Using Social Proof and Web Design to Drive Sales

For many, social proof seems new and limited to social media engagement. However, have you even driven by a McDonald’s and seen their “Billions Served” sign? Did you ever watch those old home shopping networks? They would always show how many of a handy-dandy gadget sold, and the number was always moving up. This is social proof, using the crowd to make and validate your decision. Have you incorporated social proof into your web design to drive sales?

People will only buy if they recognize and trust the company. However, users have become numb to self-promotion. Buffer reports there are “5.3 trillion display ads are shown online each year”. Additionally, the average user is exposed to 10,000 branded messages every day, up from 3,500 daily branded messages in 2005. Internet users are suffering from content overload. Adding social proof elements in your web design can help.

Social Proof and Web Design

1. Left In Stock – Have you ever looked at a product on Amazon and below the price is a message, “Only 2 left in stock”? This is a form of social proof to create a sense of urgency. If you want this item, act now before we sell out.

2. Number Serviced – Returning to our McDonald’s example, promoting your total number of transactions over the years sends a positive message. “If this company has worked for so many, then they must be really good, right?”

3. Flash Sales – Many companies effectively combine social proof with flash sales. The site will run two tickers. One will show how many items are left in stock and the other how many sold. It creates a panic and a fear of missing out.

4. Activity Feeds – An activity feed will show a person the recent activity of other users on the site: searches, pages viewed, products purchased. People will seek out what is popular and this can drive interest.

5. Expert Quotes – Adding quotes from experts and 3rd-party website reviews can boost your credibility. Moreover, it reinforces your own claims about your product or services.

6. Customer Favorites – Label or categorize your best sellers as customer favorites. Users will use the wisdom of the crowd to decide which product or service is the best buy.

7. Facebook Likes – When you add a Facebook “like” button  on your product or service page, it not only shows users how many people are thinking about buying, but also how many of their friends.

8. Reviews and Testimonials – Adding reviews and publishing testimonials are a powerful form a social proof. These are actual customers who have used your product or service, and are sharing their experiences.

9. As Seen On – If you or your business was featured on a prominent news outlet, it tells prospects that you have a significant level of authority. This degree of social proof is extremely valuable. Therefore, add an “As Seen On” design element.

10. User Generated Content – UGC is any content created by users, not your business. This can include photos, tweets, videos, and discussions forms. User generated content can create super fans, and your customers then become advocates for your brand.

Ultimately, when you put social proof to work for you, it helps convert users by helping them make a choice and reinforcing their decision. People will trust the opinion of the crowd, both friends and strangers. They will respect the opinions of experts. Moreover, a fear of missing out can compel visitors to act. Therefore, if you are looking for ways to increase your conversion rates, add social proof to your web design.

What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about using social proof in Web Design to drive sales, or need more information, please contact us.

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