How to Build Social Proof for a New Shopify Store

Social proof is the concept that people follow the actions of others, using it as a cue for correct behavior. For online businesses, it means using reviews, endorsements, and social media to build credibility and trust. It’s vital for influencing consumer decisions and boosting conversions, acting as a trust signal for potential customers in the absence of physical interaction.

Why is Social Proof Important for Shopify Stores?

In building trust with potential customers, new Shopify stores face several challenges. The challenges are primarily due to their lack of visibility and established reputation. Without social proof like customer reviews or a strong social media presence, convincing shoppers to choose them over more familiar competitors can be an uphill task. 

In the current digital marketplace, reviews and social proof are pivotal in shaping consumer decisions. Research from the Spiegel Research Center at Northwestern University shows that displaying reviews can boost conversion rates by up to 270%. This statistic highlights how customer feedback significantly shifts online shopping dynamics, turning consumer voices into key drivers of conversion.

The stat above doesn’t come as a surprise when you consider the fact that a striking 95% of shoppers check online reviews before making a purchase. In addition, 93% of shoppers admit that these reviews influence their buying decisions. This highlights the critical role of peer opinions in the modern consumer’s journey.

Why is Social Proof Effective?

A closer look at the concept of social proof reveals the psychological principles that make it work. Basically, social proof operates on the principle that individuals look to others’ actions to guide their own in situations where they are uncertain about the correct course of action. 

This principle influences consumer behavior by enhancing a brand’s credibility, thereby building trust as potential customers see others vouching for a product and creating a sense of urgency or fear of missing out that encourages faster purchasing decisions. 

Also, the volume of social signals like likes and shares can significantly influence perceptions of a product’s popularity and quality in this social media age. In essence, social proof leverages the human tendency to follow the crowd, validating consumer choices by demonstrating widespread acceptance or approval.

Strategies to Build Social Proof for New Shopify Stores

You can give your Shopify store a better chance of success by following time-tested strategies to build social proof and convince shoppers your products are ideal for them.

1. Utilize Social Proof Pop-ups and Notifications

Using pop-ups and notifications that highlight recent purchases, low stock levels, and customer testimonials can effectively create a sense of urgency among potential customers. This strategy validates their purchasing decisions and fosters a community atmosphere by showcasing the satisfaction and positive experiences of others. It’s a powerful way to build trust and encourage hesitant buyers to take action, knowing they are joining a group of satisfied customers.

2. Encourage Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Authentic customer reviews are essential for online stores. You should encourage customers to leave reviews and testimonials. Simplicity in the feedback process is key to effectively gathering and showcasing these reviews. Shortening the path to leave reviews encourages more customer interactions while responding to feedback shows engagement and improves customer relations.

3. Showcase Trust Badges and Certifications

A 2021 report by Fakespot shows that of 124,044 Shopify stores analyzed, almost 21% are in some way fraudulent or dangerous for shoppers. Therefore, trust badges are needed to improve conversion rates by reassuring customers about the security and reliability of their transactions and the quality of the service or product offered.

  • Security Trust Badges: Show site security via SSL certificates, ensuring data protection.
  • Payment Badges: Indicate accepted payment methods, linking your site to trusted brands like Visa or PayPal.
  • Endorsement Badges: These are third-party approvals from entities like the BBB, showcasing company credibility.
  • Policy-Specific Badges: Highlight customer-friendly policies (e.g., free shipping, returns) directly made by the business.

You can use Shopify’s editor for direct integration of these badges on product pages. Also, there are apps for making this addition to your store. Another alternative is customizing with Liquid code, which allows for personalized placement and integration of trust badges according to your specific design preferences and store layout.

4. Utilize User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC), such as customer reviews and social media posts, is invaluable for e-commerce businesses aiming to build trust. It offers authentic insights and unbiased opinions from actual users, enhancing a brand’s credibility and encouraging potential customers to make purchases. UGC is often seen as more genuine than company-produced marketing.

