owners add any awards, trust seals, and certifications they have to increase customer confidence and trust.
There are tons of security seals you can add on your site such as Norton, McAfee, Better Business Bureau, etc. Baymard Institute conducted a study that showed which seals potential customers trust more:
The strategic placement and position of these trust badges are also crucial, thus we recommend placing them on the homepage and checkout page so customers are assured in their purchase.
Celebrity Endorsements or Ambassadors
One of the most effective ways to market your products and gain immediate fame is by celebrity endorsements. Celebrity endorsement on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter has completely changed the outlook of advertising.
You can ask celebrities to do organic sponsored posts, story reviews on Instagram, social media account takeovers and much more to gain the attention of a wider market.
To provide a more authentic feel to your first-time visitors, you can also make your loyal customers ambassadors and ask them to promote your products in return for benefits like discounts, coupons, subscriptions, and much more.
Influencers are all the rage right now, and why won’t they be?
Influencers are mostly found on Instagram where they create a strong profile dedicated to their hobbies and interests. They produce market targeted content that is relevant to their niche and helps them collect a huge number of followers.
Targeting influencers to market your products is the new up and coming trend. Influencer marketing is a powerful conversion tool as it has increased customer engagement, authentic content, and genuine reviews.
People are more likely to buy your product if they see their favourite influencer or celebrity endorsing it. Influencer marketing also helps in increasing your social shares and follower count. Influencers usually work with PR packages, paid content, or benefits. Thus, it a cost-effective marketing technique that is sure to give you the results.
Real-time Onsite Activity
In this type of social proof, you use pop-ups and notifications to show real-time activity on your site. This is a great way to grab visitors’ attention and let them know that many people are buying the same product as them.
You can also show stats like visitors on-site, real-time purchases, best-seller products, hot deals and discounts, newsletter subscriptions and signups, and much more.
Real-time activity notifications not only builds trust but also creates urgency and FOMO (fear of missing out) in your customers, that causes them to purchase the items quickly. There are many plugins available for this feature, some of which we will discuss below.
Adding a Q/A section on your website is a great way to increase customer interaction and let them know that you have excellent customer support available. It is another form of social proof that helps in building trust and confidence. Customers can also find previously answered queries similar to them and save time.
The Q/As section is a great way to show customers you care about their concerns and queries and is also different from other forms of social proof that mainly focus on marketing your product.
Are people more likely to listen to their friends and family or a brand? If the recommendations are genuine and come from customers, it’s more advantageous for your sales and conversions.
Social media is a powerful platform, and you can easily use the customer-generated content to your advantage. Customers are most likely to post a picture with their new shirt or phone cover on their social media accounts and tag you, therefore you can use this content and showcase them on your site to create authentic content. Other user-generated content includes unboxing videos, reviews, photos, etc.
Social proof is all about triggering human psychology and making them follow the masses, as people believe that what most people are using, must be right. Thus, if you have a website that offers subscriptions, you must showcase the subscriber/follower count. Similarly, you can also show the number of followers on your social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. You can also display social media shares and add credibility to your products.
Another way to add social proof on your website is by displaying your best selling products to visitors. You can show these through popups, notifications, top bar, etc. This helps in creating urgency in your customers, enticing them to make a purchase before they miss out on the best products.
There are countless other ways you can add social proof on your websites, such as displaying the number of orders, customer recommendations, expert proof, and much more.
There are many social proof plugins available that can automate these features on your website and increase sales and revenue. So without further ado, let’s get started!
The WPForms plugin is a simple and powerful form builder that allows you to create multiple types of forms from its drag and drop builder. But how is it helpful in social proof? Because with this plugin you can create forms for collecting customer reviews and then display them on your site. You can completely customize the form and add fields, star ratings, review options, and much more.
Let’s see some of the other features of this plugin:
- Premade form templates available.
- Can create different types of forms such as registration, contact, payment, testimonials, etc.
- Mobile-optimized plugin.
- Create forms in minutes with its drag and drop form builder.
- Multiple add-ons are available such as MailChimp, Stripe, PayPal, etc.
Click here to download.
TrustPulse claims to boost your site’s conversion rate up to 15% and it works! This nice tool is among the best social proof plugins available. It works by targeting human psychology and creates urgency in visitors by showing them real-time activity on site. This activity could be related to recent purchases, registrations, sign-ups, and much more.
- Smart Targeting feature enables you to control notification timings and show it to the right people at the right time.
- You can also add “On Fire” notifications of best-selling products.
- You can also customize the notification popup color, text, placement, etc.
- Extremely easy to set up and compatible with multiple platforms.
- Provides statistical analysis regarding conversion rates.
Click here to download.
5.3 Shared Counts
The Shared Counts plugin enables you to add social media share buttons on your website’s content. This is a great way to let your audience know how popular your site is and encourage them to do the same.
It is an effective marketing technique and works wonders. It consists of all popular social media buttons such as Facebook, Twitter, Yummly, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and email sharing.
- Adds social share buttons.
- Displays total share count.
- Developer-friendly plugin.
- Multiple button styling options available which you can choose from.
- Does not interfere with the performance of the site.
- GDPR compliant.
- Retrieves social counts easily in case of any upgrade.
Click here to download.
5.4 Thrive Ovation
Thrive Ovation is an amazing testimonial plugin that simplifies the procedure of collecting testimonials and displaying them on-site. You can use this plugin’s powerful features to capture testimonials from reviews, comments on social media, etc, and convert them into attractive displays of praise to increase conversion rate. It’s a set-and-forget testimonial plugin and is ready to do all the hard work for you. Let’s see how it works:
- Tag WordPress and social media comments as testimonials and the plugin will collect all information such as picture and name, and display it on-site.
- It also creates a testimonial collecting form that is automatically presented to a customer after a purchase.
- The Testimonial Library manages all testimonials in one place and also allows advanced filtering options.
- Use the Thrive Content Builder to display testimonials and customize the display however you want.
Click here to download.
The SocialProve plugin lets your audience know what’s happening on your site by showcasing them real-time activity notifications in the form of tiny popups. The SocialProve plugin is extremely easy to install and setup. You can also choose which type of notifications to display. This plugin creates a FOMO effect on your customers and entices them to make a purchase.
- Increases conversion rate to 15%.
- Consists of 4 notification types: Live count, live activity, visitor combo, and activity combo.
- All notifications create urgency in your customers and increase sales.
- Build customer trust and display honest marketing.
- Consists of 3 different pricing plans, starting from $29/mo.
Click here to download.
Yotpo is a complete marketing plugin that showcases user-generated content to increase growth and sales. It’s collecting customer ratings and reviews, visual content, creates loyalty programs, and much more to improve customer experience.
- Display ratings, reviews, UGC, videos, photos, etc. on your website.
- Increase sales and traffic through integration with Facebook, Google, and Instagram.
- Improves customer experience by combining customer-generated content and reviews on-site.
- Also builds referral programs, SMS marketing, and customer loyalty programs.
Click here to download.
Social proof is a great way to build customer trust and confidence. With social proof, you can indirectly market your products through customer reviews and recommendations, and thus bring authenticity to your branding.
Social proof is a powerful tool and helps you increase sales, conversion rates, and generate more revenue. Therefore, it is recommended to give these eCommerce social proof plugins a try and see real-time results in no time.
Further reading on social proof for e-commerce: