“Since 95 per cent of people are imitators and only 5 per cent are pretenders, people are more persuaded by the actions of others than by any other argument.” – Cavett Rober
Social proof in e-commerce could not be described more accurately. It is a proven phenomenon that people orient themselves on the behaviour of other people and rely on their opinions and evaluations. The effect itself is not a new invention, but can be observed almost everywhere in everyday life. Wherever many people use an offer, we are automatically drawn to it. We equate a high volume with value. Many guests in a café attract even more guests.
Social proof in the online sector can be a powerful marketing tool to increase the conversion rate. Because here, more positive reviews and testimonials automatically attract more customers. In the following, we will give you an overview of social proof and, with the help of 10 examples, reveal how you can use social proof in marketing and for optimising your conversion rate.
Why is social proof so important for e-commerce?
According to statistics, 40% of respondents trust the opinion of previous users when choosing an online shop. Social proof inspires trust. This is especially important in the first part of the conversion funnel, which we discuss in more detail in our article Awareness: The First Touchpoint in the Conversion Funnel. If many positive reviews give a reliable and trustworthy impression, the prospective customer gets the feeling: “What is good for others is also good for me” and the probability increases that this person will find his way into the funnel.
But social proof elements are also important on the further path through the funnel, so that trust is not only aroused, but strengthened again and again. This increases the chance that the visitor will ultimately convert into a customer. If there are still high shopping cart abandonments, exit intent pop-ups, for example, provide a remedy. Smart software recognises the reasons for shopping cart abandonment and supports undecided visitors in making a decision. Through personalisation, trust is created and the probability of a purchase is increased.
The potential of social proof in marketing is far from being fully exploited by companies today. But especially when it comes to increasing conversion, corresponding measures show themselves to be cost-effective and effective means.
You want to learn how to increase the conversion rate step by step? Read the blog post Increase Conversion Rate: This is how it works!
Tip on the side: social proof as a SEO measure
Social proof can also be used as a means of SEO optimisation to improve search engine rankings. Through verified customer reviews via independent review portals, online shops not only ensure transparency, but also receive rich snippet stars. The yellow stars in the Google search results increase the click rate by up to 5%. In addition, the integrated reviews signal high relevance to the search engines and thus ensure an improved ranking.
10 proven examples: How online shops use social proof?
There are a number of ways to increase social proof. The following 10 examples can positively influence the conversion rate.
1. Reviews from users
In one survey, around 18% of buyers said they had bought a product because of a good review on social media. Around 30% of another study have already abandoned a purchase several times due to the reviews of other users, despite having made a purchase decision. Reviews have a great influence on social proof. On average, a potential buyer reads 10 reviews before making a decision. There is a difference between reviews in one’s own shop and external reviews on portals.
2. Seals of approval and trust elements
39% of visitors to online shops said that well-known seals of approval make an online shop more trustworthy. There is a simple reason for this: seals of approval create security. The most important seals include Trusted Shops, TÜV Süd Prüfsiegel, EHI Siegel geprüfter Online-Shops and eKomi.
3. Expert opinions
Experts, specialists and well-known people in a field usually enjoy an advantage of trust. This offers potential to increase social proof. It is not without reason that well-known actors and stars are used for advertising campaigns. For most online shops, however, it is not stars but experts or people perceived as experts by the target group who are particularly interesting. Thus, a quote from a dermatologist about the online shop or about certain dermatological products of the shop can create social proof,
19% of German internet users say they have bought a product only because a YouTuber recommended it. Influencers have a very big influence on many of your customers and their buying behaviour. Winning over influencers can increase the social proof for a part of your target group enormously.
5. Visitor counters
If you have a high traffic, you can make it visible to the outside world in a visitor counter. High numbers convey a good feeling. On Ebay, for example, you can see how many views a product has had within the last 24 hours and how many observers the product has.
Comments increase the quality of a product or service and have a similar effect as ratings. Here, the interested visitor learns what other people say about the product or service. Especially under blog articles, comments are an indication of high relevance, because apparently the topic arouses great interest.
7 Social Likes
The number of likes, the number of followers or subscribers not only shows the reach, but builds trust. True to the motto: “If many like it, it’s good.” Therefore, meaningful numbers should be implemented on websites and product pages so that visitors who are not familiar with your social media accounts can see these important numbers.
8. “Known from” banner
If a product has been in the media or recommended by a renowned magazine, this can be displayed with “Known from” banners. These can be, for example: Known from “Höhle der Löwen”, “RTL”, “Focus”, “Freundin” or the “Handelsblatt”. On the one hand, this demonstrates familiarity and, on the other, authority. Trustworthy sources are suitable for this purpose. The corresponding logos can be integrated on the website.
9. Scientific facts and case studies
Facts and scientific evidence prove to be a powerful social proof element. Self-conducted case studies also increase credibility. Examples can often be found in the cosmetics industry with statements from their own surveys and test results such as: “81% notice improved skin texture and reduced wrinkles.”
10. 5-star ratings
In addition to detailed reviews, a star rating system can visually support social proof. The 5-star system has established itself as a common rating system, which is why one still benefits from the high acceptance of users here. macos/deepLFree.translatedWithDeepL.text
Social proof is an important element today to create trust and ultimately increase conversion. Most tools can be implemented quickly on the website. Of course, it is important and the basis of social proof to meet the demands of customers for products and services so that positive reviews can arise in the first place. Those who continue to have a high number of shopping cart abandoners despite social proof can, for example, use personalised abandoned cart mails to bring them back.
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Against the background of the World Cup 2018, the 11FREUNDE store was looking for ways to convert the increasing traffic effectively and to retain customers. The results: 10x Return on Investment, 10k additional revenue in €, 39% Mobile Conversion, 17% Desktop Conversion, 35% Regain Ratio for abandoned cart emails.
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Trust is elementary for the success of an online shop. Only when there is trust the visitor will place an order. But how does trust arise on a psychological level? The "Integrative Model of Organisational Trust" provides online merchants with a tool for a understanding of customer trust.To the Blog Post
Against the background of the World Cup 2018, the 11FREUNDE store was looking for ways to convert the increasing traffic effectively and to retain customers. The results: 10x Return on Investment, 10k additional revenue in €, 39% Mobile Conversion, 17% Desktop Conversion, 35% Regain Ratio for abandoned cart emails.To the Success Story
New customers are important for every company. But the greatest sales potential for online shops lies in customer loyalty, because: What good are new customers if I can't keep them in the long term? Find out now how you can skilfully bind once acquired customers to your online shop and profit from them in the long term.To the Blog Post