“If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too?”
Of course, you wouldn’t.
Well, but have you ever done a certain action because other people are doing it?
Most of the time, we subconsciously follow the behaviors of people surrounding us. In these times, we might think that “well, if she’s done it, then she probably knows something I don’t”
If we pay attention to our behavior, we’d realize that most of our purchase decisions are influenced by others’ opinions without our notice, whether it’s Instagram bloggers, celebrities on TV ads, or our friends.
That’s called social proof or social influence.
You can use social proof or social influence to encourage your consumers to purchase your product or use your service without any negative manipulations.
In this post, we’ll cover this question.
Let’s get started.
What is social proof, and why is it important?
Social proof or informational social influence is a psychological phenomenon that refers to people conforming to others’ actions when they can’t decide the right behavior in a given situation. In psychology, social proof is one type of conformity. People are more likely to conform to other people surrounding them, conceiving that others have better knowledge.
Creating Social Proof for your store helps:
- Your visitors to eliminate skepticism and have a wonderful time shopping with you without worry
- Your brand to build credibility and have an authenticity to sell more and convert first-time visitors into buyers
For eCommerce, it might be easier to build credibility around your business than an offline one.
Here, I’m not talking about manipulating people to be your customers by fake promises but displaying your success and customers’ experiences that you already got and helping visitors get over skepticism about your brand.
Types of social proof
Actually, you can create social proof almost out of what your brand already achieved or delivered to customers. It can either be after consumers have experienced your product or service or dynamic numbers of current activities or services such as usage or generated revenue.
Here are the common social proof examples:
- User-generated content: ratings, reviews, and testimonials
- Converted orders & signups
- Expert reviews
- Customer and partner showcase
- Achievements showcase etc.
User-generated reviews, ratings, and testimonials are one of the ways to create social proof. UGC can be about a product or service or a brand as a whole.
Reviews & ratings are a common method of social proof. When consumers want to know others’ experiences about a particular brand, the first thing they do is look for reviews. Either it’s a product or a brand itself, reviews & ratings – other people’s thoughts matter for creating a first impression about the brand.
Reviews fall into two categories: product and brand reviews, meaning consumers can rate and review a single product or service or the experience with a whole brand.
Testimonials let your customers do the talk for you. Testimonials are more detailed stories and can be used for promotional purposes. Customers provide them directly to the brand as a text or video.
You can use testimonials in the landing pages of a website to create credibility, while reviews are generally given to third-party review platforms like Trustpilot, Growave, etc.
Converted orders & signups
Displaying converted orders or signups is a powerful way to build trust and encourage visitors to order from your site.
Displaying conversions such as purchases done by real people indicates that people are actually buying products or using your service. Or showing signup conversions means that people trust in your brand, interact with your site, and they are willing to give their contact info.
In eCommerce, displaying converted signups and orders are called Social Proof notifications. Depending on the app you’re using to create social proof, you can customize the notifications to display customer data such as:
- First name, last name, or full name
- Anonymized customer data like masking names
- Adding locations, countries
- Product images and titles
Website dynamics and success numbers
Numbers or counts play a huge role when it comes to creating credibility. Website dynamics – visitor counts, order numbers, and success numbers – generated revenue or delivered value are other examples of social proof.
For eCommerce sites, for instance, Shopify, website dynamics or activity show how busy your store is. These notifications can show how many people are watching your product or visit your store.
Take the example of HubSpot. They perfectly show success numbers to build trust and showcase its achievements:
Depending on what’s displayed, it’s advised to show the number above 1K. In Hubspot’s example, the number 650 is below 1K, but it’s a great deal for the number of integrations. If this number is accounted for customer number, then it wouldn’t be a good idea to show that.
Expert social proof or expert reviews is when an expert in your industry shares their knowledge about your brand, product, and service. To give feedback about a brand, the experts must not importantly be your customers. They would provide a data-driven analysis or real-life usage of your product or service.
The expert reviews are not always promotional but also educational and informative. As an example, we can think of a famous lab-tester unboxing and using your gadget on a YouTube channel or a fashion icon speaking about your clothing brand on social media.
Customer and partner showcase
Displaying your customer and partner list is used to indicate brand authenticity. The reason is that to partner with a brand requires going through several steps like application, review, and approval processes.
