Thanks to the evolution of the internet, the world is now a global marketplace where total strangers can conduct all kinds of business transactions.
Unfortunately, the dishonest acts of certain unscrupulous elements threaten the very foundation of online business.
You don’t need to go too far to find thousands of cases of internet scams – they happen all the time. This ugly situation is a significant problem for legitimate brands and individuals that want to conduct legitimate businesses without any hidden motives.
This is why online brands need social proof to survive.
The concept of social proof is a psychological science that plays a vital role in online marketing. In a virtual world where goods and money are exchanged on digital platforms, trust stands as a valuable asset and social proof helps build that.
The truth is people will only buy from brands they trust – a factor that will make or mar your business. And to win that trust, you need to build social proof. The influence of social proof in the online business industry cannot be overemphasized.
Remember the last time you bought something online? It definitely wasn’t a quick purchase.
You probably had to check the product reviews and ratings before making a decision, right? Well, that’s the power of social proof right there.
Social proof is a powerful weapon to deploy as a marketer if you want to influence people to buy your product. It makes them trust you, and with trust, all business transactions are possible.
As humans, we are wired to trust brands and buy their products based on the opinion of others. This is why companies with the most online sales are those with high amounts of positive reviews.
Multiple bad reviews are bad for business, and it has led to the loss of sales and eventual closure of hundreds of companies over the years.
For example, no one wants to buy edible products from a food brand with multiple reports of Salmonella or a phone company that produces exploding smartphones.
I’ve covered the latest social proof statistics in this article, and I promise that it will help you get a better view of what’s working in the online business industry.
Let’s get started.
What’s Social Proof?
Social proof is a psychological concept that people will follow the actions of others. If you want to buy a product online, you’re more likely to go for a name brand with positive reviews and ratings than one with neither. And if we’re being honest, this concept favors established brands a lot more than new ones.
Social proof isn’t a new ideology. It has been in existence far before the inception of the internet. Yes, the term itself was officially coined in 1984 by Robert Cialdini, Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University; however, social proof existed way before then.
Social proof has its applications in offline marketing, but it is, without a doubt, more vital for online marketers. It is pretty much easy to test, feel, or try out everything you want to buy before paying for it in a convenience store.
In a virtual setting, however, it’s not that easy. When you’re shopping online, the only gauge of quality you have are the reviews and ratings of other people – and this is where social proof comes in.
Social proof is why word-of-mouth marketing and referrals effectively influence customers’ decisions to buy products or hire services.
It is also the reason brands hire celebrities and influencers to promote their products or services. Imagine seeing Cristiano Ronaldo promoting a clothing brand via an Instagram post – it definitely means the brand is legit – which leads to increased trust and sales for the brand.
Ecommerce stores and businesses display testimonials on their landing page to increase conversion rates.
And having an influencer recommending your product goes a long way in convincing a skeptical consumer.
Once again, behold the power of social proof.
Without further delay, let’s dive into the latest social proof statistics and trends for 2021.
See Also: B2C Content Marketing Statistics
Social Proof Statistics on Establishing Trust
Social Proof statistic #0: Most customers research products online before buying them (Source: Conversionxl)
According to official statistics, about 87% of buying decisions start with research conducted on Google or Amazon before making purchases. To put this in perspective, 87 out of 100 people that pay for goods and services online do some online research first.
Amazon is a global e-commerce station with over 150 million mobile users. Google is the world’s most popular search engine. So when people use either of these platforms to research a product, they are looking for social proof – some evidence of a brand’s authenticity or a testament to product quality.
Statistic #1: 84% of Online Customers Trust Online Reviews
According to Bright Local in 2016, 84% of online customers trust online reviews. And a huge 74% are influenced by the reviews. 74% trust a brand that has positive reviews and 60% lose trust in a brand that has negative reviews.
But in 2020, the data has improved better. 94% of online customers are likely to patronize a brand with positive reviews while 92% are less likely to patronize businesses with negative reviews.
Social Proof Statistic #2: Many customers do not trust paid adverts
By nature, humans don’t trust sources that say something just because they are paid to do so. This is why 92% of consumers are more likely to trust non-paid recommendations, like friends, family, and colleagues, than any other type of advertising. The idea behind this is purely psychological – people trust brands that people they trust can vouch for.
