Conversion Rate Optimization Digital Strategy

17 Ways to Increase e-Commerce Conversions by Leveraging Social Proof

Buying something is a journey, not a solitary event. Sales techniques that pressure the consumer to decide right away frequently result in an “I’ll think about it” or an order cancellation.

A client is more likely to share their decision with others when they are confident in it, which is a form of social proof.

What is Social Proof?  It’s a psychological phenomenon where people imitate other people’s behaviors because they believe it to be representative of the right behavior. Instead of the company marketing the product, consumers prefer to hear from their peers and unbiased third parties.

To understand it better, consider these real life examples:

Restaurants typically don’t have much room in the waiting area, so people wait outside. Passersby interpret this as evidence that the restaurant is popular and are likely to go there in the future.

Hotels frequently display photos of famous people who have stayed there in the past. This will convince potential customers that the services provided are of the highest caliber and influence them to choose the hotel as their place to stay.

Your e-commerce website should be created in a way that makes purchasing things the obvious next step. Getting other people to market you rather than doing it yourself is the most effective strategy you can use.

Why Is Social Proof Effective?

91% of people read online reviews before buying a product, and 84% of them regard them as just as trustworthy as personal recommendations.

Consider an instance when you downloaded an app from the PlayStore or engaged in online shopping on a website like Jumia. The star rating and reviews left by customers are among the first things you check.

You are more inclined to watch a movie if all of your friends are praising it and urging you to see it. Personally, that is how I came to watch Squid Game. 

Humans are social beings. No matter how individualistic a person is, we all want to fit in, so we often follow the signals displayed by those who are around us.

Marketing is met with skepticism from consumers. Naturally, you will extol your product because you want it to be a success. 

As well-meaning as this logic may be, people hate being sold to.

Conversely, people tend to be a lot less skeptical when taking recommendations from their friends. The internet equivalent of this phenomenon is customer/visitor reviews. 

By strategically implementing social proof in your ecommerce website, you can truly stack the deck in your favor to boost sales.

Types of Social Proof

  1. Customers: evaluations, recommendations, and case studies from previous clients.
  2. Sector experts: from respectable, recognized authorities in your industry.
  3. Celebrities: testimonials from public figures who have endorsed your goods or services.
  4. Crowds: endorsements or suggestions made by the majority.
  5. Friends: people who are friends of your users or visitors to your website.
  6. Certifications: a reputable third party organization that attests to your expertise and reliability.

How to Leverage Social Proof to Increase Conversion Rates

Begin by leveraging your existing sources, and then work to acquire more. There are several ways of leveraging social proof:

Social Proof on the Homepage

  1. Customer Base

Using client logos to demonstrate customer adoption is an extremely persuasive social proof strategy.

 By displaying your existing customer base to potential customers, you are effectively saying, “If our product/service is good enough for these successful companies to use, it must be good enough for you.”

This is why a lot of websites have a section on their homepages displaying customer logos. Some go as far as creating pages entirely dedicated to these customers’ testimonials.

Bonus tip: If you have many followers, display social media logos alongside your social count to highlight your fan base. Make them clickable and include a link to the relevant pages.

  1. Certifications and Trust Badges

You can display industry certifications or accreditations on your homepage if your company has them. The majority of these organizations have logos that you can include on your website.

Obtaining an SSL certificate shows users that your site is secure by displaying a padlock at the beginning of your website URL. 

Including trust seals such as Norton, McAfee, and the Better Business Bureau on your checkout page can significantly increase your sales.

Bonus tip: trust seals are a crucial purchasing factor

According to studies, at least 18% of shoppers abandon their carts because they do not trust the site with their personal information. Customers feel assured that their payment information is secure when they see logos from major payment processors such as PayPal, Apple Pay, VISA and MasterCard.

  1. Earned Media and Press

If your company has received an endorsement from well-known media outlets, you should highlight this on your ecommerce homepage. This includes magazine articles, unprompted reviews, and television segments.

Prospective customers are influenced when they see positive feedback from well-known and respected media outlets. You can copy and paste those excerpts into your website, or you can simply incorporate their logos.

