Experts’ Hive #11: A Quick Guide to Leveraging Social Proof on Your Store’s Product Pages to Increase Conversions

If you were to decide between buying a Nike sneaker & an Adidas sneaker, which one would you buy considering both are well-known brands?

You would think this is magic but I already, sort of, know the answer. You would go with the one with better reviews. The one that’s got more positive reviews and scores a 4-star rating. But honestly, this is no magic. 

I can accurately guess the answer because we’re more inclined to do something when we see that others have done it before. This is what marketers like to call “social proof”, a term that was popularized by Robert Cialdini in his book Influence

Ecommerce marketers use social proof to increase sales. Social proof leverages the psychological phenomenon of following the correct behavior. In other words, if you see someone has already bought something and given positive feedback, your trust in that product increases. This helps you to easily make a purchase decision. 

It’s a fact: social proof works

Social proof is known to work. The numbers don’t lie. Online conversions increase 133% when mobile shoppers see positive reviews before buying, and 54% of people have purchased a consumer packaged well after seeing visual UGC showing it. 

That’s not all. 87% of people say social media posts help them decide what to buy. And buy they do!

As I said, numbers don’t lie. Social proof is instrumental in increasing your conversions, especially on a product page. This is common sense too. If you see a 5-star review on that purple t-shirt you’re looking to purchase, you would be more likely to buy it. 

We tend to do what others are doing and social proof facilitates that. By properly displaying social proof at the right places on a product page, it can be an effective tool to sway the visitor into buying that product. 

For example, Tortuga uses award badges as a sign of trust & authenticity for their backpacks. 

Types of social proof (and how to use them)

As we already established, today’s society follows what’s been already established as “good-to-go”. Ecommerce companies can easily leverage social proof to increase the conversion rate of the product pages. 

Now, there’s a variety of ways by which you can use social proof. Let’s look at the ones that work best. 

1. Customer reviews

Here’s a fact: nearly 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase. Needless to say, product reviews are proven to be quite effective to nudge a customer in the right direction (i.e., to make a purchase). I’d even go so far as to say that you’re losing revenue if customer reviews are absent from your product pages. 

Having said that, take a look at how Outdoor Voices use customer reviews seamlessly. 

As you can see, there are a total of 93 five star reviews on this product. Right below that, the individual reviews start popping up, each one explaining why the product is awesome. This is a classic example of leveraging written product reviews on your site to boost sales.

2. Reviews from trusted sources

Product reviews are awesome but you know what’s equally important? Reviews from external sources. Shoppers love reviews and they’d trust it even more if it’s from the public-at-large. Review sites like Google Customer Reviews and Trustpilot are some of the review sites that people trust and turn to for making a decision. 

Labfresh utilizes this very well. 

Take a look at how nicely they included the Trustpilot & Google Review badges along with the real customer testimonials below it. This gives them an extra edge when it comes to converting a window shopper into a customer. 

3. Celebrity endorsements

We all like celebrities. We follow them like ants are drawn to sugar water. We want to become them. Owing to this, ecommerce companies found that celebrity endorsements or an endorsement from an influencer can play a key role in uplifting the conversion rate of a store. 

Asutra is an ideal example of this. 

Yes, that’s THE Venus Williams. She endorses Asutra and the company leaves no stones unturned to leverage it. Imagine someone like Venus endorsing a brand. Someone who’s looking for a pain relief product wouldn’t waste 2 secs thinking about hitting Buy Now as a top sports personality is endorsing the brand. 

4. Add a Q&A section

You might have seen this on Amazon. Even if you provide all kinds of information for the product you’re selling, shoppers would almost always have additional questions. And this isn’t just for folks to ask questions. This also serves as a clarification for new shoppers who might want to know more about your product. 

Kinky Curly Yaki embodies this well. 

There are 8 questions on this particular product. They might not seem important at first glance but in reality, we think about a host of things while purchasing a product. A question & answer section can make or break a sale. 

5. Let the mass speak

You’d always believe a large group of people endorsing something over a single person doing that. Ecommerce store owners leverage this with FOMO (aka Fear Of Missing Out) tactics. Labels like trending, best seller, only 5 left can skyrocket your sales. These are psychological triggers that bank on urgency, herd mindset & scarcity. 

For example, Haus rocks it with a Best Seller label.

That label creates authenticity, trust, and FOMO – all at the same time. This reduces the cognitive load on the user’s mind and enables them to easily make the purchase.  

Parting words

I hope that you’ve got a decent understanding of how to leverage social proof to uplift the conversion rate of your product pages from this is quick & dirty guide. It’s all about testing & finding out what works for you. Figure out why folks need your product (the USP) and accordingly attach the relevant type of social proof. 

Deb is a SaaS marketer who specializes in organic growth strategies to scale a business from scratch. Currently, he’s heading the marketing function at DelightChat, an ecommerce customer service software built for SME & DTC ecommerce brands. Deb also runs a podcast called SaaS Content at Scale where top marketers share content marketing strategies to grow a SaaS company.

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