Successfully marketing an ecommerce business in today's competitive digital world requires a great deal of strategy, skill, and effort. One cannot simply build an ecommerce site and wait for customers to find it and make purchases. One of the most effective means of marketing these days involves social proof.
Social proof, in short, is endorsements from current customers and other consumers about your brand and products in the form reviews, testimonials, case studies, social media sharing and online content. These endorsements help other customers learn about your brand, and validate their purchase decisions. And because they come from real people, not straight from your brand, they provide a more genuine and trustworthy message, and something that cuts through the noise of traditional advertising and marketing.
Generating social proof for your brand requires some thought and planning sure, but it’s not a particularly difficult process. A brand can excel at creating social proof using three simple techniques.
Ask for Reviews & Ratings
Perhaps the easiest and most effective way to build social proof is through customer reviews and ratings. Consider one of the most successful ecommerce merchants, Amazon. They include customer reviews and a star rating on every product page throughout the site. Customers who are happy with the product leave glowing feedback and encourage others to buy as well. Ecommerce sites of all sizes can incorporate this simple technique into their sites and reap the rewards. Sending an automated follow up email after purchase is a simple and efficient way to ask for these reviews.
Another way to improve a brand's social standing is by giving away product samples to social media influencers. For example, a brand could send product to a leading Instagram personality in exchange for them posting pictures using the product. These online-celebrities often have a large following and they can have a major impact on how a brand is perceived. Just one image can lead to a massive number of new customers, and the potential to build an ongoing relationship with them.
Check out “4 Smart Ways to Leverage Influencers to Promote Your Brand” for more tips.
Use Trust Badges & Affiliates
Credibility online is a major factor in a brand's success or failure. Customers are more likely to do business with ecommerce sites that display trust badges from organizations like VeriSign, McAfee,, Truste and the BBB (Better Business Bureau). They're also more prone to trust a company who has worked with other brands they're familiar with. Brands who take advantage of these affiliations are more likely to make the sale and retain the customer.
Ecommerce sites face fierce competition for customers and often social proof is the deciding factor. If others have bought a product, are using it, and like it, shoppers will be more inclined to do so themselves.