How Retailers Can Use Social Proof to Increase Sales

All retailers want to sell more. Whether you’re an online or offline retailer, using the power of social proof will help you make more sales, as well as creating a long term loyal customer base. We’ll show you why social proof is so powerful for retailers, as well as how to use it well.


Social proof: a quick guide to why it helps retailers sell more

Social proof is a psychological idea that states the actions and behaviour of people surrounding us can make us change our own behaviour, simply to model that group. Put more simply: it’s the ‘proof’ that if others are saying it or doing it, then it must be true. Social proof is a really powerful marketing tool. It has the power to influence other people’s behaviour because psychologically at least, we all just want to be the same as everyone else.  We want to buy the same things as others, go to the same restaurants and watch the same shows. The great news for retailers both online and offline, is this means people want to buy what everyone else is buying, simply because they’re buying it too. Harness the power of social proof for your retail business and you’ll sell more. It’s that simple.


3 ways to use social proof in retail marketing that actually work

Social proof is great for amplifying all marketing activity for retailers, but to make it really work for your business, you need to go in with specific social proof marketing strategies. Here are three surefire ways to capture the power of social proof, so you’ll be able to captivate your customers.


1.  Use social media in combination with social proof

‘User proof’ is where people love to use and buy what ‘average’ people are, so social media such as Instagram and Snapchat are ideal for this strategy. In addition, people view product recommendations and discussions amongst social media users as more honest and reliable, making them much more likely to buy products they see on social media. Generating user content discussing, tagging and reviewing your products is an effective way of harnessing social proof to drive more product sales to your site or store. You’ll also be able to use this content across your other marketing channels, for example using real-life photos from customers in email campaigns to nurture leads or encourage upselling. It’s all about showing how your customers use and love your products.


2. Encourage online reviews to provide the ‘proof’

Reviews are essential for all retailers, online and offline. There’s a reason you’re always asked to leave a review for recent purchases, and that’s because they provide the social ‘proof’ that others are buying and using those products. Online reviews act as honest endorsements about your business and products you sell, creating extra layers of trust and loyalty in your customer base, making increased sales much more likely. Testimonials and product reviews can be included on your website, on campaign emails and on your social media page, so it’s vital that you make leaving reviews as easy as possible for your customers.


3. Share your story, not just your products

Using rich, interesting and crafted stories will heighten your social proof. People don’t buy products, they buy stories, and a great story will help you sell more.Your customer will interact with (and remember) great stories associated with your brand much more than facts on your best selling product.  They add an extra layer of social proof in addition to reviews; increasing feelings of trust and loyalty towards your brand. The result? Increased sales. Share real, powerful customer stories, testimonials and case studies from people who have bought your products or who have had a great experience with your store. By using the power of social proof with real and genuine stories, you’ll create engaging content that works to convince people you’re the right store to buy from. The result again? More sales.


To wrap up

Social proof is a great way to increase sales for your retail business. Using specific strategies such as user generated social media content, online reviews and sharing stories will increase your sales, as well as amplifying your brand and sales strategy across all of your marketing channels.


Hannah Hambleton is the Content Manager for Beambox. Hannah writes about marketing trends for retailers, giving them the insights and tools to increase sales and customer engagement.



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