Social Proof Statistic #3: Customers read multiple online reviews to get solid social proof
Sometimes, a review or two is not enough to gauge the authenticity of a brand or product. People always want to check and see positive reviews from multiple sources before spending their money on a product, which is why the average consumer reads ten online reviews before making a purchase decision.
Social Proof Statistic #4: Most customers buy products after seeing their direct effects
Seeing is believing, they say, so it is no surprise that 88% of consumers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations. This is why companies and brands release success stories about the direct impact their products or services have had on other users. This a sure way of driving sales through the roof!
Social Proof Statistic #5: Most Americans trust brands their friends and family trust
You would definitely try out a new restaurant if your brother and best friend said they served the best tater tots on the globe, wouldn’t you? Well, it’s the same with most Americans! 82% of Americans say they seek recommendations from friends and family before making a purchase. Their trust in a brand is a reflection of their trust in friends and family.
Social Proof Statistic #6: People need to hear about a product or brand multiple times to build trust
This right here is the reason why brands must publicize and advertise their products non-stop. If 63% of consumers need to hear company claims 3-5x before they actually believe it, brands must constantly put the word out on as many platforms as possible.
Social Proof Statistic #7: 70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know.
Sometimes, when strangers comment about a particular product or service, it sparks some interest and desire to check them out. It’s purely psychological too.
Social Proof Statistic #8: 92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer.
Most customers will buy a product or service if people in the same age, social, or business circle recommend it. To they simple think, if their peers trust and use the product or service, why not them?
Social Proof Statistic #9: Buyers require an average of 40 online reviews before believing a business’s star rating is accurate.
Trust is hard to earn when it comes to online shopping, so customers often need to see at least 40 reviews and ratings before buying a product. Yes, it’s a lot, but you can’t blame people for not wanting to lose their hard-earned money to scam brands or products.
Social Proof Statistic #10: Shoppers across all age ranges expect an average of 112 reviews per product when they search online.
People want to see a ton of reviews per product before buying it. And more often than not, about 112 reviews will be more than enough. If they can’t find sufficient information and reviews for a product, they usually ignore it and move to the next almost immediately.
Social Proof Statistic #11: Shoppers in the 18- to 24-year-old range expect an average of 203 reviews per product page.
Young adults between the age of 18 and 24 demand more from online shopping brands. And based on some studies, it may take an average of 203 online reviews to make them trust a product, service, or brand.
Social Proof Statistic #12: 85% of consumers think that online reviews older than 3 months aren’t relevant.
Recent product reviews do the trick better than those older than 3 months. Customers want to see that current users think the product is impressive, even with the rise of newer models and brands. So, if the latest review on a product is older than 90 days, it sends a wrong message to them.
Social Proof Statistics – How It’s Used
Social Proof Statistic #13: Influencer marketing has been considered the fastest-growing consumer acquisition channel.
Influencer marketing is a concept that has changed the dynamics of marketing. Over the years, we’ve seen more and more cases where famous societal figures or social media influencers drive product sales with something as little as a post, comment, like, or share. This trend has become a vital marketing strategy today, and brands are taking advantage of it.
Social Proof Statistic #14: Influencers content has an engagement rate of 8 times more than that of content published directly from brands, especially among younger millennials.
Influencers typically command a lot of online traction than the brands themselves, usually because of their younger fans.
A post from Beyonce about a clothing brand will definitely generate more engagements than the brand’s post.
Social Proof Statistic #15: 14% of consumers aged 18+ say celebrity endorsements have an effect on the things they buy.
Celebrities influencing what people buy is not a new phenomenon. This is due to a concept called fandom, which leads fans to do things to emulate their “faves.” In other cases, people believe that since a big name trusts a brand, they can too.
Social Proof Statistic #16: 40% of people say they’ve purchased a product online after seeing it used by an influencer on social media.
Influencers drive online trends by doing various things – one of which is posting themselves using a particular product. In response to this, some customers buy such products to show off to the online community, while others do the same because they now trust the brand. Either way, more people purchase a product when they see influencers use it.
