Do consumers trust marketing activities? Let’s look at a recent survey.
The transparency of product information is crucial for online retailers because its this transparency that influences purchasing decisions. Customers are always online and always connected – meaning, information is accessible at their fingertips.
Mobile devices are heavily fueling this trend. In fact, for every baby born in the world, a smart phone is activated. Also, there are more phones in the world than there are toothbrushes.
Social Proof Online
So, what now? That’s where social proof comes in. People want to follow the lead of individuals similar to them. It’s a psychological tool that we use to help make purchasing decisions. Social proof has become more important than brand loyalty.
And the social proof for e-commerce? Ratings and reviews.
The black belt for social reviews in North America is Amazon. This is why more and more people are starting their product searches on Amazon instead of Google. One review to a product page increases conversion rates by 10%. But don’t forget negative reviews. To earn trust, good retailers highlight both positive and negative reviews. And if you get numerous reviews, provide a search bar or tags for consumers to easily sort through reviews. One company doing this well is Trip Advisor, who has plugged into Facebook’s social graph and automatically shows you reviews from individuals you know.
Social Proof Offsite
Many social networks allow you to provide product transparency outside of your website. Pinterest’s Rich Pins allows users to receive alerts on products that are price discounted. Like2Buy scrapes a retailer’s Instagram account and adds a buy button to product images. We’re sure your familiar with Twitter’s buy button, but its #AmazonCart feature allows you to add Amazon products to your Amazon cart right from Twitter. And just last week, Facebook announced Messenger for Business which allows retailers to sell products through Facebook Messenger.
Social commerce is actually going toward messaging apps. Just lookat China. Mercedes sold 1,700 cars on WeChat (China’s instant messaging platform). Wow!
Social Proof In-Store
There’s not a lot of social proof in stores. So, use your online efforts to bring this proof in doors. Below are great examples currently being done by retailers.
With the fast-moving, techy environment we live in, it’s hard to believe that e-commerce is new in the grand scheme of things. The retail industry is 4,000 years old. E-commerce is only in its 20th year. Product transparency and consumer expectations will only increase. Adapt now, or risk becoming obsolete.
Blog post by Jordan Nowlin, social media and blog manager, ChannelAdvisor
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