Other people’s opinions play a significant role when it comes to the decisions we make every day. It’s the same in the e-commerce world, where so-called social proof frequently constitutes a strong argument when deciding on where to place an order. Today, we will think about the ways to take care of social proof in your online store to build a positive image of your brand.
One of the most recognizable digital marketing experts, Seth Godin, had once emphasized the role of other people’s opinions when he said that “People don’t believe what you tell them. They rarely believe what you show them. They often believe what their friends tell them. They always believe what they tell themselves.”
It’s true also in the e-commerce world. We willingly follow others’ opinions and reviews. Nine out of ten customers read reviews before placing an order, TrustPilot says. And according to BrightLocal, 79% of shoppers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This means that in order to attract more and more customers, you have to make sure your store has positive reviews and lots of them. How can you achieve that?
Social proof in e-commerce: Where?
The very first question you should ask is, where should you gather customer reviews? There are at least three options:
- In your store: It’s the most straightforward way. Just create or install a plugin that will enable gathering reviews after purchase. Online stores frequently send an email once the transaction is finished with a request to place a review, e.g., through the customer account.
- On external websites: Here, we mean especially Amazon, Facebook, and Yelp. Sometimes price comparison platforms also provide users with reviews, so don’t forget about them.
- In Google: As BizRate insights reports, 59% of customers use Google to read online reviews (Amazon holds the next place with 57% of answers). Google is frequently the very first place when your potential customers find out about your store. Make sure this first impression is positive!
Also, remember that online reviews are twofold. The first type is related strictly to your e-commerce business. These reviews mention your shipping time and the way you dealt with a complaint. But there’s also a second type, and it refers to products you offer in your store. Make sure you make the most of both these forms of online reviews. However, to make that happen, you have to give the floor to your customers:
User-generated content in e-commerce
Online reviews constitute a vital element of user-generated content (UGC), but not the only one. UGC consists of i.a., videos, podcasts, and social media comments. Currently, tests and unboxing videos are particularly popular. We also need to mention tutorials and DIY videos. It’s all a large part of social proof in your business, too!
If you create a space in your store and on your social media profiles to share this type of content, customers will be more eager to engage in communication with you. You will also gain their trust more easily. How can you do that?
HOW TO ENCOURAGE CUSTOMERS TO SHARE THEIR OPINIONS
Well, the most straightforward way is to ask. Don’t expect that a happy customer will send a review on their own. Only a small fraction of them will do. Others won’t feel the need or desire or simply will forget about that. That’s why you should remind yourself. How? Stores most often use emails, thank-you pages, but also invoices, and even text messages to ask for a review. Ask your customer kindly to place a review and explain why it’s so important (you can mention that this way, others will also have the opportunity to take advantage of the offer your customer has found attractive in the first place).
You can also think about additional incentives. For example, you can offer a small discount or free shipping for the next order in exchange for a review.
The last thing we have to mention is the good visibility of these reviews. You can showcase them on the main page, social media profiles, and even product cards. In fact, any place that your customer visits when placing an order is appropriate. Reviews consisting of star ratings and a short explanation usually work perfectly.
Take a look at this example of how reviews can be used to enhance your product card:
Home Depot displays a star rating for each product, along with a list of questions and answers generated by their customers. Moreover, they invite customers to write a review. That’s what UGC is all about – engaging customers into the conversation.
Summary: social proof in e-commerce
As you already know, the social proof consists of everything your customers write and publish on your website and social media profiles. They certify your store’s credibility and authenticity. Reviews are critical when it comes to social proof, but you shouldn’t limit yourself just to them. Encourage customers to share their opinions concerning your store and products in your offer, and create a necessary space for them. This way, you will gain not only their trust and engagement but also a way to attract new customers. As a result, you will grow sales, too!
And as always, don’t forget about the prices! Attractive prices are yet another argument for rating your store with five stars. If you want to make sure prices in your store are always optimal, get in touch with us! Dealavo offers solutions for e-commerce companies, such as price monitoring tool. We help optimize and even automate pricing. Find out more today: