Social proof is a psychological phenomenon in which people adopt the actions of others, trying to behave correctly in a given situation. In online sales, "social proof" refers exclusively to reviews written by customers, celebrities, or the press, not as advertising. SR expert and chief business technology expert of Fashion Consulting Group Natalia Chinenova tells how to encourage customers to leave reviews, how to use real customer reviews effectively and without investing a lot of money to successfully sell your products on a website or marketplace.
Very often, when we are not sure what to do and how to do it right, we assume that those around us - experts, celebrities, friends, relatives, parents, colleagues - understand better what is happening and know the right decision how to act. For example:
Thanks to the Internet, where we can't touch or try on products, and especially need confirmation of the correctness of our choice, the term "social proof" has become the accepted term for online sales. At the same time, in online sales, "social evidence" refers exclusively to reviews that are written by buyers, celebrities or the press NOT AS ADVERTISING.
In general, there are six types of social proof:
1.EXPERT. Expert social proof is when an expert in your industry recommends your products or services, or associates with your brand. For example, the opinion of an orthopedist about the comfort of your shoe lasts on the home page of the site.
2.CELEBRITY. Celebrity social proof is when a famous person (artist, singer, director, athlete, blogger) endorses your product. For example, a social media post from a popular athlete about your sneakers, or a well-known stylist with your handbag in a magazine photo.
3.USER. User social proof is when your current users/customers recommend your products and services based on their experience with your brand. For example, praise on social networks or positive ratings on review sites, or positive reviews on a product card.
4.THE WISDOM OF THE CROWD. A form of social proof where you can see that a large group of people support your brand. For example, having several thousand customer reviews or several million followers on your social media profiles.
5.WISDOM OF FRIENDS. A type of social proof where customers see their friends approve of your product (including through referral programs). For example, an invitation from several friends to purchase your products with a special coupon, photos of your friends on social networks in products exclusively of your brand.
6.AUTHORITY. The type of social proof when you get approval from an authority figure in your industry. For example, the "Gold Medal" of the Shoemakers' Union for innovation, and the Shoemakers' Union is a subscriber in your social networks.
The most effective and low-cost story of creating social proof is the testimonials of real buyers in the product card on your website or marketplace.
Keep in mind that reviews can be both positive and negative. But various online studies show that buyers trust customers more than paid advertising. 92% of users read reviews before making a purchase. At the same time, the credibility of social proof completely disappears if there are no negative reviews.
Reviews increase conversions by at least 50%, and the maximum is not limited. Reviews not only help increase conversions, but also reduce the number of returns by 3-8%.
Marketplaces actively use customer reviews to increase sales. In mono-brand online stores, it is often simply impossible to leave a review about a product, and where it is possible to leave a review, as a rule, there are very few reviews or no reviews at all.
Why are there no reviews? Because in normal life, consumers rarely thank for a successful purchase. People are ready to write if something did not suit them in order to throw out the negative, and not vice versa.
How to encourage consumers to write a review:
In any case, every person, performing any action, subconsciously thinks about only two questions: “For what?” and “At what cost?”. In order to encourage the consumer to write a review, you need to give him an answer to either the first or the second question.
Interestingly, customer reviews on review sites have no less impact on consumers than reviews on product cards. If the product is expensive, then in 90% of cases, consumers read reviews in various sources. The biggest mistake is when reviews are positive in the product card, and vice versa on review sites. And if there is still no response from the brand under the negative feedback from customers, then that's it - write wasted. The buyer stops believing the product card. Negative reviews are believed more than positive ones - this is a real fact that must be recognized.
In any case, if your products do not have reviews on the Web today, then no one is interested in them. So social proof is a confirmation of the popularity of your products with buyers.
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