Social Proof Statistic #17: Twitter users have a 5.2 times increase in purchase intent after seeing promotional content from influencers.
Twitter influencers generate an extraordinary amount of clout for the products they market.
According to reports, promotional content from Twitter influencers increases the zeal to purchase a product more than five times – and this is something many brands are putting to great use today.
Social Proof Statistic #18: 49% of users rely on recommendations from influencers on Twitter.
About half the Twitter population relies on the recommendations of industry influencers. These individuals are excellent sources of social proof, so many Twitter users wait for influencers to endorse a product before buying it.
Social Proof Statistic #19: Businesses are averaging $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, with the top 13% earning $20 or more.
Influencer marketing can sometimes be expensive. However, according to reports, investing in influencers to market a product is a good investment in the long run, as it could lead to profits 6 to 20 times more than the initial investment.
Social Proof Statistic #20: 92% of customers read online reviews before buying (Big Commerce)
Almost everyone reads reviews before buying anything online these days. Customers want to see social proof of a brand before trusting it, and reading multiple online reviews is a great way to start.
#21: 72% of consumers say positive testimonials and reviews increase their trust in a business (Big Commerce)
Customer reviews and testimonials to the authenticity or quality of a brand or product are potent factors that every online business owner must deploy to gain customer trust. Basically, if a brand has many positive reviews and ratings, people will likely trust it a lot more.
#22: 70% of people trust reviews and recommendations from strangers (Nielsen)
The phrase “never take advice from strangers” is applicable in many areas of life, but certainly not when it comes to products and services. According to reports, about 70% of customers believe product reviews and tips from strange people.
#23: 88% of consumers say reviews influence their online purchasing decisions. (Vendasta)
According to this report, almost 90% of customers claim that online reviews play a significant role in online shopping.
This means that people avoid products with too many bad reviews and trust those with excellent ratings and reviews. It’s that simple.
#24: 88% of consumers trust online testimonials and reviews as much as recommendations from friends or family (Big Commerce)
This report claims that about 88% of consumers trust the claims of online parties as much as they do product reviews from family and friends.
Seeing the opinions of hundreds and thousands of people concerning a product is likely to sway the customer’s decision.
#25: 97% of B2B customers cited testimonials and peer recommendations as the most reliable type of content. (Demand Gen Report)
B2B is short for Business to Business, a commercial term describing a situation where one business entity provides goods or services for another. B2B is serious stuff, and it is never enough to trust the reviews of just anyone. That is why most companies consider recommendations and feedback from professionals in the related field before doing business with another company.
#26: 72% of consumers will take action only after reading a positive review. (Search Engine Watch)
A positive review is the jet fuel that propels customers to buy products and services. There’s hardly a customer in the world that would go ahead to buy something online without reading at least one review about it.
#27: 73% of consumers read six or fewer reviews before making a decision (Vendasta)
Customers always want to read multiple reviews before making a buying decision. Why? Well, seeing reviews and ratings from several distinct sources gives them enough information to apply when making a decision, and according to this report, it may take up to six reviews to do the trick.
#28: 12% of consumers read more than ten reviews (Vendasta)
According to this report, reading reviews is a big deal for online customers, but only 12% are ready to read up to 10 reviews or more. It is normal for a tiny fraction of customers to be skeptical about buying a product, especially for the first time, so ten reviews isn’t a lot.
#29: Ten or more reviews can increase search traffic (Big Commerce)
Brands and products with at least ten reviews enjoy optimal SEO and online product marketing that increases traffic through on-site clicks.
These reviews may also drive online traffic by enhancing product upselling and cross-selling, keyword rankings, and search traffic.
#30: 40 or more reviews are needed before consumers will consider a star-rating accurate (Opt-In Monster)
More reviews mean more proof and a higher chance of getting quality products and services from a brand. And according to this report, the number of reviews required to solidify a client’s trust in a brand is at least 40.
#31: 50 or more reviews on multiple products pages can increase conversions by 4.6% (Big Commerce)
Conversion is the first cross-business benefit of user-generated content, and it is sharpest during the early stages of review accumulation.
As a product starts to generate at least 50 reviews, its conversion rates are sure to skyrocket, even when the reviews cross the 1,000 marks.
