With the pandemic still in full swing across the globe, even the companies that haven’t sold online before are rapidly moving into the online realm to make the most of the e-commerce boom. As for the existing e-commerce businesses, each and every brand is always on the lookout for new methods to boost customer retention rates, increase acquisition, and of course, ensure the financial stability of the company despite these trying times. This is where the notion of social proof steps in to help e-commerce companies shine.
This psychological and marketing strategy has its merits because it allows companies to leverage their reputation and existing interest from other customers to inspire new customers to buy and to entice repeat business, too. However, you should make sure that your social proof can truly live up to your customers’ expectations, so here are a few trusted methods you can use to build social proof and thus grow your e-commerce business.
Publish reviews and testimonials
Just like we go to our friends and family for advice when we want to purchase a laptop or invest in a brand-new TV, online shoppers rely on their online community to make smarter buying decisions. That is the primary role of reviews: providing an unbiased, sponsorship-free opinion of people who have already invested in your brand. If they praise your products, chances are that people will instantly trust you more.
The bottom line is, a business without reviews is no business at all. You need the approval of your target audience to expect anyone to buy from you online. Their experience will serve as the basis for the trust of new customers, which is why you should use every chance you get to publish reviews and ask customers to leave their impressions on your social media pages and third-party sites such as Google.
Leverage tech to show customer interest
Once you have a visitor on your site, you have a perfect opportunity to inspire them to make a purchase. This is where all of your hard work on crafting perfect CTAs, adding product images, and spotless product descriptions will make all the difference. However, to inspire even more trust, you can use a conversion rate optimization tool that will provide social proof in the form of brief notifications when someone on your site makes a purchase.
These non-intrusive notifications showcase real-time interest in your products, and they immediately let your customers know that someone else is perusing your store. What’s more, if you only have a specific number of items left in stock, which they can clearly see on your website, that will give them an additional “nudge” in the right direction to purchase sooner rather than later.
Build influencer relationships
Out of so many effective ways to establish your industry dominance, one of the most effective digital marketing strategies involves collaborating with social media influencers. Instead of touting your own horn, so to speak, you can find influential individuals all over social media to represent your brand, show your product to the world, share their reviews, and regularly post branded content to promote your business. Of course, you need to find people that resonate with your brand values, so you can establish a long-term relationship with them.
That is the only way your target demographic will find your bond and their content to be worthwhile and trustworthy. They will grant you more brand exposure, and their voice will elevate your standing in your community over time. This is a long-term approach to building social proof, but one that is effective and has the right potential to help your e-commerce brand soar.
Showcase your security seals
Finally, social proof extends beyond previous customers and influencers on social media showcasing your product as superb and worthy of their time. The very shopping experience also needs to exude security, which is why your website needs security seals front and center, and strategically placed on your product pages and throughout your checkout process. Since security is the key issue for people who make online purchases, providing them such peace of mind is vital for their decision-making.
Trust seals on your site indicate that your industry and the most-frequently used financial institutions trust you with their business. If you accept different payment methods and you employ specific security measures, this is the time to provide such a promise to your customers with these simple and easy-to-spot badges.
Social proof might not be the be-all and end-all of selling online, but it’s certainly a technique that lets e-commerce brands establish themselves as relevant and trustworthy. No matter if you sell a limited range of specialized products or you have a large-scale online store selling everything from tech gadgets to clothes, you need to rely on your reputation to grow your business. Now that competition is soaring, use social proof to make your presence more valuable and to ensure customer recognition across the board.