Customers will know that these partner and client brand icons are reliable since this indicates that the displayed brands have agreed to put their icons on your site.
Top Shopify apps to create social proof
There are hundreds of apps on Shopify to create social proof. It may be hard and confusing to decide which app you could install from this wide variety since each one has a distinctive feature.
In this section, I’ve included 4 essential Shopify apps that will help you create a social proof with testimonials, converted orders and review notifications within clicks and convert your first-time visitors into customers.
Growave is the all-in-one marketing platform that helps Shopify brands to reach, engage, and convert their customers with ease.
- Rich functionality and features: the app offers a wide array of features, such as Loyalty and Rewards, Reviews, Q&A, Wishlists, Referral programs, Social Login, Automated Emails, and Instagram galleries.
- Full customization: easily customizable from the app’s dashboard itself or with the help of ever-responsive customer support.
- Easy setup and use: the intuitive setup process helps business owners to move to Growave in a worry-free and seamless manner. In contrast, the though-out UI helps them further navigate the app without any hiccups along the way.
- A wide variety of integrations, including such tools as PushOwl, Klaviyo, Loox, Omnisend and more.
Price: Free plan available + paid options starting from $29.99/month
Free trial: a 14-day free trial on the Starter and Growth plans + a 30-day free trial on the Enterprise option.
Nextsale is one of the best social proof apps you could find on the Shopify App Store.
Integrating with most of the famous service and product review platforms like Trustpilot, Growave, Capterre, Stamped.io, etc., you can create exceptional brand trust and credibility around your brand with Nextsale by displaying reviews and ratings.
- Social Proof notifications: build trust with social proof notifications by displaying sales conversions including their name, purchased product, and locations and review and ratings retrieved from the 3rd party platforms.
- Activity notifications: display website dynamics such as live and recent visitor count, product views, and order count.
- Email & phone number capture widgets: grow e-mail & SMS lists with top bars and popups
- Promo widgets: increase engagement and sales by offering special offers and displaying countdown message with top bars and popups
Price: Free and custom Enterprise plans available. Pricing of the five paid plans starts from $9/month.
Trial: 10 days free trial
Social Testimonial Slider
Social Testimonial Slider is a Shopify app that helps you to create high-converting testimonials sections. This app is a great tool to help you display your testimonials on your landing pages with different designs.
- Customizable templates: fully responsive and customizable templates and designs
- Google Rich Snippet, Google Places, Facebook Page, Yelp Business: import 3rd party reviews or custom reviews to show on testimonials sliders
- Images & video: Input images and videos to testimonials
- Improving SEO: Increase search engine ranking with different testimonials displayed daily!
Pricing and plans: Free plan available. The paid plan is $2.99 per month.
PageFly, is an excellent drag and drop page builder that lets you create, design, and optimize high-quality web pages that help easily and effortlessly convert your Shopify store visitors into customers.
- Ready-to-use templates: use 70+ templates for every niche. PageFly gives premade sections like testimonials, images with text overlays, and more .
- Easy interface: made exclusively only for Shopify merchants, PageFly helps you create any pages so easily: Landing pages, Homepages, and Product pages as well as About, Blog, FAQ pages, etc.
- FOMO Effects: increase sales with countdown timer, compare at price, low-in-stock, Animations.
- Social Proof: include trust badges, testimonials, social proofs, and product reviews to build trust.
Pricing and plans: free plan available. The paid plan starts from $19 to $99 per month.
We saw the power of social proof when it comes to brand credibility and sales. Take advantage of this psychological phenomenon and build brand credibility to increase conversions and gain customers’ trust.
What are the tools you use to create social proof?
Let us know in the comments below!
About the author:
Narmina Balabayli is a Content Manager at Nextsale. She loves writing eCommerce topics and working hard to bring valuable content to merchants. When Narmina is not writing, which is rare, she keeps herself busy with oil painting and crafting.
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What is social proof?
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that refers to people conforming to others’ actions when they can’t decide the right behavior in a given situation. In psychology, social proof is one type of conformity. People are more likely to conform to other people surrounding them, conceiving that others have better knowledge.
What are the examples of social proof?
Data / numbers