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How to Win at Ecommerce: The Social Proof’s in the Pudding

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2021 11 04 social proof ecommerce

[3-minute read]

Social commerce has changed the way people shop and market their products online. This should be of great interest to you. Why? Let’s have a quick look at the figures. According to Spiralytics, there are 1.47 billion active users every day on Facebook alone. 60% of Instagram users say they find products on Instagram and more than 800 000 shoppers use the platform every month. 30% of users say they are likely to purchase products from social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. A staggering 87% of ecommerce shoppers say they use social media to help them make buying decisions. As an ecommerce shop owner, you’ll be well advised to stay on top of marketing trends on social media because they change at the drop of a hat. 

Clicks and mortar 

There are obvious differences between buying on social media and buying in-store. Buyers cannot smell, touch, and feel products online. There are more subtle nuances that influence their buying decisions in-store, and you need to duplicate or replace them if you want to make a success online. These nuances include trust and willingness to buy online because of readily available rankings, reviews, and customer comments. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: word of mouth is still the most powerful form of advertising. Customers believe endorsements by other customers, so make sure you’re doing everything you can to serve your existing customers well.  

Social proof 

The term was coined in 1984 by Robert Cialdini in his book Influence. It comes down to the fact that people copy the actions of others to emulate their behaviour in certain situations. People take cues from others around them when they don’t know what to do or how to do it. Online, it means they will look for reviews, recommendations, and ways that others have used a product to base their decision on. 

Different ways to use social proof in marketing:

Case studies 

A great way to showcase happy customers is to write a case study. You can either publish it as a downloadable PDF or use it in a blog post. Some sites like Sprout Social have a dedicated page for this kind of content as customer stories that include testimonials and case studies. 

Reviews and ratings 

It’s the quintessential form of social proof and can form a meaningful part of your content strategy. A simple way of getting reviews is to add a rating scale to your website and/or social media pages. But, as anybody trying to get testimonials will tell you, it’s not always that easy to ask people to review your products. Before you even start, remember that nobody does anything for nothing. Make sure that there is an incentive for your customer to voice their positive feedback.

Share your accolades and awards 

Let people know if you have achieved something or received an award. Most lists and awards will give you a badge to use on your homepage or in a footer. Use it!

Some social media campaigns also use the number of clients they’ve served or products they’ve sold to illustrate the brand’s success. Udemy uses this strategy from time to time on their Twitter feed. 

User generated content (UGC)

It’s one of the most powerful forms of content you can generate on social media. Whether it’s created by micro influencers, customer advocates, or celebrity endorsers, UGC is the bread and butter of marketing on social media and Instagram is the perfect platform to make use of it. Introduce branded hashtags, include them in your bio, and encourage your followers to share their content to be featured on your page. Tag the original poster when you share it, they appreciate the attention and recognition. 

Influencer marketing 

There are multiple benefits of working with influencers. They will associate your brand with their followers, expand your reach, and create brand alignment. Some of the ways they show off brands can also be very creative and original. If you’re in the fashion industry, this kind of marketing will see your engagement, and probably sales, skyrocket. Have a look at what blogger Venita Aspen does in her collaboration with Express. People follow influencers because they like seeing and aspiring to what kinds of products they wear and love. They are the modern-day Joneses we need to be keeping up with. 

Integrations 

This form of marketing is particularly applicable to Software as a Service (SaaS) products. It’s often used to show consumers how to integrate tools they already use. Calendly and Slack recently explained how to use the two platforms together in a tweet that was followed by a host of retweets from integration software advisers. Magento told users about their integration with Facebook Shops in this tweet. Integrations and collaborations can provide you with valuable content. It will also go a long way to build trust in the marketplace, something that is more valuable than money these days. 

In summary, whatever strategy you choose to use, use the one that will deliver the shortest path to your checkout pages. Modern consumers don’t want to click more than three times maximum to get what they want. 

If you want to integrate your ecommerce store with a partner that you can trust, and someone who won’t take their share of your pudding when it comes, speak to Truevo about our free payment gateway that will radically reduce your transaction fees. We can’t wait to hear from you. 

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