How Rentalcars.com Uses Social Proof and Urgency to Drive More Bookings

Rentalcars.com is one of the largest online car rental services out there and is part of Booking Holdings Inc., the world leader in online travel & related services.

The following article is just the tip of the iceberg, but these principles are powerful because they bypass our rational minds, appealing to our subconscious instincts.

The name of the game in the business world is persuasion, and you can make this work for you.

Urgency

Browsing through rentalcars.com, it is impossible to miss the plethora of social proof and urgency messages displayed.

It all starts when you hit the “Search” button:
You can notice the red “Prices rise, cars sell out…” notification at the top of the page, making you feel like if you do not book that car now, it will be gone.

Scarcity

Scarcity is one of the most popular Cialdini principles that various companies use over and over again in order to boost conversions and sales.

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By incorporating the line “This car is likely to sell fast” while looking at the search results, Rentalcars.com is very blatantly telling its shoppers that the supplies of this car won’t last for very long. As such, this is a picture-perfect example of the scarcity principle being utilised in order to boost conversions for this webpage.

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Rentalcars.com keeps reminding you about the limited availability for the specific car you want in your destination because we assume that things that are difficult to obtain are usually better than those that are easily available. We link availability with quality.

Notice the “Limited Stock” ribbon:

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Social Proof

You can harness the power of social proof to drastically increase the conversion rates of your website and one of the most powerful is through so-called “wisdom-of-the-crowds” social proof, showing you what others did recently.

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Trust & Risk Mitigation

Eliminating any doubts in the consumer’s mind is a an important and powerful strategy. Did you pay attention to the green messages emphasising the things that will make you happy like ‘We give you the following for FREE’ or ‘FREE cancellation’ – who doesn’t want it?

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People want to make sure they are making the right choice, and trust that they are getting the best deal possible without taking any risk.

Real Social Proof Is a Must

Without a doubt, psychology is a powerful factor in running a successful e-commerce site.

The goal of any business is always to make money, so pay close attention to these principles, learn what they’re all about, and apply them to your own webpages. If you apply them properly, you’ll notice an unmistakable boost in your conversions over time. Don’t be afraid to tell your visitors how your products won’t be available for much longer at certain prices if they don’t act fast.

BUT, never use fake scarcity or social proof because your site visitors will see right through you! Fake social proof tends to be not very sophisticated and seeing vague messages about mysterious “Someone” purchasing something just shouts “FAKE” and that hurts your credibility.

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To experience the power of real social proof for yourself, give ProveSource a try for FREE.

Josh Walker
VP Marketing at ProveSource
As ProveSource's VP of Marketing, I'm leading all aspects of the company's global marketing initiatives, from strategy through execution. Utilizing all inbound and outbound B2B marketing channels, My team is successfully supporting ProveSource's rapid growth and establishing its position as a market leader in its space, globally.

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