Social Proof Statistics – ROI
#32: Testimonials can increase conversions on sales pages by 34%
One of the many things customers want to read about an online brand or product is recommendations by users and professionals. And to show just how effective they are, reports claim that adding testimonials to sales pages can increase conversion rates by at least 34%.
#33: For 50% of all consumers, their very next step after reading a positive review about a company is to visit their website, which is one step closer to the checkout or even getting them on your email list.
A couple of things must be in place before a customer finally clicks on that buy button, one of which is a positive review. And according to reports, more than half the number of customers that read a positive review about a brand will visit their website to scope their products and most likely buy them.
#34: 57% of consumers will only buy or use a business service if it has at least a 4-star rating
Ratings indicate the quality of a brand or product, so you can be confident that customers always check them before making a purchase. When it comes to ratings, the higher, the better. And a brand with a 4-star rating is bound to convert almost 60% of customers. The best part is that conversion rates continue to surge as ratings increase.
#35: 97% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions
For most customers, the quality of the reviews reflects brand or product quality, and they always use this information to decide whether to buy or use a service. According to official infographics, online reviews influence the decisions of at least 97% of customers – which is basically almost everyone.
#36: 93% of people who use mobile to research complete the purchase of a product or service
Mobile phones offer a portable and easy way to access online businesses. With a couple of taps and swipes, customers can check out online products and services almost anywhere, be it on the streets, in the comfort of their beds, or during a camping trip.
This ease of use is the primary reason why a high percentage of product research on mobile phones ends up in a purchase.
Companies and brands have to leverage this insane stat by ensuring that their platforms are compatible with mobile phones to increase conversion rates and sales.
#37: Consumers will engage only with a minimum business star rating of 3.3
Ratings are the standards for gauging the quality of a product or brand. However, according to this report, a 3.3 rating is the minimum that customers tend to consider. And anything lower than this number will be ignored, so businesses should make sure to avoid that.
#38: Customers are willing to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews.
Customers are generally impressed when a brand has tons of positive reviews. It propels them to trust and buy the product, and according to these statistics, it encourages them to spend 31% more than they planned to.
#39: A one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue
Yelp is a pool of crowd-sourced reviews about brands, and many customers use the platform’s information to make purchase decisions.
According to recent statistics, businesses are bound to experience a 5 – 9% increase in sales if their ratings increase by at least one star. Of course, this number will surge as Yelp ratings increase too.
#40: Among similar products online, 35% of consumers said better reviews have driven them to spring for the higher-priced option.
By nature, humans will pay more for products with exceptional qualities if they can afford them. This means customers will not mind paying more for a product or service if it has excellent reviews.
#41: Positive reviews make 68% of buyers more likely to use local businesses
When customers see positive recommendations and reviews about a product, it propels them to trust and patronize the brand. For local businesses, the stakes are even higher as a lot more buyers are willing to buy or use their products if they have excellent reviews.
#42: Websites using testimonials saw a 45% increase in traffic compared to those that didn’t (Yotpo).
Testimonials and reviews on landing pages are bound to increase website traffic because of SEO enhancement and on-site clicks. Other factors such as search traffic, upsell and cross-sell marketing, as well as keyword rankings – all results of testimonials – are bound to drive a 45% increase in website traffic.
#43: Listing 10 or more reviews increased traffic 15 to 20% on Google Business listings (Big Commerce)
Google My Business is a free platform where brands can list their products on Map and Google Search tools. This innovative tool allows brand owners to post updates about their business and enable customers to interact via reviews.
According to findings, Google My Business listings have been shown to increase website traffic up to 20% with every ten reviews or more, which shows just how influential this platform is for online businesses.
#44: Improving star ratings from 3 to 5 stars can increase clicks on Google up to 25% (Bright Local)
Google star ratings represent a platform on which brands and companies are rated based on customer reviews.
According to these findings, a 3 – 5 star rating increase is a definite technique to increase clicks and traffic. A google rating optimizes brand SEO and enhances brand trust – two things every online business should aim to get.
