How to Use Social Proof to Boost eCommerce Conversions

Do you have a great product on your eCommerce website but not enough buyers?

You may have an incredible, legitimate business and awesome products, but your audience has no way of knowing it. How do you provide them with enough information while also building trust?

The answer lies in providing social proof.

Social proof helps you showcase your business’s credibility. It also helps your customers move along their purchasing journey faster. Sounds awesome, right? Let’s learn more about it.

So, what is social proof?

It’s a psychological phenomenon where people copy the behavior of others as a way to choose the appropriate action in a situation.

Let’s look at some examples of social proof that you’ve probably experienced in real life.

When choosing a cafe, you’re more likely to pick one that’s full over one with fewer people. Even though you’ll get slower service in the busy cafe, you believe that it’s better because the presence of other people is ‘evidence’ of better quality. Or if you’re looking for hobby groups online, you’ll join one that has a large number of members because it indicates that it’s an active group with great content.

eCommerce businesses can use social proof in a similar way to create more conversions. Let’s look at some social proof statistics that will show you why it’s important:

  • 97% of consumers read reviews before purchasing
  • 88% of people say that reviews influence their buying decisions
  • 82% of Americans seek recommendations from friends and family before making a purchase

These statistics and many more offer evidence that social proof can create the tipping point that leads to buying behavior. It’s essential to feature social proof on your eCommerce site. And to do that, we’re going to explore different ways to add social proof to your site and how they’ll help boost sales.

Include Product Reviews and Ratings

Virtually all eCommerce stores include reviews and ratings on their product pages for a reason. Reviews and ratings are key ways to show social proof. They tell your audience that others have used your product and that it works.

Very often, reviews provide real-life use cases of a product. They even provide information you might not have thought of. For example, ModCloth, an online fashion store for women, features reviews and ratings that include the measurements of the customer. This helps other shoppers find the best fit and styles for themselves.

When shopping online, users can’t hold an item in their hands or experience a product for themselves. So, reviews provide them with the next best information. They convince people that it’s safe to buy from you and that your product will answer their needs.

Make sure that your products are displayed with star ratings and customer reviews. To get more ratings and reviews, you can send automatic emails to your customers after purchase and ask them to share their experience as a product review.

Showcase Customer Images

Imagine having an endless source of content that you don’t have to create and that you can use to build customer trust on your site. Well, it’s not only possible, it’s also a commonly used tactic that many eCommerce websites implement to win customers.

Your customers often share content like images, blog posts, and videos on social media when they have an emotional reaction to using your product. This gives you a great opportunity to feature their image posts on your eCommerce site.

Here’s how United Colors of Benetton does it:

Adding content created by customers does several things. It builds trust since it’s not a branded message, it showcases different ways to use your product, and it can lead to delight when customers know that they’re featured on your site.

Use a social media plugin to add an instagram feed to your home page or as a separate ‘lookbook’ to show visitors that their peers are buying from you. Real life examples can go a long way towards creating trust and improving conversion rates.

Create Real-Time Notifications

An effective way to show a visitor on your site that other people are actively buying from you is to create real-time notifications. These social proof notifications automatically display recent purchases, new registrations, and other information in a little ‘bubble’.

Your visitor will see unintrusive messages like ‘John from London just bought this product’. You can also set these notifications to show users what products are ‘hot’ and selling fast. In this case, you’re also using FOMO or the Fear of Missing Out, along with social proof. It’s a phenomenon that creates feelings of urgency that leads to conversions.

Your website visitors will feel like they’re missing out on a great opportunity or offer and will decide to buy faster.

Social proof notifications are a subtle yet effective way to catch the attention of potential buyers. What’s also great is that it’s an entirely automated setup that will provide the right nudge to users at the right time.

Work with Influencers

Working with influencers is another great way to use social proof to boost conversions. Your business niche or area will have experts in the field. They may be thought leaders with a large blog readership or influencers with a significant online following. Beauty gurus on YouTube, tech review sites, and gaming experts are a few examples of experts or influencers you can work with.

What you can do is reach out to an expert in your field, niche, or industry and ask them to give your product an honest review on their platform. This way of building social proof has its advantages and drawbacks. Let’s examine them.


  • You’ll reach a large audience base that’s already built by the expert
  • This audience will likely be your target audience, which means that you won’t waste time and effort addressing the wrong crowd for your business
  • The audience will trust the expert and as a result, trust your brand provided the expert gives you a positive review


  • You may not have control over what the expert says
  • The influencer could give your business a negative review

The drawbacks shouldn’t worry you if you have a great product. You can offset the risk of a poor review by asking for honest feedback from the expert and making changes to improve your solution.

It’s important to do your research and ensure that you’re choosing the right expert with the right audience-base. You can also sweeten your interactions with the expert—and encourage more sales—by offering a special discount to their audience members.


There you have it. We’ve looked at social proof, how to create it for your eCommerce site, and how it helps boost conversions. Building social proof is all about doing your research, building feedback, reviews, and testimonials, and presenting these facts to your audience. It’s also about leveraging the right social proof tools.

When you have social proof on your eCommerce site, you exponentially boost your conversions. Try out the suggestions in this post and it’s almost certain you’ll see your business grow.

Syed Balkhi is an award-winning entrepreneur and online marketing expert. He is the co-founder of OptinMonster, WPBeginner, MonsterInsights, and WPForms.