66% of Customers Look for Social Proof Before Making Online Purchases

Trust Signals

A whopping 66% of customers are more likely to purchase a product if it has some form of social proof that it is a quality item, via likes, reviews, mentions, testimonials, public endorsements and more.

When it comes to social proof, 82% of consumers believe positive ratings and reviews are the most trusted form of social proof. 86% of customers say positive star ratings and reviews on a company’s homepage are the trust signals that are most likely to drive them to make a purchase.

These consumer trends were unveiled in Trustpilot’s ‘The Psychology Behind Trust Signals: Why and How Social Proof Influences Consumers’ report.

Trust Signals

Small businesses can take a lot from the Trustpilot report, namely the importance of developing a strong presence online and encouraging customers and followers to leave reviews, product likes, mentions and more.

Trustpilot’s research reiterates how valuable it is for small businesses to publish positive reviews on their website, particularly on the homepage and on product pages.

The report confirms how influential trust signals have become for small businesses and how featuring trust signals – i.e. positive things fellow consumers say about a product or brand – is an essential way to engage with customers, build brand awareness and ultimately sell more products, compete with bigger businesses and increase profit margins.

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As the authors of the report note:

“No matter the industry, all marketing efforts seem to work better when they feature trust signals. However, it’s important to note that they can work differently at different stages of the purchasing funnel. Customers look for — and value — different elements of social proof as they work their way closer to a purchase.”

The report collected responses from 1,697 consumers in the United States, Europe and Australia. It asked consumers questions related to their shopping behavior. And how they perceived the importance of social proof signals.

The research found 86% say trust signals featured on the homepage were most likely to drive them to make a purchase. But 85% said the second thing most likely to encourage them to make a purchase are when star ratings and reviews are featured on a product page.

The research also looked at customer preferences in relation to different trust signals throughout the buying journey. It found the 50% of customers preferred trust signals coming from endorsements from public figures. 52% view media mentions as their favorite form of trust signal. While 60% hold customer testimonials in greatest esteem.

50% of participants admit that star ratings and reviews are most effective when customers compared different retailers.

The key takeaway from Trustpilot’s report is this. No small business can afford to ignore the importance of trust signals in different guises. These include star ratings, reviews and public endorsements. There’s also a need to encourage customers to share such social proof. The study also highlights the importance of social proof for small businesses. Place social proof content in strategic places where other customers can read it and be influenced by it.

Image: Depositphotos.com

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Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. She is based in the United Kingdom and since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".