When influence meets e-commerce

Social is changing the way that we interact with products and brands in both the on and offline worlds. Increasingly consumers are basing their purchase decisions on the opinions of others, a phenomenon commonly known as ‘social proof.’ This psychological theory is often described as a form of conformity, when we are unsure of how to act we often look to others for guidance. As an e-commerce business even if you think your product speaks for itself, social media shares, star ratings or reviews will influence purchase decisions and social proof is everywhere online.

Create a connection and bring your reviews to life.

Customer reviews have the potential to be your strongest tool of influence when it comes to social proof as an e-commerce business. What is the most effective way to incorporate customer reviews into your sitemap? Review widgets are easy to install and simple to use, allowing consumers to input details and a star ranking straight onto your site. Including features such as a user’s profile photo and their location can initiate ‘the mirror effect’ in online shoppers. Including personal information will also create a connection and bring a review to life, appearing as a trustworthy source to users. A popular choice is including a designated review and testimony page such as “Here’s what our customers are saying” to help sway customers still sitting on the fence. Reviews can be tailored to specific products or a more generic overview of the company; you need to tailor to whatever works best for your demographic.

Email automation is the easiest way to integrate a review system, as most email platforms allow for scheduled messages to be sent out to customers a fixed time period after purchasing. Just set up an initial email and all the hard work is done for you, automatically reaching out to new buyers requesting a review.

Subtle yet honest.

Leveraging social proof can be one of the biggest factors in your success as an ecommerce business, through providing figures and statistics to your users. Publicising numbers and real time statistics to customers such as “15 bought today” or “20 views in the last hour” makes for an impressive display of popularity and is an effective persuasion technique, encouraging more people to make the same purchase.

This impactful method of displaying figures can act as a powerful tool of persuasion, giving consumers subtle cues and that extra nudge towards making a purchase. A vital thing to remember here is negative social proof, creating a threshold so only figures over a certain amount will be displayed to your shoppers ensures users will not be put off purchasing – no proof is better than low proof.

Social proof makes consumers stop and pause.

Social proof is the tendency to rely on the opinions and actions of others to inform our own and what better way to take advantage of this than on social media. It’s proven that new customers build an opinion of an unfamiliar brand based on their social media following, placing more trust in companies with higher engagement rates and more followers.

Incorporating social share buttons onto specific and strategic pages for example, product and blog pages, is another tactical way to invoke social proof amongst your shoppers; ensuring your content is shared widely across the web. Social shares and statistics will validate your customer’s choice, reassuring them that they are making the correct purchase decisions. Customers trust others opinions online and peer- driven praise can be one of your most effective selling tools so it’s important to encourage user generated content from your previous customers. Often taking the form of social posts detailing customer experience, this content is an authentic and reliable source for consumers. Creating a company hashtag is a simple way to encourage users to post and useful to collate all this data into one place, making it easy for people to go online and find out what others are saying.

So get social and take advantage of the opportunities that influence can provide for your ecommerce business.

Kelkoo Group has 20 years’ experience in ecommerce, digital advertising and consumer analytics. We can support your entire campaign, from set up through to tracking sales and conversion data to help you get the results your online store needs to succeed. Feel free to get in touch to find out more about how our product portfolio can drive quality traffic to your online store.