Online business is becoming the most popular option day by day. If you wish to buy something, browsing the websites to buy a few things would be a wiser choice than physically going to the market. However, online shopping follows certain traditional consumer behavioral norms and social proof is one of them.
When you get to know about a shop or a restaurant from a friend of yours, you become interested in exploring it yourself.
For instance, if your friend visits a shoe store which he finds excellent, he will tell you about it. Once you get to know about the variety, quality, and reasonable prices of the shoes of that store from your friend, you would be keen to visit that shoe store as well. This is exactly how the buying patterns work. From choosing the right school for children to picking the best plumbing services online, we always take the route most traveled. People have a tendency to think that if so many people like something, it must be good. The approval of the society we seek before opting for products and services is what the market calls social proof.
For the brick-and-mortar stores, it has always been a decisive factor that impacted people’s choices of shops, for the digital world as well, this can be a trend. Let us look into the underlying significance of integrating social proof factors to your website to enhance its acceptance.
How social proof impacts online businesses?
When a person goes to a brick-and-mortar shop, he tries a few trousers and decides to choose one based on fitting, fabric, color, quality, etc. However, in this case, his decision does not get influenced by external factors like what other people are saying about the trouser. Therefore, social proof may or may not be critical for offline stores.
On the other side, when someone purchases products online, there remains no scope of direct scrutiny of the products. You cannot touch or feel the texture of the product you are buying online or you cannot get complete information about the service that you want to get online. Images are all you have when it comes to online shopping. This is when people look for other people’s opinions and experiences to be sure of the quality of the product or service concerned.
Therefore, the social proof factor is more critical for online stores than offline ones.
Here is an insight on the crucial social proof factors that make your website more interesting:
Self-proclamations are seldom as impressive as public opinions. No matter how excellent your products or services are, when others boast about them, the value of your brand goes up in the market. There is nothing wrong in marketing your products or services, but if we go by the customer’s mentality, the customer would always look for the opinions of the people that have used your products or services.
This is why you need customer testimonials on your website. When a potential buyer goes through the experience shared by past customers, he/she will instantly believe in your business’s quality services. Thus, you must encourage reviews and testimonials in text or video from your customers as this is a very important social proof that becomes a catalyst in turning traffic into customers.
A case study is a more detailed and in-depth customer experience testimonial. Integrating a few case studies always provides a clear picture of the businesses and services you offer to the customers. Case studies can be a vivid depiction of how your products and services have been of use to any of your customers.
For example, if you provide web hosting services, then the way in which you might have helped an online store owner to set up his store can be a case study and a powerful advertising tool as well. Prepare a case study in a question-answer format to establish how effectively you have helped a customer through a problem.
Add the case study to your website. This case study will work as social proof that will convince the customers to go for your products or services.
Customer Social Shares
Earlier, the social proof was active between relatives, peers, and friends. For words of mouth, people always depended on people whom they know. Stranger’s opinions were seldom considered while selecting a product or a service. This is where the concept of the online social proof factor diverges from the offline one. When you shop online, you don’t consider whether you know the person or not.
You simply read the testimonials, reviews, and case studies of the earlier customers to be sure of your choice. Social media channels are important.
For instance, if a customer wears a dress of a particular brand and posts a picture in that dress on any social media website, mentioning the brand name, millions of people see it and get influenced. Therefore, posting on social media can be an essential social proof factor when it comes to any online business.
Influencers often impact the decision-making power of the people. If you wish to depend on the wisdom of others for a certain choice, you will always look for experts in the domain. For example, if you are all set to plan a holiday, you will obviously take a look at the blogs of the travel bloggers.
Integrate few such blogs about your products and services on your website as expert’s notes on your products. Customers who depend on the words of the specialized people will indeed check these blogs for reference. Especially for expensive products, influencer blogs can be more impactful than customer reviews.
You will also find influencers on social media who can recommend your products and services to the audience. Getting influencer endorsements is an extremely powerful social proof that creates brand awareness. Your target audience would be keen to get more information about your products or services after seeing someone talk about them.
A third-party review of any product or service can be critical for drawing more people’s attention to the website. If you want an in-depth analysis of any product with respect to the other similar products available in the market, a third-party review will always be a better choice.
A customer-specific review indeed offers an idea of the product but not a holistic comparison.
For instance, if you want to sign up for WordPress hosting, you will compare all the WordPress hosting options available and you will also check the reviews and awards received by the web hosting companies that offer WordPress hosting. When a customer sees that a particular web hosting company has been awarded for giving the best services, he/she will obviously opt for that service.
If a third-party site recommends or awards a product that you want to buy, after a thorough comparison, it automatically elevates the value of the product in the eyes of a buyer.
Display The Number Of Customers
While social proof does not always help the customers choose the best, you can undoubtedly lose a substantial part of potential customers without it. Displaying the number of customers on your website’s home page or any other web page can be a straightforward way to attract people’s attention. When customers see a substantial number of people as your existing customer, they place their faith in your brand.
In today’s world, when the internet is ruling almost everything, your online business also needs special attention. With the market competition growing by leaps and bounds, displaying proper social proof can take your business to its apex. Social approvals always matter when it comes to business.
Especially if you have products and services that most people look for and many brands offer, the right social proof techniques can be beneficial. Implement the best digital marketing strategies clubbed with effective social proof techniques. This will ensure growth and prosperity for your business.