#45: Businesses with five stars earned 69% of total clicks amongst top Google listings (Bright Local)
Basically, the higher the star rating, the higher the clickthrough rates on Google listings. And since a 5-star rating is at the peak, it is no surprise that it generates the highest percentage of clicks (69%).
#46: Reviews account for 9.8% of total search engine ranking factors (Search Engine Watch)
Google is the major search engine where potential customers research a company, brand, or product. And while paid ads are perfect for SEO optimization, businesses must consider organic ways of enhancing exposure like reviews. Other factors like site and page speed, mobile phone compatibility, meta descriptions, and whatnot affect search engine ranking factors, but customer-generated reviews have been shown to be vital too.
#47: 79% of consumers have watched a video testimonial to learn more about a company, product, or service (Wyzowl)
Today, the zeal to read almost anything diminishes every passing moment because everyone is leaning towards video content.
Brands that put this information to good use will experience higher conversion rates because practically 80% of customers tend to watch video reviews on YouTube and other channels for information about a brand, product, or service.
#48: 70% of marketers say video converts better than any other medium (Forbes)
Video reviews generally get more engagement than text reviews, and the reasons why are not far-fetched. Firstly, humans find it easier to memorize video content than words, and everyone knows that marketing is all about making the product stick to the brain.
Asides from the fact moving images intrigue the human brain a lot more than plain texts, brands are now adding certain elements to their video reviews that propel potential customers to make a purchase.
These shoppable videos feature links that lead to more information on products or pages where they can buy the product seamlessly.
Shoppable video technology is now a trend in the marketing industry, and many brands are using it to generate more clicks and higher conversion rates.
#49: 90% of users say that seeing a video about a product helps make decisions. (Insivia)
One of the reasons why YouTube is a significant hub for checking product reviews is that video ads are better than any other form of marketing. Videos leave customers with a memory – a jingle that they won’t be able to shake off – and there’s hardly any other ad strategy that can replicate that. So, it is no surprise that video reviews make it easier for most customers to make purchasing decisions.
#50: 2/3 of consumers say they’re more likely to purchase after watching a testimonial video demonstrating how a business, product, or service helped someone like them. (Wyzowl)
Everyone loves a success story, and it gets even better when it comes in video format. A testimonial video with real-life information about how a brand, product, or service helped or is helping someone will surely trigger a buying response from others in the same situation. It’s that simple.
#51: 47% of people say testimonial videos are effective because they help visualize how a product or service works. (Wyzowl)
Visual demonstrations are the best for describing how almost anything works, and brands have utilized this unique advantage to increase their sales. According to this report, nearly half of the test population admitted that video reviews do a much better job describing the dynamics of a brand, product, or service.
#52: Consumers are 27.4 times more likely to click online video ads than banner ads (Usurv)
According to this report, potential customers are almost 30 times more likely to click online video ads than banner ads.
Why? Because they want to watch eye-catching contents of brands, and if they’re impressed by what they see, the chances are that they will go ahead to patronize the brands.
Banner ads are interesting ways of marketing or promoting a brand, product, or service. However, they aren’t as effective as online video ads.
Summary of Social Proof Statistics 2021
Video reviews work wonders
Never forget to upload video testimonials and reviews to your landing or sales page. The videos must be of superb quality and feature various elements that make them exciting and memorable. Do this, and your conversion rates are bound for the skies.
Having reviews on your page works wonders.
Almost every online consumer in the world checks out reviews before buying or using a product or service. And your best bet to leverage this situation is to add excellent reviews to your landing or sales page. Consumers are always impressed by positive reviews, and with a couple of those on your page, your brand is sure to hit all-time high profits. Reviews have also been found to enhance the SEO potential of brands via on-site clicks, keyword rankings, upselling and cross-selling, and search traffic.
It boosts eCommerce sales.
Positive product reviews and recommendations drive consumers to buy or use the product or service and even pay higher for more quality. And if these two factors do not boost eCommerce sales, nothing else will.
It’s an essential element that establishes credibility and trust
Marketing is not all about driving instant sales and conversion rates. Sometimes, what matters the most is creating a community of loyal customers that trust the brand to deliver the best. This is what good recommendations, reviews, and testimonials give you – a clientele that will stick around for a very long time.