There are strong social and psychological forces that drive us to make certain decisions and purchase certain products. And sure, maybe we’re aware of them on an academic level, but chances are by the time it comes to purchasing 10 products in a half-price sale, impulses have taken over before you have the time to step back and realize the mechanics and magic behind successful
Or maybe you just had a nice bucket of spare cash to splash on some good discounts.
One of these mighty forces is the concept of social proof, which is essentially public recommendations by prominent people or groups, and thus provide “proof” that X Product is cool man, solid, straight fire, [insert your own positive adjective here].
Let’s say Unknown Clothing Company has been in business for 3 years now and they’re not exactly down with the kids. So when they decide to release a new line of polo t-shirts, they choose to collaborate with the post-Justin Bieber teen star of 2020 — Ariana Grande, maybe? Or that TikToker Jacob Sartorius? (Oh no, I’ve swam too far down this channel and I’m completely out of my depth… let’s swim back to shore).
The large social force of the followers of Justin 2.0 see him in this new top and are likely to think “Hey, that’s a cool polo, because Justin 2.0 is cool. And we love him”. The intended consequences are then for Unknown Clothing Company’s target customers to begin buying more and more from them, based on the social proof of the influencer. I.e. the value of a product is channeled through the influencer.
An alternative to an influencer is if your products are being used by a sizable portion of your target market, so that you can claim some sort of superiority. Here, individuals may fall into the soft center of the majority. For example, when you head over to Amazon (Although other online marketplaces are available… they are!) one of the first things you check out is the reviews and ratings.
This type of social proof feeds from the ambiguity that stems from a social landscape that is strewn with choice and endless possibilities. How to make sense of it? What is appropriate? And what is cool fire?
Social proof can be implemented into a company’s marketing strategy and built into your site when it’s hosted on Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Let’s take a look.
Approved by experts
If you’re a company that deals with products that fall within the health and beauty sector, medicine, or really any sector of the economy where there are qualified people that can test them, having an expert approve them is going to instill trust in customers and elevate your reputation. Within the SFCC platform, boast of these credentials on your homepage or product page, for example an FDA approved logo.
Badges of security
Like a stamp of approval, providing security badges from trusted security institutions can beef up your trust with customers. Common security badges are security providers like TRUSTe and McAfee. When people spend their money the safety of their personal information is key, and so knowing an ecommerce site has been vetted by trusted security providers is going to instill trustworthiness.
One of the classic demonstrations of quality is the ratings system for products. As customers we use them for almost everything purchasable online from hotels and home furniture to socks and scales. And we use them as crutches of trust and are pulled towards higher-rated products and avoid lower-rated products. As humans we tend to find strength in numbers, and so if we see one product rated 5/5 by one person, and another product rated 4.5/5 by 1,000 people, we’re likely to hover over the buy button for the latter.
To add depth to ratings, showing user testimonials, or reviews, on your website allows visitors to listen to paid customers. They can answer common questions that potential customers may have, and make them aware of any fearuees that don’t seem obvious from the product landing page. Do you know anyone who doesn’t read a handful of reviews before making a purchase?
Earned (free) media
Rather than paying celebrities or social media influencers to boost your product, it may just happen organically when media outlets see what you’re doing and decide to write about you. Free publicity. Perhaps a product is picked up in a media outlet’s top 10 choices for summer; top 100 gadget of the year, etc. perhaps customers and potential customers discuss with each other in online public forums, spreading the word about one of your products.
All of the above are easily implemented on the Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform, which enables you to create and manage all aspects of your ecommerce website, and display them in cool and creative ways, which you can either do yourself or hire a dev and tech agency that is well-versed in the platform and has carried out many installations for some of the most well-known brands in the world.