What is social proof marketing? Why is it crucial to the growth and development of your online business, and how to treat it professionally? Read on!
The highly valuable ‘fuel’ that is essential for every dropshipping store growth is impulse buying.
Naturally, the main goal for a dropshipping store owner is to achieve higher conversions by encouraging customers to place their orders without a second thought. Still, in the overly saturated informational environment, it might be super tricky to create catchy and memorable promo content that would make it possible.
This is the reason why social proof successfully replaces generic digital marketing messages! In this case, it’s not you who reaches the audience with luring texts and catchy images. It’s the ordinary people who honestly share their actual buying experience with others. Without even knowing this, these regular buyers are the influencers who motivate their peers to follow their lead. 🙂
Does this non-invasive marketing prospect sound tempting already?
What is social proof?
Social proof is an indicator showing how your buyers, independent experts, or media influencers feel about your business.
These indicators may take really different forms. For example, the number of your Facebook subscribers demonstrates how many people enjoy interacting with your brand. Or, the amount and the contents of the product reviews reveal what your clients think about the quality of your offers and your customer service.
In any case, social proof is an external and independent assessment of your business. This is why it’s so valuable!
Your potential buyers pay lots of attention to such opinions, reviews, and numbers. People trust this kind of feedback because they understand: it was left not with the aim to make money! Instead, the purpose of these reviews was to share personal experiences, give advice, or warn about any possible issues.
Usually, business owners gladly share these external statements, opinions and ideas because they add a lot to their reputation.
Indeed, social proof is the thing that helps you gain recognition, improve your conversion rate, and increase the number and value of the placed orders.
What makes social proof marketing so powerful?
Quick facts: the ‘Global Trust in Advertising’ report that was issued by global marketing research company Nielsen in 2012 tells that 92% of consumers all over the world trust the recommendations of their friends and family more than any form of advertising.
This is the survey from the year 2012 when the information traffic wasn’t as intense as it has become now.
Can you imagine the number of messages and announcements that an average person has to process on a daily basis in 2021?
Can you guess how crucial it becomes for everyone to separate all the confusing and contradictory advertising messages from real, valuable, meaningful pieces of advice and knowledge about this or that product/service?
For any customer, it is important to buy high-quality items that meet their needs and wants. Still, for buyers, it becomes less and less convenient to go deep into all the marketing stuff and to try guessing if this product really is a good find.
This is why customers are so glad to rely on authentic feedback of real people and entities that comes from plenty of sources!
Sources of social proof
- Users’ friends and relatives sharing a positive or negative client experience
- Individual buyers who previously purchased this particular product or service
- Buyers’ communities that demonstrate a common interest and trust towards this business
- Credible experts who are skilled enough to make a professional review
- Celebrities who heavily influence general public opinion with their testimonials
- Certifying bodies and agencies who confirm the reliability of this particular enterprise
- Mass media news, podcasts, interviews, featured blog articles, video reviews, etc.
While reading/watching any types of reviews and opinions of these authors, potential buyers become more aware of the features, advantages, and downsides of every product. This way, it gets much easier and quicker for them to make a purchasing decision and place an order.
Social proof statistics you need to know
Social proof is a highly powerful marketing tool that can heavily increase your store profits.
43% of the online shoppers in the US, for example, use customer reviews to find out some specific details about the item they’re going to buy. To them, it’s the second most important source of product information after search engines!
What’s more, younger customers (18 – 24 year old online shoppers) expect a product to have over 200 reviews when they are making purchasing decisions. Millennials (25 – 34-year-old buyers), in turn, expect to see at least 150+ reviews per product.
These impressive numbers clearly explain why social proof marketing rapidly becomes more and more important for business owners.
What are your benefits from social proof marketing?
In fact, if you run a dropshipping store, you gain a lot from social proof because it:
- Demonstrates your reliability and credibility to a wide audience
- Helps you establish a more emotional connection with your buyers, readers, and followers
- Reduces the buyers’ stress and helps them place an order with much less concern
- Lets you enjoy the increased amount of sales and benefit from the improved conversion rate
As you can guess, for dropshipping store owners, social proof gets its own special importance. It helps buyers make a right purchasing decision with minimum hesitation and uncertainty. Having almost no data to rely on, online shoppers turn to supplementary data provided by external independent sources.
So, when you manage a dropshipping store, it is crucial to have these pieces of feedback integrated into your site. Do you know what exactly you can use for this purpose?
What methods of social proof marketing work best for dropshipping stores?
There are plenty of ways to use social proof marketing to promote a business, but obviously, not all of them are suitable for a dropshipping store.
Here is our list of tested methods with proven efficiency!
Product-related examples of social proof
- Ratings and reviews
These are vital elements of any single product page that considerably enhance conversion rates in your store. Thanks to them, a random visitor of your store gets a general idea about the quality of the product, and sees how many people have already bought this item.
For your prospective client, it’s really comforting to know that someone else has already tried this product, and got satisfied with it. Plus, lots of reviews contain priceless insights into this or that specific feature of a particular item. For a new buyer, these pieces of knowledge provide a favorable customer experience.
It is quite typical for buyers to post pictures and even tiny videos featuring them using the recently received order. These types of feedback are exceptionally valuable as they let your store visitors get emotionally involved in the purchasing process. Plus, once again, these visuals prove the reliability of the store and the high appeal of its offers.
