By JJ Tyson
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Jump in! The Water’s Fine!
Social proof has become a hot topic in ecommerce, but what is it, exactly?
Social proof is a sales tactic based on the psychological principle of Informational Social Influence. In essence, the principle states that when people are unsure of how to act, they tend to imitate the behavior of others.
Thus, if you can demonstrate that people like, trust, and purchase from your site, it will make future customers more likely to do so. Simple right?
Social proof demonstrates the legitimacy of your site, builds consumer trust, and encourages new customers to “hop on the bandwagon.”
Is Social Proof a New Idea?
Although the term “social proof” wasn’t coined until 1984, the use of past customer experiences to drive purchases is as old as sales itself. Testimonial campaigns featuring stories from real customers have been a staple of television advertisements for decades.
A recent example comes from Tillamook, a large Oregon-based cheese company with a cult-following. The brand recently launched an ad campaign featuring die-hard fans of the company – from a professional chef to a couple who had a Tillamook-themed wedding. In short, social proof isn’t new. But it is becoming more important in the age of ecommerce.
Applications in Ecommerce
There are a number of ways to create social proof in an ecommerce context. These cost-effective forms of marketing enhance your brand and create a sense of trust between your current and prospective customers. Let’s take a look.
Social Proof Through Product Reviews
Buying from an unfamiliar site can feel like a gamble. Your customers have never physically seen or held the product they’re buying. Allowing customers to leave reviews lets potential purchasers to see how great your products are in an unbiased way.
Another benefit of product reviews? Customers trust them. In fact, 93% of online customers partially base purchasing decisions on user-created reviews.
Building a Base of Product Reviews
While reviews are extremely helpful for generating sales, getting people to leave a review can sometimes be a challenge. Unfortunately, studies show that people are more likely to leave a review about a negative experience than a positive one. So how can you balance this out and generate excellent reviews?
One way to accomplish this is through a LifeCycle campaign. This type of email remarketing centers around messaging customers after they make a purchase; it tends to focus on building lifetime value. Another use of LifeCycle marketing is generating social proof.
For instance, one week after purchase, you can simply send a follow-up email asking the customer to leave a review. If they fail to respond, a second follow-up can include an incentive, whether this is a discount, free gift, or a small gift-card to be used towards a future purchase.
Simple strategies of this kind can quickly build your base of reviews and make shoppers feel more comfortable ordering from you.
Social Proof Through Highlighting Recent Purchases
As we discussed before, when people …read more
Read more here:: B2CMarketingInsider