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11 Best Social Proof E-commerce Strategies and Tips

Published on
April 16, 2024

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Social Proof means that there’s a perception that people are deriving value from your business. Customers are getting “proof” from the people around them that your brand is valuable. 

Imagine walking down a busy street and seeing a restaurant packed with happy diners while the one next door is empty. You're naturally drawn to the busy one, right? That's social proof in action, just in an online context. This is how social proof psychology can elevate your business.

Therefore, for any e-commerce, it is crucial to have social proof! That’s because, due to the nature of the platform, there’s always a trust deficit in online relationships. To overcome that and position your company as a trustworthy platform, you must utilize the power of social proof. 

But how do I use social proof in e-commerce marketing? 

This article focuses on fool-proof strategies on how to leverage social proof for an e-commerce site. Let’s dive in! 

Customer Reviews and Testimonials for ECommerce Social Proof

As a first step towards building strong social proof, you must display happy and satisfied customers on your website, social media pages, and other media. The best way to do that is via reviews and testimonials, in different formats. It is always a good idea to have a dedicated secton on your product pages that shows them. 

Here are some quick tips for review sections:

Star Ratings to Social Proof Ecommerce Product

  • Star ratings: This gives a quantitative parameter to measure a product's success among people.
  • Showcase a range of reviews: Including both high and low ratings can increase credibility. It shows transparency and provides a balanced view of your product.
  • Make it interactive: Allow users to sort reviews by rating, date, or relevance. This makes it easier for customers to find the information most pertinent to them.
  • Include the number of reviews: For each product, you can put a table displaying the number of stars per review. That will give a good summary of the collective response by customers. 
Source: Flipkart

Note how Flipkart checks all boxes by including a photo gallery, upvotes for reviews, and summaries. Social proof reviews like these can make your website and product look trustworthy and credible. 

Photo/Video Reviews

  • Encourage photo reviews: Offer incentives for customers to upload photos with their reviews. This could be a discount on future purchases or entry into a giveaway.
  • Create a gallery: Use these photos to create a visually appealing gallery on your product pages.

You can also add quotes from the best customer reviews that give a decent idea of how the product has positively affected the customer by highlighting the specific features or benefits. Amazon does very well with its algorithm, which analyzes text and puts together the most common comments from customers. 

Source: Amazon

ShopLC, on the other hand, displays direct quotes from the users. 

Source: ShopLC

To acquire more testimonials for your brand or product, you can use Testimonial Donut and utilize its well-crafted collection of templates to request testimonials from clients and integrate them into your website. 

Feature User-Generated Content (UGC) for Social Proof in E-commerce

UGC can add the most authentic form of social proof in e-commerce and show prospective buyers real people enjoying your products, providing tangible proof of their quality and appeal.

Research by Linearity indicates that 60% of consumers would happily produce content for a brand in exchange for rewards. Hence, the first step is encouraging and incentivizing customers to create user-generated content. 

There are many strategies to do so, but a great one is using hashtags. For instance, Zudio, an affordable fast-fashion Indian brand keeps releasing hashtag challenges wherein it features content from its customers with its hashtag on its Instagram page with hundreds of thousands of followers. 

Another method is that it puts collaboration posts with its customers to incentivize more UGC. 

Source: Instagram/Zudio

This is how you can go about leveraging testimonials for your Instagram content and follow a similar path for other social media platforms as well. 

Next, you can display UGC prominently on product pages, selecting high-quality customer photos and videos that showcase your products effectively. For instance, ShopLC increased its conversions by 200% by displaying user-generated content creatively on its product page and website. 

Source: ShopLC (Using UGC in Product Descriptions and Pages)
Source: ShopLC (Using UGC in Product Descriptions and Pages)

Ragecoffee is another great example of creatively integrating user-generated content like vertical format videos, GIFs, and TikToks/Instagram Reels on their website and product pages. 

