What is social proof and why does it have to be included in your next web project
- 6 min read
- Bojan Zidarević
First off, let us define what social proof really is. Social proof is the influence that the actions and attitudes of the people around us (either in real life or online) have on our own behaviour.
According to Interaction Design Foundation social proof is „the tendency of human beings to follow the actions of others when making decisions and placing weight on these actions to assume the correct decision.“ It can be used to deliver credibility to prospective users and to promote acceptance in the design of products and services.
It is used for two reasons in user experience design:
- to deliver credibility (if users find a c+source useful or credible, they are more likely to believe that source may be useful or credible for themselves),
- to promote adoption (seeing large numbers of people doing something is a psychological indicator to users that they should do the same thing).
Here we will look at the different types of social proof and how you can implement them in your own website design.
While purchasing something online, did you immediately click the buy button? There is a good chance you probably read a few reviews first before making a purchase.
A Survey by Neil Patel found that 70% of consumers relied on online reviews for purchasing decision. That percentage goes even higher amongst younger users. 74% of consumers trust business more when they have positive reviews while 60% said negative review make them go elsewhere.
Largest online retailers display reviews prominently on their product pages because reviews are very powerful influencers. Reviews help your visitors feel more confident about their purchase. Reviews can also help your products appear in the search results for unique keywords.
Best place to include customer reviews is on your product pages and where they are clearly visible. Best example would be Amazon. They display star ratings and customer review for each product.
Brand logos are another example of good social proof. They show credibility of your business and they increase the perceived value of what you offer. Adding logos works well if those companies are recognized as household brands in your industry.
That can make a positive impression with potential prospects and turn them into customers. Adding brand logos as social proof can elevate your conversion rates and help users in their decision.
Testimonials can give potential buyers an extra nudge to take action. Testimonials can be in form of a quote or video. They come from actual customers and they lend credibility to your products or services. Testimonials should be displayed on your most valuable pages such as your homepage, product/service pages, and lead forms.
You will want to include a picture and name of the person whose quote is in testimonial. With A/B split tests you can better evaluate impact of testimonials on conversions. Great example is mHelpDesk.com. They have testimonials in video and text form combined. They even have separate page named „Customers“ where potential customer can see all testimonials and reinforce their decision.
mHelpDesk.com customers page
Trust seals are icons that can typically be found in the footer of the most e-commerce sites. The provide assurances that a transaction is secure online (VeriSign) or that a site is free of malware(McAfee Secure). Their main purpose is to show that a website is legitimate and has been verified by credible third parties.
From the survey by Econsultancy and Toluna, almost half respondents said that they look for trust marks when they are shopping from a retailer they don`t know well. Below is picture of most effective trust seals. They are most recognizable by the users and they can help you raise your conversion rates.
First contact that visitors have with your brand is your website. Visually appealing website design is key to keeping visitors engaged. Establishing trust with your potential customers is crucial for good conversion. By adding social proofs to your website you can greatly boost your conversions in the process and erase all potential doubts that users may have. Feel free to contact us to help you with setting up the social proof component!
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