To get the best out of user-generated content, you can launch hashtag campaigns to promote a brand-related hashtag for customers to use on social media. Provide incentives like discounts or loyalty points for customers who share content. Be sure to feature the content on your website, social media channels, or in marketing materials. Knowing their content might be highlighted can motivate customers to share.

5. Engage with Customers on Social Media

Actively engage with customers on social media by responding to comments, addressing concerns, and resharing their content. This demonstrates that your brand values customer feedback and fosters a sense of community around your Shopify store.

6. Collaborate with Influencers and Industry Experts

Influencers and industry experts can add an extra layer of credibility to your Shopify store. It isn’t always a straightforward process, as you need to find influencers whose values align with yours and are popular among your target audience. Beyond an influencer’s follower count, focus on engagement rates. An influencer with high engagement has a more active and interested audience, which is more valuable for credibility. 

Introducing Urgency+ (Shopify Social Proof App)

The Urgency+ app is designed to help Shopify store owners increase sales by leveraging the positive influence of social proof as well as urgency and scarcity tactics. The app showcases real-time notifications of recent orders and displays remaining stock to create a sense of urgency and trust among shoppers. You can streamline your marketing strategy with the app, as it’s easy to set up and seamlessly integrates with your store.

Features and Advantages of Urgency+

The Urgency+ app is a complete solution for Shopify stores, offering a wide range of features that can quickly transform your store’s performance and increase sales.

  • Showcases Recent Purchases: Displays notifications of recent purchases to boost credibility and trust among potential customers.
  • Stock Level Alerts: Informs customers about low stock levels, creating a sense of urgency and encouraging quick purchases.
  • Customizable Notification Periods: Allows you greater freedom in setting start and end times for when popup notifications are active on the website.
  • Limit Controls: To ensure your popups are not intrusive, you can set limits on the number of times a notification appears and the maximum display time to avoid overexposure.
  • Interactive Actions: For a better user experience, users have control over how customers engage with notifications.
  • Design and Message Customization: You can nail your brand messaging to a tee with the Urgency+ app. It provides tools for customizing the design and text of the popup notifications to align with brand identity.
  • Geographical Targeting: Are you trying to target shoppers from a specific location? Urgency+ allows you to select specific geographical locations where popup notifications will be displayed, tailoring the experience to relevant audiences.

Quantity Bars to Build a Sense of Urgency

  • Two Quantity Display Options: You can show how many items are left in stock, encouraging customers to act quickly before products sell out. Conversely, you can display the number of items sold, highlighting product popularity and demand.
  • Visibility Settings: You can configure the bar to disappear when inventory levels exceed a specified number, ensuring relevance.
  • Customization: Offers customization options for the color of the bars and the font size of the message, aligning with brand aesthetics. You can also personalize messages before and after the quantity number, enhancing the urgency effect. Additionally, you can change the position of the Quantity Bar widget relative to the Add to Cart button for optimal placement.
  • Countdown Timer Integration: Allows adding a countdown timer above the quantity bar to increase urgency and drive action further.
  • Location-Based Visibility: Provides the option to restrict the visibility of the quantity bar to certain countries, focusing on targeted markets.

Useful Tips

  • Start Building Social Proof Early: Begin collecting feedback and endorsements during the pre-launch phase to use in marketing efforts, enhancing credibility from the start.
  • Be Patient and Consistent: Understand that developing a robust base of social proof is a gradual process that requires ongoing effort and quality engagement.
  • Focus on Authenticity: Ensure all testimonials and endorsements are real and transparent, reinforcing trust and brand integrity.
  • Avoid Common Pitfalls: Steer clear of fake reviews and pressuring for positive feedback. Instead, encourage honest opinions and address negative feedback constructively.

Summary and Advice

Social proof is crucial for the success of Shopify stores, serving as a key to building trust and credibility online. Leveraging customer testimonials, expert endorsements, and user-generated content significantly influences consumer decisions, enhancing conversion rates. For new stores facing visibility and credibility challenges, authentic and strategically implemented social proof elements like reviews and recent sales notifications can boost customer confidence and sales. 

Increase Conversion and Maximize Sales with Urgency+
Try it for free on Shopify