Have you been wondering how you can use your consumers influence to boost conversions? Well, social proof could be the answer. Social proof uses people’s reliance on the feedback and actions of others to guide their own behavior. What others do tends to be mimicked - and this applies to ecommerce. What other people have chosen, whether a particular product, service or brand, guides visitor behavior.

Leveraging social proof is one of the most effective ways to get consumers to buy into your brand. It creates trust and credibility. The basic principle is using the wisdom of the crowds to persuade people to make purchases. Key findings from Qubit’s academic study ‘Getting 6% more’ show social proof to be a particularly high performer in terms of getting the biggest rewards from your efforts.

Introducing social influence into the buying experience delivers real results - an average uplift of 2.4% RPV and an uplift of 2.3% in conversion rate.

SocialProof-exampleThe psychology of social proof

Social proof is one of the 6 key principles in Cialdini’s theory of influence. It is so powerful because it plays into our basic psychology and our essential biases and heuristics.

Generally speaking, heuristics are decision making strategies people use subconsciously. They’re based on very little information, yet are very compelling. Heuristics are mental shortcuts that reduce the cognitive burden associated with decision-making.

When it comes to social proof things  like the bandwagon effect and confirmation bias come into play: other people’s choices act as validation for our own.Marketers can use this to influence visitor choices.  In our guide ‘Shortcutting the path to purchase’, we explore how you can combine heuristics with segmentation to personalize with maximum efficiency.

Create additional urgency around purchases

You can also combine social proof with badges and counters to play into FOMO (fear of missing out) by highlighting how fast an item is selling, or how few there are remaining, or simply by distinguishing it visually.

Social proof in practice

At Qubit, we work with some incredible world-leading organisations that utilise social proof as part of their personalization strategy. Social proof drives over $1m in annualized revenue for Express Gifts, one of the UK’s largest multi-channel retail businesses with over 35,000 products available. With almost 1.5 million customers a year and over half of order being placed online, Express Gifts understand the need to influence their customers at scale.

Mothercare deploy social proof for different customer segments. The leading retailer for parents and young children, Mothercare have created separate personalized and educational social proof experiences for two key segments, ‘parents to be’ and ‘new parents’. Across the customer journey, they are seeing a 3.27% uplift in RPV as a result of this strategy.

Social proof can be a powerful tool to help you guide users during the decision-making stage, across mobile and desktop. It is important to recognise that when you implement the tool, you test it out and ensure you’re getting the greatest benefits - integration is crucial in reaping the rewards from social proof, but when used as part of a personalization strategy, it proves itself as a valuable tool. Why not kick-start your path to personalization today?

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Emily Lewis

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