Here is such an example that we insisted Nellions Moving place on their homepage:

  1. Platform Integrations

If your product or service integrates with third-party services, including their logos on your homepage provides excellent social proof.

This places your brand in the company of credible and well-known brands, effectively lending social cred to your brand.

Social Proof on Product Pages

  1. Reviews from Purchasers

Reviews are regarded as one of the most powerful forms of social proof to use on your ecommerce site. A product with 5 reviews has a 270 percent greater chance of being purchased than an item with no reviews. Make sure to include a section for customers to leave reviews on each product page.

It’s a good idea to have users write a brief bio before submitting a review. Customers will be more convinced that the product is suitable for their needs if they can find a review from someone similar to them. You can also include a filter option to quickly find reviews that are relevant to you.

Increase the number of reviews by sending follow-up emails offering vouchers or discounts in exchange for genuine reviews.

Bonus Tip: Instead of just putting reviews at the bottom of the product page, include a review badge at the top of the page for visitors who won’t scroll down. Remember that responding to a negative review can neutralize it.

  1. Customer Testimonials

Requesting testimonials from previous customers can help you establish credibility and trust with your target audience. A testimonial is a concise recommendation placed in a call-to-action format, whereas a review is essentially a customer sharing their thoughts on the product.

Making it a success story is an excellent format for testimonials. Request that your customers describe their lives prior to using your product and how their lives changed as a result of using the product. To persuade them to leave a testimonial, offer them a discount immediately after they make a purchase.

Include genuine, relevant testimonials that include the person’s full name and photograph. Including a contact form, CTA buttons, and an ordering form will increase your conversions significantly.

Bonus tip: Include video testimonials in addition to written ones. People prefer to watch videos because they are simple to consume, dynamic, emotional, and entertaining. The videos should be brief (30-60 seconds), personal, and focus on specific product features and benefits.

  1. Case Studies

Case studies, also known as “long form social proof,” are based on the idea that customers regard long, in-depth user reviews as more credible than brief excerpts.

Shopify, a popular ecommerce platform, highlights customer success stories in the form of long-form case studies.


  1. Real-time Stats

Displaying how many orders you’ve received or how many times a specific product has been purchased can make a significant difference in convincing viewers to buy. Display statistics on how many people are currently viewing the page, purchasing a product, registering, signing up, and so on.

Having a “Best Seller” badge to show your customers which products are in high demand boosts conversions on those items.


Including a “Customers also bought…” section is not only a cross-selling strategy; it’s also a form of social proof that shows people are buying a variety of your products.

  1. Increasing URGENCY! ⚠️

Include a countdown ticker that displays the number of remaining units or the time until an offer expires. Display items that are out of stock or have a limited supply. This will create a sense of urgency in potential customers to make a purchase.

Here’s a brilliant example from local ecommerce giant Jumia:

Social Proof in Your Ad Copy

  1. Celebrity and Influencer Endorsements

Celebrity and influencer endorsements can be a powerful form of social proof, depending on the product and the influencers chosen. The most important thing is to find someone who is popular among your target audience.

Depending on the brand, you can have:

Paid endorsement refers to formal contracts in which you pay an influencer to represent your brand.

Natural endorsement occurs when a well-known person publicly endorses your products on their own initiative.

Catherine Kamau, a well-known actress who has been a brand ambassador for HARPIC for several years, is a great example.

  1. Customer Showcase

Featuring happy customers in your advertisements is an excellent form of social proof. You can show off your customers’ creations or what they’ve achieved as a result of using your products.

This is more powerful than hiring professional models because it shows that regular people can look good in your products, which increases conversions because the majority of customers are regular people.

  1. Star Ratings

Use star ratings to liven up your website. They are a well-known symbol of customer satisfaction. They boost your position in Google SERPs and improve your click-through rate when used in Google Ads.

To be eligible to display stars in Google Ads, certain requirements must first be met. Make sure to read the documentation, or hire a digital marketing agency to do it for you.

Bonus Tip: Implementing Schema markup is a brilliant way to not only add star ratings to your website, but it can also increase your SEO rankings when implemented properly.

Social Proof on Your Social Media Pages

  1. User Generated Content

This is social media content created by your customers about you. This can include social media posts, video product reviews, blog reviews, or a podcast featuring your brand.

