5 Social Proof Marketing Tools That Increase Your Dropshipping Store Conversions
Impulse purchases can be compared to some highly valuable fuel that is essential for every dropshipping store growth.
Naturally, the main goal for a dropshipping store owner is to encourage both random visitors and existing customers to place an order with no second thoughts.
Still, in the overly saturated informational environment, it might be super tricky to find the right words to successfully compete with smart marketers.
This is the reason why traditional marketing messages and bright advertisements can be successfully replaced with so-called social proof: in this case, it’s not you who reaches the audience with luring texts and catchy images. It’s ordinary people who honestly share their actual buying experience with others, and it’s ordinary people who motivate their peers to follow their lead.
Does it sound tempting already?
What is social proof?
Broadly speaking, social proof is any form of an indicator that shows 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 are interested in interacting with you. 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, but with the purpose to share personal experience, or to give some advice, or to 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 store’s conversion rate, and increase the number and volume of purchases made from you.
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 amount of messages and announcements that an average person has to process on a daily basis in 2018?
Can you guess how necessary 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 consumer, it is still important to buy high-quality items that meet their needs and wants; still, for any consumer, it becomes less and less convenient to go deep into all the marketing stuff and to try guess 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, such as:
- Their own friends and relatives sharing a positive or negative client experience
- Unfamiliar 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
- Certifying bodies and agencies who confirm the reliability of this particular enterprise
- Mass media news, podcasts, interviews, featured 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.
What are your benefits from social proof marketing?
Statistically speaking, social proof can be considered a highly powerful tool that can heavily increase your store profits.
A survey conducted in 2013 by Dimensional Research found out that 90% of customers who can remember reading online reviews eventually made their purchase under the influence of these reviews.
The 2014 Local Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal revealed that 85% of respondents read up to 10 reviews before they gain some trust to the business in question.
It is exceptionally important in terms of separate products’ reviews. Reevoo company, a researcher of user-generated content, reveals that if a product has 50 or more reviews, its conversion rate grows by 4.6%. In general, according to Reevoo, reviews lead to an average 18% growth in sales!
Quite interestingly, the BrightLocal’s survey also concluded that it doesn’t actually matter who exactly is the author of a product review: 88% of those surveyed admitted that they trust online reviews from strangers as much as they trust the personally shared feedback of their friends and relatives.
These impressive numbers clearly explain why social proof marketing rapidly becomes more and more important for business owners. Indeed, if you run a dropshipping store, you benefit from social proof because:
- It demonstrates your reliability and credibility to a wide audience
- It helps you establish a more emotional connection with your buyers, readers, and followers
- It reduces the buyers’ stress and helps them place an order with much less concern
- 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 as 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 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 valuable info about this or that specific feature of a particular item, and for a new buyer, these pieces of knowledge provide a favorable customer experience.
- 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
Usually, we create a separate ‘Best sellers’ category in our dropshipping stores – this way, we demonstrate the most popular and sought-after items that see the highest amount of orders in this store.
It helps us heavily increase conversion on the showcased items: generally, buyers are much more likely to purchase a product if they know it’s commonly bought by others.
It’s also a winning strategy to lure insecure visitors who like the store, but can’t decide which exact product to buy first.
Plus, it’s a great helper for people who are looking for a thematic gift and can’t make up their mind on one item.
- Customers’ visual testimonials
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.
Urgency-related social proof
In order to encourage people on making impulse purchases, 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 hundreds of active subscribers; now, you task is to make this accounts visible to your store visitors.
It can easily be achieved through 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 webstore. If you have these or similar seals of approval, you demonstrate the reliability and prove you’re sticking to a proper business practice.
5 ways to use social proof marketing for a new store
When your business is really young, it might seem nearly impossible 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 demonstrate your store visitors to lure them into making a purchase?
Here are the 5 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 buyers’ life gets much easier, and your store visitors get 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?…
- Recent Sales Pop-Up
For 2 reasons, recent sales pop-up is a highly popular add-on in dropshipping community.
First, it inspires trust to the store and showcases the items on offer to make it easier for a store visitor to make up their mind on the desired item.
Second, it ultimately motivates the visitor on making 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, so you can freely use the add-on since 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 amount 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.
- Customers Gallery Add-On
When someone sees an item in actual use, it gets tempting for this person to follow the example of the fortunate 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. While viewing this gallery, your store visitor can click on someone’s fancy picture and find out where to buy the identical item.
- 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 recognised.
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. To prevent confusion and misunderstandings (and to never lose a potential customers), it’s wise to clearly demonstrate the accounts you’re associated with.
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 what heights you can reach if your store is already running for some time?