Using Social Proof to Proceed to Checkout | KHWS

Using Social Proof to Proceed to Checkout

Behavioural Insight

The bromance between Barack Obama and Joe Biden continues to keep the meme merchants busy, but there is a serious subtext to the relationship, with the former U.S. President continually using his closest ally as a sanity check during their eight year White House stint.

This principle is equally relevant in the realm of online retail, where consumers look to the experiences of likeminded people before committing to a purchase, especially if it’s big ticket. KHWS’s unique brand commerce approach is based on nine sales triggers, one of which is social proof, which plays a key role in transforming an intrigued individual into a converted customer.

77% of consumers say that product reviews are an important consideration when looking to make an online purchase, illustrating why brands should be building a meaningful social proof component into their marketing strategies. So what does social proof look like in practice?

Amazon is one of the biggest proponents of product reviews, enabling consumers to rate on a five-star scale and leave comments. Take a look at this discussion thread about the Amazon Echo, in which potential buyers seek reinforcement from their peers as to the efficacy of the technology for family members with disabilities.

Expedia is another company that uses social proof as a tool to coax potential holiday goers to checkout. In addition to their impressive Feefo rating, based on over 300,000 customer reviews, they furnish their offers with data on the number of people who have booked the same deal in the last 48 hours, while they create a sense of urgency by using the language of scarcity, complete with hot red font and exclamation marks.

Apple has excelled when it comes to using consumer-generated imagery for its billboard marketing, presenting a series of breathtaking pictures snapped from nothing more than iPhone cameras. As you’d expect, the final ads are immaculately executed, but there’s something warmly reassuring about the hero images coming from your Average Joes and Janes. Apple are saying: “Hey, check this out, it’s awesome. But don’t take our word for it…”

It’s human instinct to seek validation when making an important decision. Having your plan reinforced by someone else provides a comfort blanket, assurance that your potentially pivotal action is logical and correct – tellingly, this seems to be an instinct the current U.S. President is missing.