Most artists today rely on merch as a major income stream, but even if someone wants to purchase something from your site, they still might be hesitant. Super fans probably won’t care much, but the casual fan wants proof that their purchase is going to exactly what’s expected. That’s where social proof comes in.
Social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon where people notice what other people do in order to either copy their actions or be more comfortable when taking those actions. You’re probably familiar with all the following types of social proof, but adding just one of them to your site can make a big difference in sales. Let’s look at them.
- Customer Testimonials – This may be the most persuasive of them all, as many people want to know that they’re not making a mistake when purchasing.
- Celebrity Endorsements – This goes one step further in that a connection to a celebrity establishes your social authority as well.
- Media Mentions – If you’ve received a writeup by a magazine, newspaper, blog or even a spot on a TV news show, this can go a long way in creating a comfort zone for a purchase.
- Social Share Count – Who would you trust more? Someone that has a million Instagram (or Facebook, YouTube, etc) followers, or one with less than a hundred? The shear number of engagements is enough proof to make some people more comfortable with you.
- Ratings And Reviews – Many eCommerce stores allow a customer to rate a product and/or service and leave a review. This works for all kinds of products on Amazon and it could work for you too.
- Best Seller – It’s a psychological trick, but just indicating which of your products sell the best can be enough for some people to make the purchase.
- Number Of Orders – Simply sharing the number of orders that a product has received can be enough to persuade someone to make a purchase. The obviously works better when products have high enough numbers that someone would consider impressive.
- Real Time Stats – This only works if you’re running a sale and either have a limited inventory or a time limit on the sale (good for urgency).
There are actually 25 types of social proof that you can read about here, but remember that no social proof is better than low social proof, as it may have the opposite effect in making people less comfortable about buying your merch.