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Social Proof preparation for BIG Quarter!

With online marketing becoming further populated day by day, consumers are inundated with a variety of e-commerce stores to choose from.

The competition is rife, making it increasingly more important for websites to remain attractive to each consumer.

With the cost of living rising and a possible recession on the horizon, it is unsurprising that recent surveys show shoppers waiting for discounts rather than impulsively buying – a third of U.S. customers waited for Prime Day & 51% of U.K shoppers see Black Friday as a vital chance to purchase’ (Kaur, 2022).

With Black Friday quickly approaching, now is the time to be implementing key conversion rate tactics into your website to ensure you succeed during the buying frenzy!

A variety of design mechanisms employing social influence have been shown to improve user conversion rates significantly, specifically: social proof (Roethke, et al 2020).

 

What is Social Proof?

Did you know that all earphone cords used to be black?

The casual observer would never know who was using what brand of earphones until Apple released the iPod. Apple decided to give customers free white earphones with every device purchase, meaning every owner would be listening with bright earphones creating the illusion that the majority of people have an iPod (Weller, 2016).

This increased the trustworthiness of the brand and, in turn, increased popularity and brand awareness.  

Now take a look at your eCommerce landing page – do your customers land on your website seeing proof that you are a trustworthy organisation?

If the answer is no, then keep reading to find three super easy social proof tactics to implement that are guaranteed to improve your conversion rate ahead of the big Q4 sales!

 

State Your Popularity!

The simplest way to implement social proof within your eCommerce business is through stating your popularity in a relevant way to your audience i.e: reviews.

When reading online reviews, consumers learn about the product and your brand from another user’s perspective (Bickart and Schindler, 2001) and since reviews originate from other buyers, people trust reviews more than the sellers’ statements (Floyd et al., 2014).

Recent reports show that 60% of online shoppers read consumer reviews and 93% reported that their purchase decisions are directly affected by the reviews (Zhang et al., 2014).

There are also double points here if you have reviews linked through a third-party trusted organisation such as Trustpilot, Tripadvisor, or Yelp. 

Having reviews on your homepage creates a great first impression for any customer who lands on your website.

 

Social Media – Not Just For The Youngsters!

Social media is another simple way to implement social proof into your landing page.

83% of consumers state that they are likely to recommend a brand that they follow on social media (West, 2021), this can be linked to social media providing a strong sense of brand, legitimacy and credibility.

Ensure you have socials linked to the homepage of your website to help the consumer smoothly transition onto your socials, post relevant content regularly to your followers which includes interesting content and links back to the website.

Influencer marketing is a common example of social proofing – not only will endorsements help expose your brand to a wider audience but if people perceive a product as being recommended by someone they know and like, it builds trust and a sense of quality. 

All these practices have been shown to improve perceptions of brands which is incredibly important when you will be compared to many other businesses ahead of the demand increase ahead.

 

A Final Seal Of Approval

The final tactic to look through is certification social proofing – having an authoritative figure assign a mark of approval (Yieldify, 2020).

Ensuring you have the correct trust badges on your site is one of the easiest ways to increase social proof within your eCommerce store.

Trust badges let website visitors know your site is legitimate and that data shared will be collected through secure third-party service providers as the third-party company has agreed to place their badge on your website.

The main badges to focus on displaying would be Guaranteed Safe & Secure Checkouts, Shipping courier badges or free shipping badges and all acceptable payment gateway badges – like in the example below. 

No one wants to order a present during the Black Friday rush only to have it arrive late – users will be checking the shipping policies, return policies and delivery times, so make sure you have the key badges clear on the homepage or main landing page of your website as this will help instil overall confidence and trust in your brand.

 

In Conclusion: Don’t Miss Out on Possible Q4 Conversions!

The above ideas are just a few of the ways you can better social proof your website. Make sure you implement these before heading into the busiest quarter for eCommerce stores so you don’t miss out on any possible sales! 

For more information on how to prepare for the marketing madness of Black Friday Get In Touch.

References:

Social influence tactics in e-commerce onboarding: The role of social proof and reciprocity in affecting user registrations (Roethke et al 2020)

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Cialdini, 2018)

Business Insider: Apple Made A Simple Design Choice In 2001 That Sent It Into The Stratosphere (Weller, 2016) 

Internet forums as influential sources of consumer information (Schindler, et al, 2001)

How online product reviews affect retail sales: a meta-analysis (Floyd et al, 2014) 

Examining the moderating effect of inconsistent reviews and their gender differences on consumers’ online shopping decisions (Zhang et al., 2014)

Gender differences in consumers’ perception of online consumer reviews (Bae & Lee 2011)

Psychology Today: The 6 Principles of Persuasion – Tips from the leading expert on social influence (T.Kendrick, 2012) 

Sprout Social: 41 of the most important social media marketing statistics for 2022 (Barnhart, 2022)

Sprout Social: Social proof: How to use psychology in digital marketing (West, 2021)

Social Proof: What, Why & How Yieldify (2020)

How To Prepare For The Golden Quarter During The Cost-Of-Living Crisis (Pawandeep Kaur, 2022)

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