Source: Rage Coffee

Live Purchase Notifications

Live Purchase Notifications are a dynamic e-commerce tool designed to boost buyer confidence and encourage purchases by displaying real-time alerts whenever someone buys a product, like the one displayed below. 

Source: VilliamTheme

When you integrate pop-ups or notifications like these on your e-commerce site, just keep in mind to include the location of the purchaser, product name, and time of purchase to boost social proof and create a sense of urgency. 

That may give a “FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)” to the website visitor and seeing so many buyers will reassure them of the genuineness and credibility of the platform and product. 

It’s just like how when you see more customers buying from a physical store, you are reassured that this is a booming business. Similarly, when a Box Office looks crowded, people are attracted to the movie and the cinema. The same logic works with e-commerce and social proof. 

Trust Seals and Badges to Social Proof E-commerce Company

We cannot stress enough the importance of trust badges and seals on e-commerce platforms for building credibility and social proof e e-commerce. They serve as powerful symbols of credibility and security on e-commerce websites.

By showcasing seals and badges from respected third-party organizations—like security certifications, logos of payment processors, certifications and approvals from regulatory bodies/authorities, critics ratings, editorials, and similar industry accolades—you signal to customers that your site is a trustworthy place to shop.

So, let’s say you have made the effort of encrypting your payments with secure networks and enabled SSL encryptions, 2-factor authentication for customers, or implemented other security measures. How would the customer know that unless you show them?

Source: Zaproo

Similarly, you can use certifications, badges, and accolades from organizations and regulations to stand out from other inferior brands and establish more trust in your users. Rage Coffee uses these badges well on its website. 

Source: Rage Coffee

Similarly, you can also condense your experience, customer interactions, and legacy statistics into quantifiable measures that give social proof, as ShopLC does. 

Source: ShopLC

Social Media Feeds Integration to Social Proof E-commerce Websites

Integrating social media feeds directly into your website offers a dynamic way to display real-time engagement and content from satisfied customers. 

By pulling in updates, customer photos, testimonials, and brand mentions from platforms like Instagram or Twitter, you provide fresh social proof that can enhance visitor engagement. 

The following example by Embed Social shows how you can artfully integrate your Instagram on your website to give a dynamic display of your products and keep the aesthetic and look fresh and updated. 

Source: Embed Social

Other ways are to display UGC-based photos, videos, and testimonials, as already mentioned above. 

Case Studies and Success Stories

Genuine case studies and success stories can give a glimpse into what experience the user will have if they indulge in the product. So, usually, a user comes with a problem statement, and if they see that problem getting resolved by the product, from a case study or testimonial, that would be a great pitch! 

It’s just about connecting the pain point with the customer. Sephora, an online beauty-based e-commerce company, has a dedicated webpage for its customer community and implements creative ways to use testimonials for marketing. The following image shows a brief success story of a customer along with a picture as proof and a small caption. 

Source: Sephora

Here’s how you can also maximize the impact of these narratives:

  • Real Customer Stories: Focus on genuine experiences, selecting a diverse range of customers to showcase the versatility and broad appeal of your solutions.
  • Before-and-After Imagery: Visual evidence of your product or service in action can be incredibly persuasive. Include high-quality images or graphically depict the transformation or benefits experienced by the customer.
  • Detailed Testimonials: Incorporate direct quotes from the customers involved in the case study. Their firsthand accounts add authenticity and relatability to the narrative.
  • Quantifiable Results: Whenever possible, include specific outcomes achieved through your offerings—be it growth metrics, time saved, or any other measurable benefit. This adds credibility and substance to your success stories.

For these success stories and case studies, video testimonials can work well as they give you a good scope for storytelling! We suggest you try Testimonial Donut as it has a streamlined workflow for testimonial collection and management, especially video testimonials. 

Influencer Endorsements

Influencers and celebrities have the power to mass-distribute your products or brand. You can tap into the trust and following of key industry figures or popular influencers who resonate with your target audience. 

When these influencers share their positive experiences with your products, their endorsement acts as a powerful form of social proof. If done right, this has the power to change the fate of your business. 

