Shopify Social Proof: The Ultimate Guide

Shopify Social Proof Cover 2

Have you already started your Shopify eCommerce business or you are about to?

Did you know that 80-97% of eCommerce businesses fail?

That’s approximately 4 out of 5 businesses if we take into account the latest estimates.

The main reasons this happens are:

  1. Inability or unwillingness to invest in the online store.
  2. Too much competition from established eCommerce businesses.
  3. Poor eCommerce website design.
  4. Complicated checkout process.
  5. Poor photography and product descriptions.
  6. Not showing up in search engine results.
  7. Lack of digital marketing strategy.

Assuming that you are taking care of the above, this guide will help you learn how and why Social Proof Marketing could make the odds work in your favor.

Are you ready to boost your sales?

Let’s begin!

What is Social Proof

Social proof is based on the idea that people make decisions based on what others in their environment do.

Imagine you’re walking down the street looking for a place to grab some coffee.

There are two stores in front of you – one with no customers inside and the other with a line to the door.

Unconsciously, your decision-making process has already been influenced:

  • Why is the first coffee shop empty?
  • Why does everybody else prefer the other coffee shop?
  • Wouldn’t it be more reasonable to trust what others are doing, and assume that the crowded shop has better coffee?

This is how social proof works.

It is also known then as “informational social influence,” according to Dr. Robert Cialdini.

It is more informally referred to as herd behavior or mass conformity.

You cannot question its power.

Social Proof is based on 4 basic principles:

1. Uncertainty: Every buying process is a risk. We are not 100% sure that the money we are about to spend will satisfy our needs. We need to overcome this fear. Have others already chosen the same product or service?

2. Similarity: We tend to adopt the behavior of people who have the same way of thinking or the same habits like us. The fashion business depends heavily on that principle.

3. Expertise: Experts’ opinion matters. You can relate more easily to this when you seek a doctor’s opinion before buying any medical products.

4. Numbers: The majority must be right. This principle is used almost in every purchasing procedure, especially when it involves high-risk decisions, like gambling or stock markets.

In the digital era, Social Proof Marketing has turned into a powerful business tool in the hands of a capable marketer.

It is the best way to showcase your brand, your products, and your services through the words and actions of others.

Can you feel the power?

People trust what others are saying about a brand more than what the brand says for itself.

92% of people trust what their peers are saying and 70% will trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know.

The power of social proof is indisputable and it is not in your interest to ignore it!

Check out our Social Proof Playbook.

Why is it so valuable?

In other words, by leveraging social proof you can provide quality trust signals to your potential customers.

Customers’ voice carries more weight than branded messages while trust from traditional advertising is declining more every single day.

Social proof allows you to influence potential customers by making good use of external validation and customer advocacy.

How Social Proof can boost your Shopify sales

People see 2-3 different reviews on average before they make a purchase. They mostly use Yelp, Google, Facebook, and even Amazon.

What if you could showcase all the things that your potential customer needs to see without leaving your Shopify store?

What would these things be?

  • Positive reviews from Google, Facebook, Trustpilot, and other review sources.
  • Recent individual actions (signups, purchases, etc) by your customers.
  • A large number of visitors who performed an action over the last 24 hours, 7 or 30 days.
  • Real-time visitors counter on your website.
  • Important points that would make your visitors feel more comfortable.
  • The number of followers, subscribers, and likes you have across your social profiles.

ProveSource social proof platform will seamlessly help you convert your users into customers.

It is the most feature-rich, fully customizable, and easy to use platform for your Shopify store. Craft your social proof Shopify strategy today.

Let’s dive into this…

Social Proof Examples on Shopify

A. User Reviews & Client Testimonials

User reviews and client testimonials are perhaps the most important type of social proof.

The info comes directly from the source.

There are four basic types of reviews-testimonials. We present them to you in order of priority:

1. Star Ratings

It is the easiest and quickest way for someone to show their approval for your product or service.

Even if it does not carry any particular value it matters, mostly on local businesses though.

The star ratings are the most immediate and convenient source of information when consumers are researching a local business they’re not familiar with.

2. Reviews and recommendations

This is the second level. Users and clients dedicate some time to actually write their opinion about your product.

