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Let’s say you’re shopping for a new pair of shoes online and come across two different stores. The first store is a brand with a significant social presence and reviews. The second store has little to no reviews.
Which store would you choose? Most likely, it's the first store, and you’re not biased here. This is due to a psychological event—social proof. Displaying customer reviews is one of the examples of social proof marketing.
In this blog, we’re talking about different types of social proof and showcasing the best social proof marketing examples.
What is social proof?
Ever notice yourself checking reviews before buying something online or deciding where to eat? That's social proof marketing in action. Social proof refers to the psychological concept that people look to others for cues on how to act and what to think. We're wired to follow the crowd.
For your e-commerce brands, it means showing shoppers you're popular and trusted. You can do this by focusing on your customers and their experiences with your brand. Display user-generated content like reviews, ratings, testimonials. Feature recent purchases, live social proof notifications and user-generated content.
How does social proof impact sales?
There’s no way anyone can say that social proof isn’t effective for e-commerce brands. Even Katelyn Bourgoin, founder of Customer Camp, validates this.
Here are a few ways how social proof, if used well, can positively impact your e-commerce sales:
- Increased conversion rates- Social proof reduces hesitancy and triggers more purchases
- Higher average order value- Seeing others' activity signals safety and encourages more orders
- Improved brand credibility - User-generated content builds authenticity and trust
- Lower acquisition costs- Satisfied customers organically promote their networks
- Extended brand reach- User-generated content increases awareness faster than conventional ads
The different types of social proof
Social proof is the psychological phenomenon when the opinion of others validates our choices. Nobody wants to regret an expensive purchase. For example, whenever we travel to another country, we often ask our friends or in forums like Reddit for recommendations. That’s a live example of social proof.
We look for different types of social proof examples every day to validate our purchase decisions.
- Online reviews- Authentic feedback from existing customers showcasing their experiences helps build trust among potential customers
- Customer testimonials- Positive statements from satisfied customers, usually more formal or curated than customer reviews, showcase the product or service's benefits
- User-generated content- Photos, videos, or text created by customers showcasing the product in real-world use, providing relatable proof of the product's value
- Social shares- Shares, likes, or comments on social media platforms, indicating popularity and approval from a wider community
- Influencer marketing- Recommendations by influencers with a significant amount of social media audience, helping brands to share their products with the broader audience
- Press mentions- Coverage in reputable media outlets, signaling recognition and credibility in the broader market.
Examples of social proof marketing done right
Pavers is a renowned footwear brand specializing in providing comfortable shoes for both men and women. They offer various footwear options, from boots of various lengths to trainers, shoes, slippers, and sandals. Pavers is known for its emphasis on comfort. And it uses live social proof notifications to create urgency among its shoppers.
As you can see from the screenshot below it uses notifications like Someone in (location) bought (product), (time) ago.
Using such time-sensitive notifications not only creates a sense of urgency but also instills trust among the audience. It signifies that this e-commerce store is credible enough to shop as other people are shopping from it as well.
Now, you may ask how to integrate such social proof marketing notifications into your e-commerce store. You can simply use Fomo to display such and more notifications like abandoned carts, push notifications, etc., on your store to push users to go from just window shoppers to actual buyers.
2. Rare Beauty
Founded by Selena Gomez, Rare Beauty celebrates individuality through its unique, feel-good makeup products. The brand offers various vegan and cruelty-free items, including lip oils, blushes, and eyeshadows.
It has cracked the code of social proof marketing with multiple elements. Once you land on the website, you can see a massive carousel of all the live social media posts its customers have created with the products.
This instantly gives a shopper a sense of trust and credibility for the brand. Later, they carefully placed customer reviews on their product pages—allowing shoppers to understand the product's value from other customers. They’ve featured the reviews with pictures on top that immediately show the authenticity and uproot any sense of doubt that a shopper might have.
To mirror such a success, curate and display real customer photos and videos prominently on your e-commerce store. Beyond reviews, make UGC part of your product pages, not just a separate section. You can use tools like Flockler to collect and embed your brand's best social media posts with minimal effort.
The more you integrate real experiences versus generic claims, the more shoppers trust your brand.
Casper, renowned for enhancing sleep quality, offers innovative, award-winning mattresses and sleep products. Founded to revolutionize the sleep industry, Casper invests in extensive research, developing advanced sleep technology and ergonomic designs. Certifications and awards from reputable sources are a powerful source of social proof marketing. They’re essentially a group of experts recommending a product.
