Nearly 70% of consumers demand social proof?

Social proof has always been a major factor in the success of any marketing strategy. In the end, it just may be a deciding factor in whether a potential customer buys from you or from one of your rivals. Some recent research published by the consumer review platform Trustpilot confirms that social proof is, indeed, a major motivational factor with regard to how consumers decide where to buy. In fact, their recent research found that 66 percent of those surveyed stated that social proof was a major trust factor for them. Below are direct excerpts from Trustpilot’s report:

  • Social proof — like reviews, social likes, online mentions, and testimonials for products, services, or brands — has a powerful psychological effect on customers. Because the feedback comes from other consumers, not the brand itself, the positive messaging surrounding a product or service can be perceived as more authentic
    and trustworthy.
  • Consumers see social proof as an endorsement from their peers saying that the company, service, or product is great, and that the overall customer journey has satisfied previous shoppers. So when customers see trust signals — visual representations of social proof such as badges, ratings, reviews, and logos — it understandably elicits a strong influence on shopping behavior.

  • To find out exactly how social proof influences the purchasing process, and which trust signals are the most important, we surveyed nearly 1,700 consumers across multiple regions (United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and many European countries) and generations (baby boomers, Gen X-ers, millennials, and Gen Z-ers), and found that:
    • An average of 66% of customers said the presence of social proof increased their likelihood to purchase a product.
  • Positive star ratings and reviews were the most important trust signal, with 82% of customers these would make them more likely to purchase.
    • Positive star rating and reviews on the homepage were the trust signals most likely to drive customers to make a purchase (86%). Positive star ratings and reviews on a product page were the second most likely, influencing 85% of customers.
    • Customers prefer different trust signals throughout the buying journey. Media mentions (52%) and endorsements from public figures (50%) were effective when customers performed initial online research, while testimonials (60%) and star ratings and reviews (50%) were effective when customers compared different retailers.
  • Today, social proof is more influential than ever because sharing our own experience and reading about others’ experiences is a native element of life online. Customers need help with their purchasing decisions, and social proof offers the authentic, transparent guidance that customers want and crave — but can seldom get from ads.

-Written by Kevin Sawyer