It carries more weight as it is more descriptive and persuasive than a simple star rating.

The combination of both is quite helpful!

Even if the star rating or the text has a negative tone, use it to your advantage.

Have a better understanding of your client’s needs and be publicly super supportive when someone is disappointed or frustrated.

3. Real Life Photos

Ok, now imagine that your clients are so excited about your product that they want to publish a photo of themselves using it!

This is more than superb. It is maybe the most influential way of someone embracing your brand.

In fact, you could -and should- offer a discount or some treat to any client that would present his/her experience with your product in such a glossy way!

4. Video Testimonials

This is the best type of user-generated content concerning your brand and products.

It might be an unboxing video or a video of your client actually using your product or describing his experience with your services.

You should definitely try to make your clients provide such a testimonial.

Long-form testimonials always perform better, especially when they are interactive, keeping the viewer hooked till the end!

B. Influencer Endorsements

Influencers are your best friends. They can help you boost your sales and reputation in no time.

As we have already discussed, people are influenced by the opinions of others.

Imagine the extent of the influence when these others are celebrities or influencers with many loyal followers.

That sounds expensive though, right? Well, that’s half of the truth.

There are two main categories of influencers depending on your needs and budget:

  1. Established” Influencers (high cost): They usually have thousands or even millions of followers. The bigger the gain the bigger the investment.
  2. “Micro” Influencers (low cost): They might be more suitable for you especially if you are on a tight budget. Works better if you are active in a niche market.

Influencers are doing this every day. They know exactly how to create engaging content and promote a product.

Think it more of a long-term investment in your brand’s future.

Have in mind that the average return of every $1 spent on influencer marketing is $6.5 (sometimes even $20).

Most great influencers out there have not yet realized their value…

Take advantage of it while you still have time.

Wouldn’t be great to showcase such a review on your shopify store?

C. Number of Product Users

I am sure that no matter how old you are, you have seen the “Friends” TV series.

Have you noticed in this -and similar TV series- the applause that is heard every time someone says something funny?

Well, this is a form of social proof.

If many people consider that something is funny, most probably you would consider that too.

The same principle applies to the trading business. The most users have purchased and are using your products the most probable is for others to purchase them too.

Do not neglect showing such numbers in every way you can, especially when a user is still at the top of your funnel.

Do the math. Social proof can be a very powerful tool for marketers when used correctly.

By showcasing the popularity of your brand, products and services, you can make people more confident that you’re the right choice for them.

D. Client Case Studies

Case studies act as testimonials from satisfied clients. A case study is simply another name for a customer success story.

They are great because they are beneficial for both your business and your client.

You have a great social proof of your products or services while the client gains extra exposure by having their story published on your company’s website.

Keep in mind the four reasons why case studies can be a huge boost to your company’s marketing and advertising campaigns:

  1. They tell a story. A well-crafted story can hook readers from the very beginning and leave them recalling the narrative long after the last word.
  2. They go behind the scenes. Everyone is showcasing results and that’s great. But only a few describe the whole process that makes their company stand out.
  3. They are real. There is no better way to back up the claims you make about your product or service than by describing the actual experiences of your actual customers.
  4. They are thorough. Case studies are not a punchline. They include all the above establishing a base of trust with your future prospects.

Case studies are not limited to services only. Think of a slimming product and how it might have helped a customer get the look they dreamed of.

Guess what is the best way to showcase that slimming product… 😉

E. Presence in media

To realize how social proof can be beneficial for your business, take a look at the following examples:

  • Assume it’s a Saturday night and you are choosing between two nightclubs to spend your knight. If the first one has a long waiting line, then you will possibly assume that nightclub is a better choice. That’s why most of the time nightclub owners tend to “keep lines” on busy nights.
  • Now assume there are two identical products for sale on eBay. If one has 250 reviews and the other has 8 reviews, which you would consider buying? Of course, the first one is a better choice because more people are buying and reviewing it.

You can influence consumers towards your products and services with the help of a social presence. Social presence is the regular online version of traditional social proof.

When potential buyers see a product or service with large, active social accounts, they are more likely to gravitate towards that product.

