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Social Proof for Ecommerce Sites

09/25/12 – 6:00 am | Posted By: Courtney Petty

Online shoppers are picky.

As they should be.

They want to make sure their order will be processed, they are getting a quality item, their transaction is secure and the company/website is legit. Anyone can set up a website and “sell” things- which is scary for consumers. Fortunately for online businesses, there are ways to prove to the customer that you’re a credible and trustworthy business.

Top 3 Social Proof Tactics for Ecommerce Websites

1. Reviews. Reviews are critical for ecommerce sites. It lets the potential buyer understand the product challenges, what made the product successful and if the product will fit their needs. For example: size. If a dress runs large, and all the reviews say it does, chances are I will buy a smaller size which will potentially decrease my need for return/exchange and dissatisfaction with the product/company. It’s a win-win. Not all reviews need to be positive, either, so don’t moderate the unfavorable reviews. It will look suspicious and increase customer dissatisfaction when they order the product and it doesn’t meet their needs or standards. Reviews also relay to the potential buyer that other people are buying from this website. That’s a sense of proof that can’t be overlooked.

Modcloth does a great job with reviews (recognized after reading this awesome article).

Modcloth Reviews for Social Proof

2. Social Media. Of course, you knew this was going to be on my list. Social media shows potential buyers two things: you’re real, and, better yet: you’re social. Connecting with existing, new and potential customers outside of your website can be a wonderful thing. How you handle customer service issues via social media will also have a huge impact on if I order from your company or not.

Alloy complaint response on social media

3. Accreditation. The Better Business Bureau, Google Trusted Seller, PayPal verified, etc. By displaying your company’s accreditations, you’re showing potential buyers that you’re trusted. You’re trusted by names that fight spam and bad company practices and they feel safe… very important in online shopping.

Nuts accreditation

(PS- Nuts.com does a great job of showcasing social media & accreditation social proof.)

I could go on and on about why the above 3 “tactics” are important for ecommerce websites (and any website on the web, really) but I think you get the point. Most of your visitors won’t just trust your company right away- it takes time and proof.

What other types of social proof do you like to see or does your website use?

About the Author: Courtney Petty

Courtney Petty
Courtney is the Web Marketing Specialist for DKS Systems. She specializes in all things related to online marketing such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media, paid advertising and more. Outside hobbies include cooking, crafts and shopping online.

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  1. [...] pages within Google Shopping. (If you haven’t set up the Google Trusted Stores badge, yet. I highly suggest you do [...]

  2. [...] 3. Social share buttons. Even if by chance you aren’t present on social media- chances are, your consumers are! Encourage them to share! Yet another form of social proof. [...]

  3. [...] Form of social proof. [...]

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