For instance, in 2018, Federer ended his long-standing apparel partnership with Nike by signing a $300 million deal with Uniqlo despite the brand not being a traditional sports or tennis apparel manufacturer.

Right after the deal, Uniqlo positioned itself as a reliable and trustworthy Sports brand, which it wasn’t before signing this deal. This is the ultimate brand-building case study. 

Source: LinkedIn

Social Proof Widgets & Plugins

Some widgets & plugins can let your users get a deeper insight into the activity and interaction of other users with your e-commerce platform, displaying in real-time customer interactions like recent purchases, sign-ups, or reviews.

That makes your platform appear more human, active, and busy! You can use platforms like Taggbox, SmashBalloons, Get Social, and WP Social Ninja to integrate social media widgets. For reviews and testimonials integration, you can use Testimonial Donut. 

Here are some tips to keep in mind when you integrate these widgets/plugins:

  • Select options with customizable designs to ensure they harmonize with your site’s aesthetic, enhancing the overall user experience. 
  • Place these widgets in areas of high visibility, such as next to call-to-action buttons or on product pages, to catch potential customers' attention. 
  • To boost user engagement, feature real-time activities like recent purchases or sign-ups, creating a sense of urgency and again leveraging the power of FOMO.
  • Finally, incorporating customer reviews and ratings within these widgets can profoundly impact decision-making, showcasing positive feedback directly and building e-commerce social proof.  

Popular Choice Section

Whatever your hero product(s) are, that customers love and buy the most. You must highlight them, as there’s a high chance that a user is looking for those product(s). 

Please note that the purpose of this is also to create social proof for some products, informing customers that “this is what people are buying the most, in case you’re confused about your decision.”

Overall, this strategy not only simplifies the decision-making process for buyers but also boosts confidence in their purchases, leveraging the persuasive power of social proof to encourage sales. 

ShopLC has a “Currently Trending” section that highlights popular products. 

Source: ShopLC

Also, we suggest you link the reviews with the products so customers can verify the social proof and check for themselves for additional reassurance. 

Expert Reviews

Just like how trust seals and badges give a protective layer of social proof, expert reviews also cement that and reassure the user. You can collaborate with industry experts in your niche and encourage them to add an unbiased and insightful review of your product or business. 

You can also ethically take an extract or quotation from that review and display it on your website and social media platforms, along with the product link. This is important in especially tech and medical products, where expert reviews matter! 

Upscale Audio sells speakers, headphones, and other high-end and high-investment audio-related products for sound and music enthusiasts. Notice how in their product placements they have placed extracts and key quotations of reviews from reputed publications and journalists in that niche. 

Source: Upscale Audio

Return Policy

A clear, customer-friendly return policy can be a decisive factor for shoppers, leading to increased order volumes, higher customer retention rates, and a more positive overall perception of your brand. 

By allowing customers the freedom to try products risk-free, you're essentially inviting them into a worry-free shopping experience that prioritizes their needs and concerns.

Sometimes the user is not sure about the product size, color, or any other parameter, and wants to try the product. A return policy that lets the customer return the product within a set period—be it 7, 10, 30, or even 60 days—encourages them to make purchases more freely and with less hesitation. 

Source: Upscale Audio

Final Thoughts

All the measures and strategies we discussed above are aimed towards the simple goal of making the customer feel comfortable and secure while making purchases online. Whether it takes industry experts, influencers, or just normal people to endorse the product, we must do it all! 

To help you social proof e-commerce businesses with reviews and testimonials, whether video testimonials, Google reviews, audio reviews, etc., we have worked hard to create Testimonial Donut, a platform made to ease your testimonial collection and management process, with a straightforward interface, email templates, widgets for website integration, and more. So do check it out! 


Add testimonials to you website for free

Collect, manage, share all your testimonials & Google reviews in one place. All 100% free. So bloody easy your gran can do it!

Take a look at Testimonial Donut
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