Customers want to see social media posts from brands more so than any other type of content. This is due to the fact that it is frequently entertaining, honest, and features recommendations from their peers.

  1. Host Industry Experts

Inviting experts to contribute to your social media platforms or blog is an excellent way to use social proof. For example, if you sell skincare products, you can have a dermatologist speak about the efficacy of your products.

Because it’s your platform, your followers will tend to attribute the expert’s authority to you. They will look to you as a source of these ideas and expertise. Having an expert endorse your products demonstrates to your customers that they are of high quality, and they become more willing to spend some money.

  1. Off-page Reviews

Backlinks generated by reviews of your products or services on other websites can boost your social proof and SEO score. They can take various forms, including:

  • Some websites specialize in comparison reviews, which means they will compare your product to one of your competitors. These reviews will include links to your website as well as important social proof.
  • Single product reviews. They delve deeply into your product or service and provide an in-depth overview of your brand.
  • Roundup articles feature a top 5 or top 10 product list for a specific vertical, as well as a review of each entry. Users will be more trusting of the information because it comes from a third party.
  1. Social Media Takeovers

This is a great way to reach out to a new audience that is interested in your brand but is unfamiliar with it. For a day, an influencer, or expert will post on your social media accounts.

This is simple to sell because it reaps the rewards of the influencer marketing association and benefits them by granting them access to your audience.

Social Proof in Your Email Marketing

Promotional emails are an excellent way to convert leads into paying customers and recover abandoned carts. Customers who browse but do not purchase are not lost. You can capture users’ emails and create a remarketing list using clever tactics.

Most people despise pop-ups, but when done correctly, they can significantly increase your conversions. They should have a simple yet elegant design, a bold CTA, and clear, straightforward copy with an eye-catching, easy-to-understand offer.

Use the list to send emails containing various forms of social proof in order to boost buyer confidence and prime leads for purchase. 

By providing vouchers and special discounts, you can entice customers to participate in a referral program and convert your customers into brand ambassadors. People like to feel like they are a part of a team. Because people tend to trust recommendations from their peers, this is a good strategy for increasing conversions.

How Social Proof Varies Across Niches

To understand what type of social proof to use on your ecommerce site to increase conversion rates, you must first understand the two main ways social proof differs across niches;

  1. Depending on what you’re selling, having as much social proof as possible can be beneficial or detrimental. General items that everyone requires, such as clothing, are practical purchases, and reviews serve to confirm that the product does what it is intended to do, that it is of high quality, and that it is worth investing in. As a result, the more reviews they have, the better.

High-end luxury items, on the other hand, such as a limited edition piece of art, are all about scarcity and prestige. Because their focus is on how rare they are, more reviews can actually harm your chances of selling.

  1. There is more to reviews than just the numbers. Numbers are important in low-end products because they show manufacturing consistency. However, for higher-end or highly specialized products, knowing what reviewers thought is critical.

Someone looking to buy a specific power tool, for example, may not be impressed by hundreds of 5-star reviews with no comments, but may be impressed by fifty 3.5-star reviews with detailed reasoning from customers who have used it before.

Automate Your Social Proof Collection and Implementation

You probably don’t have any testimonials or star ratings yet. Acquiring them may appear to be a difficult and impossible task, especially if you are preoccupied with other aspects of your business.

Fortunately, there are numerous social proof platforms that can assist with this. Typically, the procedure goes as follows:

Other features of the tool include: 

  1. Displaying social proof as a notification widget or as an on-page badge.
  2. Personalize data to suit your website.
  3. Use existing videos from Facebook or YouTube as video testimonials.
  4. E-sign contracts between you and your respondents.

Pro-tip: the best social proof should be filtered, not curated. Remove all spam and inappropriate content and concentrate on highlighting the most extensive social proof, regardless of how positive or negative it is. That is the proof that people are looking for.

To begin, test the effectiveness of one type of social proof at a time to see how it affects conversion rate. Use A/B testing to determine which versions help and which ones hurt.

If you need guidance with boosting revenue or scaling your online store, contact our team of experts to find out what we can do for you.