The last time you made a purchase from an online store, you most definitely checked the product reviews, ratings, and testimonials, basically any social proof, before impulsively rushing to checkout.
88% of consumers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations. About 82% of consumers say they seek recommendations from friends and family before making a purchase.
During some of the conversations we had on Content Kettle, the one challenge faced by most e-commerce businesses was winning the consumer’s trust. Especially when you’re starting out!
In this episode of Content Kettle, our guest, Amit Porwal, the Founder of Expert Village Media, shares his take on how to establish trust as a young e-commerce store through social proof and smart design.
About Expert Village Media
With over a decade worth’s of experience, Expert Village Media is an award-winning eCommerce website design and development agency in India and the USA.
They are veteran Shopify Experts. Their mission is to help you launch your business online and equip you with the best by helping you establish brands that are truly loved!
Here are the key points from this episode.
Social proof and how it impacts your eCommerce marketing results
Don’t build a store. Build a brand you want to buy from
Think about what kind of brands you reach out to, Amit points. Brands that scream a sense of trust, right?
This trust is usually on product and service quality, customer support, and secure payment mode. This is just the tip of the iceberg really. Everything around and between the lines of your brand should establish trust.
If you, as a brand, are unable to come across as reliable, you will obviously not make it. You will be just another store failing. Popular brands find it easy to develop and nurture this trust. But what do newer and younger brands do?
Social proof enhances the shopping journey
What is social proof?
From customer reviews and testimonials to any comments regarding your brand on social media platforms are all different kinds of social proof.
Social proof is a derivative of normative social influence. In simple words, it is the influence other people have on us that leads us to like or accept something.
What is the right time for a brand to ask for a review?
“It varies from product to product”, Amit says.
For instance, if yours is a furniture store, you will have to wait at least a good 30 days until the customer can fully experience it.
However, the general rule is to not ask for reviews for the first 15 days after shipment. Shipment and not order placement.
How do you deal with negative reviews?
Your reviews should actually have a healthy mix of both positives and negatives. This lets the customer believe the reviews are original and honest.
How your brand tackles and replies to the negative reviews show how good your customer support and service are. It shows how much you value your customers.
For instance, if there’s an issue with a delayed shipment, let’s say, and the customer has left a fitting review for the same. Apologize, resolve the issue then reply to them saying how you’ve done the necessary to help the complainant. This lets new customers know you are doing everything possible so they can have a smooth shopping experience.
How should a completely new brand with hardly 5 orders a month, let’s say, gather social proof?
Try to connect with the customers. Say, with a handwritten note maybe. This simple gesture is an invitation to develop a brand-customer relationship.
Showing the brand cares about them leaves an impact. In return, you can ask for reviews. More often than not, customers will very gladly cooperate and provide you with some valuable social proof.
Focus on the design
Studies show that you have 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression! That’s all.
What can you possibly offer in mere 50 milliseconds?
A great professional-looking website!
Users today base a company’s credibility on its web design. Irrespective of the variety and quality of your products, bad design will shoo your customers away. You are going to be seen as amateurs, shady even and not trustworthy.
Think about it, would you make a purchase from a poor-looking website? Would you trust that website with your sensitive information?
UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) go hand-in-hand.
Along with the design, UX plays a huge role in the likeability and credibility of your brand. It is especially essential for e-commerce businesses to put thorough thought into this.
From slow site loading to unnecessary pop-ups to lengthy checkout forms to even incorrect placement of navigation bars, are elements of bad UX.
Bad UX screams unprofessional. It will drive potential customers away. Users are not going to trust you with their money, private information and even time.
Through great UX, you can increase website usability, user engagement and customer loyalty as well. UX is more psychological than one understands. So study consumer and user psychology and use it to help you grow as a business.
Listen more about Amit’s take on investing in traffic, seamless customer support, his two cents worth to budding companies and so much more in this episode here.
Content Kettle is our E-Commerce Special podcast. Starting an eCommerce business may have gotten easier. But taking your products to buyers is getting tougher by the day. In the age of rising competition and a digital-first take on consumer-brand relationships, what eCommerce marketing strategies really work? In this podcast, we talk to brand owners, marketers and eCommerce experts to help you reach ‘what works’, faster.