F. Social Media Counters

I am sure you understand now the influencing power of social media.

At the time you have reached a decent number of followers in your most engaging social media platforms like facebook or instagram, showcase them on your Shopify store.

Social media has resulted in the evolution of traditional social proof as a greater force for buying decisions.

A Deloitte report highlighted that consumers who are influenced by social media are 4 times more likely to spend more on purchases.

Moreover, the influence can be so high that 29% of consumers are more likely to purchase on the same day seeing a relevant social media post.

G. Strong Community

Create a community based around your brand. Engage your followers and turn them into community members and brand ambassadors.

You could share insights, backstage info, or even exclusive content and discounts with them.

Make them feel that they are part of a team, a part of something greater.

When customers see that something is limited or exclusive, they assume other people find it valuable.

This motivates them to seek out that exclusive product or experience.

Running branded VIP programs will help you acquire and retain new customers.

Flash sales for members only, boost the perceived value of a product to make others want to have it as well.

Not to mention that relative content is highly shareable!

Shopify + Social Proof = 💜

Are you having trouble deciding if the Shopify platform is the best solution for your eCommerce business?

Well, Shopify powers more than 800,000 online stores.

Keep reading and find out why Shopify is the right choice for you.

Shopify Pricing

Basic Shopify – 29$/month

You can sell unlimited products. Shopify will charge a 2% transaction fee unless you use Shopify Payments.

Shopify – 79$/month

Take advantage of more ecommerce features like gift cards and abandoned cart recovery. Transaction fees are 1% unless you use Shopify Payments.

Advanced Shopify – 299$/month

Except for the above, are you interested in advanced reports and automatically calculated shipping rates? The transaction fees are 0.5% unless you use Shopify Payments.

Pros of Shopify

1. Ease of use

Shopify’s eCommerce platform is a truly user-friendly platform usable right from day one. You do not have to invest hours of your time learning about it.

You don’t need to be a Shopify expert to set up a shop. Anyone can seamlessly launch an online retail store within a matter of minutes.

2. Professional Templates

You don’t have to possess any design skills with Shopify.

Choose from ready-made, high-quality designs (templates).

The templates are responsive, meaning that your site will be already optimized for mobile devices as well as desktops and tablets.

3. The Shopify app store

When using Shopify, you can utilize third-party integrations to increase your sales and revenue.

*More than 80% of merchants on Shopify use third-party apps.

The best place to search for third-party apps that integrate with Shopify is the Shopify app store (more than 2000 apps in total).

ProveSource is one of them! 🎉

4. Extreme Support 24/7

Shopify has the best 24/7 phone support. Who else does that?!

You can also connect with the Shopify support team through various social media platforms or email. And also use their 24/7 live chat support.

Are you a reading type?

Access useful information through their help center for a specific issue you might be having.

5. Marketing Tools

There are loads of great Shopify marketing tools to grow your business. There is an endless list of tools to help you from content marketing to social media, retargeting, influencer marketing, and more.

The only difficult part is to choose the right one for your Shopify store.

To Shopify or not to Shopify

Whether you have a small or large eСommerce business, Shopify is the most easy-to-use eCommerce platform.

It allows you to focus only on your real job by providing you all of the tools you need to build a beautiful and efficient eСommerce website.

The truth is that Shopify isn’t the cheapest eСommerce platform, but… In a few words it provides:

  • Cost transparency
  • 100 responsive theme templates
  • Several other extensions in the app market
  • 24/7 support service
  • The option to sell offline with Shopify POS

If you have the time and budget to self host and fully manage and control your eCommerce business then Shopify is not the best choice for you.

Conclusion

It is rather impossible to leverage all the different social proof strategies on your Shopify store, especially if you are new to the eCommerce business.

You will need to utilize at least 2-3 types of social proof for optimal results.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, so give it some time.

You don’t need to wait until you have tons of reviews, likes, or sales.

Promote the social proof you earn on the way, and watch your conversions increase.

One sale will bring the next one, and so on.

Good luck!

Yosi Dahan
Co-founder & CEO at ProveSource
Thinking about new ways to help our customers grow their business, build trust with their website visitors and improve their conversions rates using social proof and psychological tactics.

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