- Number of orders
When a person looks at an unknown product and sees a significant amount of orders, it becomes clear for this person that the item is valuable and the whole store is trustworthy.
Obviously, it increases the chances of placing an order for this demanded product.
- Best selling items
If you take a closer look at AliDropship store themes we create, you’ll see that each of them features a separate ‘Best sellers’ category. This way, we let business owners easily demonstrate the most popular and sought after items that see the highest amount of orders in their stores.
It helps with the decision-making process a lot: generally, buyers are much more likely to purchase a product if they know it’s commonly bought by others. Also, it’s a winning strategy to lure insecure visitors who like the store, but can’t decide which exact product to buy first. And of course, it’s a great helper for people who are looking for a thematic gift and can’t make up their mind on one item.
Urgency-related social proof
In order to encourage impulse purchasing, we can successfully use emotions.
The so-called ‘fear of missing out’ works especially well: when people get worried that they can really miss a good deal if they don’t act immediately, they are more likely to proceed with placing an order.
Social media-related social proof
It’s good if you already have a Facebook group or an Instagram account with dozens of active subscribers! Now, your task is to make these accounts visible to your store visitors.
It can easily be achieved by placing the necessary widgets that showcase all the social media accounts linked to your store.
These widgets work great for building your reputation of a popular and reputable seller, plus, they boost your recognition on social media. You won’t get mixed up with a competitor selling similar items!
Trust-related social proof
Any person who makes online purchases can get a little insecure about the available payment gateways and delivery services.
This is why a trust seal from a reputable financial or logistic company is an important addition to your store. Having these or similar seals of approval, you demonstrate the reliability and prove you’re sticking to a proper business practice.
7 ways to use social proof marketing for a new store
At the very start, when your business is really young, it might seem challenging to use the power of social proof for its growth.
Having little to no sales, reviews, and page views, you might get confused: what exactly should you show your store visitors to lure them into making a purchase?
Here are the 7 tools that can help you out in this situation!
- AliDropship Plugin
As you probably know already, AliDropship plugin effortlessly imports AliExpress items to your dropshipping store – this way, you can automatically set up your own business in minutes.
What’s even more exciting about the plugin, however, is its ability to also import authentic reviews that were left by the buyers of this particular product!
This way, even if your store has no sales yet, you can still source relevant customer reviews that describe this exact product ordered from this exact AliExpress supplier.
So, your store visitors’ life gets much easier, and they become much more willing to actually place an order here. Do we need to remind you how much these reviews affect conversion rates in your store?…
- Reviews Page Add-On
Want to conveniently display the exciting customer reviews in a dedicated place on your website? With the Reviews Page add-on, you can conveniently create a whole new page just for this purpose!
The tool will easily add this page to your main navigation bar, setting you free from any tech worries – and giving your visitors a curious destination to explore.
- Recent Sales Pop-Up
For 2 reasons, Recent Sales pop-up is a highly popular add-on in dropshipping community.
First, it inspires trust in the store and showcases the items, making it easier for visitors to make their decisions
Second, it ultimately motivates visitors to make a purchase. This way, the store owner can enjoy a better conversion rate and higher store profits.
Spoiler: it doesn’t require you to actually have any sales at this particular moment! Therefore, you can freely use the add-on from the first day of your store running.
- Countdown Timer Plugin
Do you remember what we said about the importance of impulse purchases and the role of emotions in this process?
Countdown Timer plugin is the thing that makes your buyers worried about missing out a sale or a product with a limited stock.
All you need to do here is specify the discount percentage, the sale duration and the number of products available. The plugin will use your data to create a minimalistic yet noticeable banner that alerts your store visitors and persuades them to make a decision quickly.
- Urgency Add-On
The most awesome thing about the Urgency add-on is that it combines multiple solutions to help you use the power of social proof to the fullest. You can say it’s a 3-in-1 tool!
First, it adds a little catchy block under your product title and price. This section shows how many people viewed this item, added it to cart, and bought it. Then, it shows a countdown timer in your customer’s shopping cart to prompt their buying decision. And finally, it adds trust badges on your checkout page to let the customer know buying here is safe.
- Customers Gallery Add-On
Seeing an item in actual use, your store visitor gets tempted to follow the example of the lucky product owner.
This is why Customers Gallery add-on is so efficient: you simply take the real-life images posted by previous buyers, and directly link them to the products in your store. Viewing this gallery, your visitor can click on any picture and see how to buy the identical item from you.
- Social account widgets
We’ve mentioned them before in this article, and now it’s time to elaborate on them a bit.
Even if your store is a brand-new shopping destination that doesn’t see much sales yet, you still have a great opportunity to show that your business is widely discussed and recognized.
Providing a direct link to your social accounts through these widgets, you make it possible for your store visitor to explore everything that is connected to your business. The more thorough is a buyer’s research, the more engaged in the decision-making process he/she becomes.
Another thing to consider is competition. Many online stores sell a similar range of products or even have identically designed social account pages. So, demonstrate the accounts you’re associated with clearly. This is how you prevent confusion and misunderstandings, and don’t lose a potential customer.
As you can see, there are numerous ways for you to benefit from social proof marketing even if you’re a newcomer to dropshipping business. Can you imagine the heights you can reach if your store has already been running for some time?