Casper makes good use of this on their site with a dedicated landing page showcasing all the awards they’ve received and press mentions.
And it gets better with product pages as they mention a stat from their research with Casper’s shoppers, “4/5 new Casper customers reported better sleep on their Casper.” This instills a sense of trust and security among online shoppers and shows how valuable they find your products.
Displaying awards and certificates will always be a great selling point if you’re in the CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods), skincare, cosmetics, or similar business.
4. Nature Made
Like Casper, Nature Made also showcases its expert certification to potential customers. However, instead of just highlighting this on their site, they run social media campaigns around it.
They haven’t just slapped on an image of the seal of approval, either. They explicitly mention that “an independent party” has vouched for their products and invite people to learn more about their certification.
In this case, they’re also providing social proof for a particular product but using it to strengthen their brand. This has a halo effect on all of their products as customers become more trusting of the Nature Made brand.
Airbnb is a fantastic platform for finding short-stay accommodation. However, one of the issues they’ve had to struggle with is customer hesitancy and concern over what type of host they’ll have. Airbnb’s answer to this is their Superhost program, essential to a turbo-charged customer rating system as a better social proof marketing solution.
By highlighting their top-rated hosts on listings, Airbnb communicates to travelers that plenty of other travelers have enjoyed their stay with the host. This goes beyond just looking at customer ratings by introducing additional criteria for hosts to meet before becoming Superhosts that provide travelers with extra peace of mind.
So, if you run an e-commerce marketplace, establish clear criteria your top-rated sellers must meet to earn a distinctive status. Prominently badge and showcase these sellers on product listings to indicate quality and reliability and monitor reviews to address issues quickly. The more you showcase what real customers have experienced with a seller, the more new customers will trust making a purchase.
82°E is a distinguished skincare brand founded by Indian actress Deepika Padukone. The brand is committed to elevating skincare routines with its clinically tested, expert-formulated products, which are vegan and cruelty-free. 82°E offers a variety of skincare essentials.
The brand embodies the spirit of clean beauty and aims to provide high-quality skincare solutions, born in India, for the world.
As you move from the website’s homepage and notice the media coverage posts, 82°E has been featured on Vogue, Khaleej Times, YourStory, and others. This instantly shows the credibility and leadership of the brand among the audience.
So, if you’re launching any new products, press releases are a great way to create buzz around them. It helps to spread the word to a broader audience and improve visibility, which eventually can help you become a leader in your industry and attract more customers, leading to higher sales.
Glossier is a beauty brand that aims to make beauty accessible and uncomplicated, celebrating freedom of expression and individuality. It wants to have fun with beauty and encourages customers to explore and enjoy its products, emphasizing that everyone looks good regardless of where they are in their beauty journey.
Glossier has created its brand to be very customer-centric and has always embraced its community of ‘Glossier Girls.’ One essential part of this is user-generated content on social media. Glossier pays close attention to what its community posts about its products on Instagram and regularly shares these posts to show how its products work in real life.
By sharing regular people’s posts, instead of partnering with celebrity influencers like other beauty brands, Glossier brings a fresh feel of authenticity to their marketing while working in social proof at the same time. The audience finds it more relevant and genuine than celebrities endorsing their products for money.
They’re showing potential customers that people like them are using and loving Glossier products.
8. Manuka Doctor
Of course, just because Glossier has steered away from celebrities doesn’t mean celebrity endorsements aren’t powerful.
Certain celebrities carry plenty of sway among certain people, and if these people match your target audience, their endorsement can drastically increase your sales.
This is why Manuka Doctor partnered with Kourtney Kardashian.
For many Kardashian fans, simply hearing that Kourtney has used a product for many years will naturally make them curious and want to learn more.
Implement social proof marketing for the win!
Your customers are looking for and expect to find social proof similar to the examples we’ve just been through.
They’re not checking for every type of social proof on this list, but they want to know that you’re a reputable brand they can purchase from confidently.
Providing them with this by adding social proof elements to your online store and marketing will boost your conversion rate and generate more sales.
That’s why we’ve built the world’s first social proof marketing platform - to give you access to quick and easy-to-implement social proof features for your online store. Give it a try for 14 days today and witness the increase in sales today!