RSR | Future of Trust & E-commerce

Properly leveraging social proof helps solve a number of problems for retailers. Whether it’s getting the questions of customers answered correctly and promptly, or it’s promoting a new product or service, engaging with social proof the right way can lead to a steady stream of customer content coming in.

When retailers create an online shopping environment where social proof is easily located, the process of earning the trust of new shoppers can become simpler for everyone involved. A few strategies for gathering more social proof from customers include: 

Engaging with the Content Customers Share on Social Media

One of the ways retailers can meet customers where it matters most is by regularly communicating with them on social media. By reacting to what people on social media are saying in a witty or fun manor when appropriate, there’s opportunity for brands and retailers to gain goodwill with future customers. An active social media presence can serve as a differentiating factor when making a buying decision. Have you ever had a tough time deciding between two retailers, and turned to a social network to help you make the final decision? 

Picture trying to decide between two retailers to buy a new bicycle from for the spring. One retailer retweets photos of happy customers on their new bikes, answers questions from customers, and provides safe riding and maintenance tips. On the other hand, the other retailer hasn’t tweeted or shared content across any of their channels since 2016. The social media findings helped make the decision much easier. One of the areas where social media is most beneficial for both retailers and shoppers is in the process of gaining trust. 

Share Milestones with Customers 

Even though nobody likes a bragger, occasionally tooting your own horn can serve as a way to build a rapport with shoppers online. Keeping track of meaningful milestones and sharing them when appropriate can create an influx of social proof from customers. Let’s say for example an online clothing retailer is approaching their 10,000th order. In anticipation of reaching their milestone, the retailer creates a hashtag and encourages customers to upload photos of the clothes they ordered on Twitter and Instagram, along with some details about their shopping experience until they hit their goal.  
By the time the retailer reaches 10,000 sales, they’ll have social proof they can share on their social channels, and future shoppers will be able to easily see the impact they’ve made on previous customers. By sharing milestones with customers, retailers provide customers with insight into who they are and where they stand in comparison with their competitors. Making the decision to share important company achievements and breakthroughs is another effective technique in building trust among the skeptics. The fact that doing so can invite more social proof from customers when done properly is an added bonus. 

Get Creative When Answering Questions 

There’s more than one way to answer the questions of customers. When brands and retailers think outside of the box in order to provide their customers with answers, influential social proof can result. Often enough, brands are looked at as subject matter experts by shoppers and benefit from communicating with shoppers as such. When brands leverage that expertise with Q and A sessions, they have the opportunity to display their knowledge to benefit both current and future shoppers.  

For example, let’s say you’ve got a question for one of your favorite retailers. You see that they announced across their social media channels that they’ll be answering questions live on Twitter from 3pm-5pm next Tuesday. You, along with lots of other customers will have your questions answered by simply adding a unique hashtag to the question you tweet at the brand. While some of the questions detail experiences about a certain product, and others about their personal experience, the back and forth between the brand and shoppers provide effective social proof that may have a strong impact on the shopping decisions of future customers. 

Having a good rapport with shoppers helps eliminate some of the obstacles that come with collecting social proof from customers. When retailers focus on creating conversations with customers at their convenience, starting those conversations becomes easier. With social QA, customers have access to customer questions and retailer answers at the most pivotal stage in their buying journey. To learn more about the impact of social proof on customer trust, schedule a demo with one of our experts today. 

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