Social proof is based on the concept that people will follow the actions of the majority. The logic behind it is that if so many people act that way, it must be appropriate. This concept is also well-known in online marketing, and it can help take your Etsy store to the next level.
That’s closely tied with having reviews on your Etsy page. Since reviews are a form of user social proof, they can impact your customer’s shopping decisions and habits.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of social proof, how reviews impact your Etsy store, and learn how to incentivize your customers to leave more reviews.
The Importance of Social Proof
Before we get into the nitty and gritty, let’s define social proof. According to Buffer, there are six main types of social proof, including:
- Expert - expert social proof comes from industry experts who recommend a specific product or a service.
- Celebrity - celebrity social proof includes celebrity product endorsements, both paid and free. For example, if a celebrity uses your product in their posts, or they mention it somewhere.
- User - user social proof is based on the experience of your current users and consumers. Usually, these include reviews or customer testimonials on websites.
- Crowd - similarly to user social proof, crowd social proof is based on your current users’ experience. However, this is more of a group effort, such as having thousands or millions of followers on your social media channels.
- Friends - this is based on word of mouth. You see your friends or family members using a specific product or hear them talking about it.
- Certification - this type of social proof is expert-based, meaning that your brand has received certification or other forms of stamps of approval by authoritative industry experts.
Today, we’re going to focus on product reviews as a form of user social proof. Reviews are one of the most effective ways of increasing your ROI and your customer base. In fact, according to HubSpot, 88% of users have reported that they trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.
When you combine that with the fact that 57% of customers will only purchase or use a particular service if it has four or more stars on review websites, you see how having positive reviews can make or break your Etsy business.
Before we start sharing tips on how to incentivize your customers to leave reviews, let’s discuss even more benefits of positive reviews, some of which you might not have been aware of so far.
Reviews Improve Your Etsy SEO
You might not have known this about, but reviews can also both positively and negatively impact your Etsy store’s SEO, which means that it may also have a positive impact on your search placement.
According to Etsy, Reviews are one of the factors that impact your Etsy customer and market experience score. Optimizing your About Me section has the power to improve your search rankings drastically. Etsy uses your shop's score as a factor when ranking listings in search placements. Naturally, they won’t recommend products that have bad or no reviews.
Like other forms of social proof, reviews communicate to the algorithm that your Etsy product or service is reliable, authoritative, and trustworthy.
Reviews Improve Brand Recognition and Credibility
Having positive reviews on your Etsy shop is a form of confirmation that your product or services are up to par. Because your business is internet-based, users can’t see or feel the product for themselves before purchase.
That’s why more than 63% of customers would instead purchase from a website with reviews and product ratings. With so many online scams, customers are scared not to get tricked, so they seek out social proof to help them with their purchasing decisions.
Not only that, but if you have a lot of positive reviews, it will show that you have excellent customer care, that you have a good relationship with your customer base, and that your products or services are credible.
Reviews Influence Your Customers’ Shopping Habits
What people like the most about online reviews is that they’re often very unbiased. Because the online world is a bit more anonymous, users have more liberty to express their real thoughts and opinions.
Consequently, they will influence your customers’ shopping habits. They will gravitate towards products with higher reviews, while they’ll think twice before purchasing a product with lower reviews.
One seemingly minor issue, such as experiencing unresponsive customer support, for example, can change the course of your business altogether. We’ve seen many instances where companies were canceled for even less than that. So, make sure that your customer service is always up-to-par and that you’re always honest with your customers.
How to Incentivize Customers to Leave More Reviews
The main reason why customers don’t leave reviews on certain websites is that the process is too complicated. They have to sign in to their accounts, navigate to the previous orders section, locate your product, click on it, and find the review section.
In today’s fast-paced world, not many users have the patience or the time to do this, which is why you should make reviewing easy for your customers. Here’s how you can do that:
1. Send Follow Up Messages
Whenever someone purchases your Etsy store, make sure to send out follow-up messages once it arrives. Be careful not to be spammy, though. One or two reminders will be more than enough.
Ask your customers how they feel about the purchased product and something you could improve. Also, use a friendly tone and ask them to leave a review once they test out your product.
Note: Our Followup Reminder tool helps you manage the process of sending follow-up messages directly on Etsy -- try it out now.
2. Offer Incentives
That’s probably the most effective way to receive more reviews. Because leaving reviews can be a bit time-consuming, offer a cool reward for your customers to incentivize them a bit. Offer discount codes, freebies with next purchase, discounts, or even sneak-peaks of your upcoming products and collections.
Take Your Etsy Store to the Next Level
Reviews are useful marketing tools that can take your business to the next level. Or, if you’re not diligent enough, they can damage your reputation. To receive positive reviews, make sure to be honest with your customers, have excellent customer care, and don’t be afraid to ask for constructive criticism.
In the long run, your relationship with your customers is what matters most. Customers are likely to repurchase a product or a service from a store they feel closely connected to.