Imagine this scenario: You find yourself browsing two distinct online stores offering the same product at the same price. Both stores provide you with captivating, high-quality images and alluring descriptions. However, here's the twist: one store stands without a single review, while the other proudly boasts a collection of ten glowing reviews. Faced with this choice, which store would you lean towards?
As a customer, it’s no doubt that you will choose the store with more reviews. And this is how 63% of consumers come to their buying decision. Social proof extraordinarily matters in the era of eCommerce.
Let's explore the nuts and bolts, best practices, and real-life examples of social proof to learn how to apply social proof for your Shopify stores to build trust and skyrocket your sales.
Tremendous benefits of social proof
Social proof is a familiar term with marketers and business owners, but what is social proof exactly? It is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation. If used wisely, this phenomenon can bring numerous significant benefits to eCommerce businesses.
Increase customer engagement
Have you ever spent minutes reading many reviews on a product before deciding to purchase it? You must have done this, and the same for 93% of buyers.
Incorporating social proof into your website can bring engagement to a higher level. By showcasing positive reviews, testimonials, and user-generated content, potential customers are more likely to feel compelled to interact with your content. The genuine experiences of satisfied customers create a sense of relatability, fostering a deeper connection between your brand and your audience.
And it’s proven that engaged customers are likely to visit retailers' websites frequently for reasons beyond immediate purchase needs and are likely to be more emotionally invested in the retailer.
Build your credibility
In the digital realm, establishing credibility is a pivotal factor in gaining the trust of potential customers. Social proof acts as a powerful tool to demonstrate that your products or services are not only reputable but also worth consideration.
When individuals see that others have had positive experiences with your offerings, it fosters a sense of trust in your brand's authenticity and expertise. It’s also stated by 93.7% of digital shoppers that positive customer reviews increase their trust in a brand. Thus, by using social proof, you can significantly gain customer trust.
Influence purchasing decisions
The influence of social proof on purchasing behavior cannot be overstated. As human beings, we tend to look to others for guidance when making decisions, particularly when it comes to spending our hard-earned money. Social proof, in the form of customer reviews and ratings, can significantly sway potential buyers toward purchasing.
93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions.
Moreover, the purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews is 270% greater than that of a product without reviews.
Boost sales and AOV
Social proof can build trust and confidence in potential buyers and influence their decision by tapping into innate human desire. As a result, it can also boost sales for eCommerce businesses. The research also points out that social proof can increase the conversion rate by 190%.
Moreover, social proof in e-commerce also plays a vital role in increasing average order value, significantly impacting purchases for higher-priced items than cheaper ones. When applying social proof, specifically customer reviews for a higher-priced product, the conversion rate increased by 380%.
5 best practices of social proof for Shopify stores & real-world examples
With all these great benefits, social proof must be included wisely in your Shopify store. Let’s find out some best practices for using social proof and convincing social proof examples to follow and apply for your store.
1. Always display proof from customers
Customer social proof is the most common type of social proof and also the most potent type. As 92% of consumers now read at least one online company review before making a purchasing decision, user social proof is a must-have for your online store.
Social proof from customers can appear on websites through product reviews, testimonials, or case studies.
A well-known example of this social proof type is the review section of Amazon. They break down customer reviews into 2 sections: positive and critical reviews, so visitors can quickly and easily determine if your product is a good fit and is sufficient in quality. In return, they optimize the listing conversion and even ad conversion.
Another example of social proof is the testimonials on the SKIMS homepage. By featuring testimonials and customer feedback images, SKIMS can compel visitors and build trust to make these visitors convert to their store.
2. Include certification & expert approval
Certification & expert approval is when an industry expert or an authorized organization in your brand’s niche – recommends and recognizes your product. This type of social proof can enhance customer trust and boost sales by 37%.
Certification & expert approval could appear on your website as a blog post, a social post from experts, or an award badge or trust badge.
You can refer to how Fitbit - a well-known fitness company, takes advantage of this type of social proof as a good example. The first social proof on their website is the notification and badge of Google Health to inform that Google Health, a leading organization in the Health & Fitness industry, recognized it.
Besides, they also created a page called Fitbit in the News to include all the articles and press talking about their products and their approval from highly credible sources in their field.
By displaying expert social proof wisely in many ways, Fitbit significantly builds credibility with visitors and customers. This could be why they can become the best fitness trackers in their industry.
3. Show off influencer proof
Social proof from influencers typically takes the form of a celebrity using and promoting a product on social media or in public. Influencer marketing, by far, is the fastest-growing online customer acquisition channel, and 50% of people say they are more likely to buy a product if they see it being used by an influencer. Thus, this social proof is undoubtedly indispensable for your Shopify store.
This type of social proof on Shopify stores is often included by showing social posts of celebrities, featuring videos or images of celebrities with your products, or testimonials from influencers.
A successful example of this social proof is Glossier. They collaborated with influencers and showcased the images and videos of these influencers using their products, creating buzz and excitement among their followers.
Through the smart use of influencer marketing and social proof, Glossier significantly increased brand awareness and became a cult-favorite brand known for its minimalist aesthetic and skin care products.
4. Influence customers by “Wisdom of the crowd”
Crowd social proof appeals to the nature of human beings as when lots of people are using or buying a product, people often assume if everyone else is doing it, it’s right. They will want to reflect this correct behavior.
This type of social proof on your Shopify store can be the statistics of customers using this product or product recommendations for trending products. This social proof is an easy way to grab people’s attention and boost conversion rates.
A famous example of this social proof is Netflix’s “Trending Now” section. By recommending movies and shows based on popularity, they can compel users to see a movie if they have yet to decide which to see or have finished a movie.
Another example is Buffer, with a section on the homepage showing the number of users, social followers, and monthly blog readers. These enormous numbers make customers trust the efficiency of Buffer and be willing to use it.
5. Gain more customers by “Wisdom of Friends”
This type of social proof refers to the trust for friends and family. As 93% of customers stated that family and friends are the most trusted sources of brand information, people will be more easily convinced by recommendations from their acquaintances.
This type of social proof can be the social sharing link on your website or a referral program. These links encourage customers who love your brand to share you with friends and family.
Stitch Fix has made wise use of this social proof. By offering a $25 credit for customers when the friends they invited with referral links have the first order shipped, Stitch Fix spreads its brand awareness and gains orders from new customers invited and repeat customers who receive the promo.
Social proof matters not only in the era of e-commerce but also in the realm of Shopify, as it can increase customer engagement, build credibility, and boost sales for your brand. This article, with best practices and examples of social proof, will help you learn to maximize the effectiveness of social proof for Shopify stores.
However, applying social proof is challenging, and you will need some helpful assistants for this task. If you don’t know how to find these assistants, you can refer to our list of powerful social proof apps and tools with detailed reviews.
If you don’t want to look any further, here we have the best tools for you - our Minimog theme. This theme enables you to show off almost all types of social proof on your store and influence your customers’ buying decisions with these Shopify social proof sections.