Imagine shopping for a new couch and finding two options that look perfect in the pictures. They seem to be the right material and color that you’re looking for and you’re trying to decide which one to get. The first one has several reviews and customer photos that show what the couch really looks like, while the other one has a couple of vague reviews. So which one do you go with?
Of course, you’ll feel more inclined to go with the option that has the customer photos. This is due to a little psychological phenomenon that we call social proof. In this post, we take a closer look at what this phenomenon entails, and we also provide you with a few important social proof statistics that will boost your brand. Let’s dive in.
36 Social Proof Statistics that Will Boost Your Brand
What is Social Proof?
Social proof is the idea that people copy the actions of others and are highly likely to be influenced by what others are doing. The psychology behind social proof is that humans are social creatures, so our opinions and decisions are influenced by the choices and opinions of others. When it comes to making a purchase decision, we look at what other consumers are doing/have done so we can take a mental shortcut and solve a problem using minimal effort.
Similarly in marketing, social proof refers to the idea that people decide on what to buy based on reviews and recommendations from other consumers. The “social proof” that we see in marketing today may be in the form of reviews, testimonials, case studies, customer stories, user-generated content (UGC), and even influencer content.
Social Proof Statistics on Reviews and Testimonials
Reviews and testimonials from existing customers are the most common form of social proof. Now with the internet making them more accessible, people are increasingly relying on them to make decisions about a brand and what to purchase. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the vital social proof statistics related to reviews and testimonials.
1. Reviews are popularly used by consumers to make decisions about businesses. 98% of consumers read online reviews to learn about local businesses, and 76% do this regularly. (BrightLocal)
2. For most consumers, reviews and testimonials can give them a better idea of whether to buy products. As such, it’s become a norm to read them before making a purchase. In fact, 75% of consumers search for reviews and testimonials before buying something. (TINT)
3. With reviews helping people learn more about what to expect from a business, consumers try to read several of them before they make a decision. Consumers typically read 3-5 reviews when they know the brand but read 5-10 reviews when they don’t know the brand. (Yotpo)
4. The use of online reviews isn’t just limited to online transactions. 85% of consumers use their phones to read online reviews while shopping in-store. (Bazaarvoice)
5. Moreover, the number of reviews you get also plays a role in how people feel about making a purchase. 85% of consumers expect to see 50-500 reviews per product. (Yotpo)
7. Fortunately for brands, shoppers are starting to leave even more reviews than before, with an 11% year-over-year increase. (Bazaarvoice)
8. What’s even better is that 37% of consumers only leave positive reviews, thus improving your chances of getting more positive reviews. Meanwhile, 6% only leave negative reviews while 4% would never leave a review at all. (BrightLocal)
9. How you make people feel when they interact with your business is a crucial factor in getting positive reviews. In fact, 81% of consumers will leave a positive review for businesses that went above and beyond to provide them with an exceptional experience. (BrightLocal)
10. Moreover, it doesn’t matter if their experience was initially bad as long as you manage to turn things around. 79% of consumers will leave a positive review if they initially had a negative experience, which the business then turned into a positive experience. (BrightLocal)
11. And it’s not just the positive reviews that matter to consumers. 35% of shoppers always look for negative reviews before buying something. This is because negative reviews help to add authenticity to the positive ones, giving people more reasons to trust what others are saying. (Yotpo)
12. Of course, positive reviews still matter as they help to leave a good impression on potential customers. 69% of consumers will feel positive about a business if the review describes a positive experience. (BrightLocal)
13. Your responsiveness to reviews is another factor that consumers will look at before deciding to buy from your business. 88% of consumers will likely choose a business if they respond to all their reviews regardless of whether they’re positive or negative. (BrightLocal)
14. Reviews and testimonials aren’t just for your website or for a third-party review platform. In fact, they can be valuable tools to boost the impact of your advertising efforts. Review-based ads result in a 4X higher click-through rate and a 50% reduction in both cost per acquisition and cost per click. (Yotpo)
15. So considering everything that we’ve seen so far, it’s no wonder that marketers will see the value of reviews and testimonials. In fact, 70% of marketers believe that ratings and reviews are important for their organization. (TINT)
Social Proof Statistics on Building Trust
Social proof helps consumers learn more about other people’s experiences. As such, it’s the perfect way to gauge the credibility of a business and the authenticity of its claims. In other words, social proof holds the key to earning the trust of consumers. Let’s take a look at some important social proof statistics related to building trust.
16. While reviews on your site may work great, people are still going to trust third-party sources more. Among review platforms, Google is the most trusted across all industries with 87% of consumers using it to evaluate local businesses. (BrightLocal)
17. Social proof works because consumers trust the people they know personally over the brand that’s selling them something. 81% of consumers trust the advice of their friends and family over advice coming from a business. (HubSpot)
18. Similarly, 72% of consumers consider customer reviews and testimonials more credible than when a brand talks about its own products. (TINT)
19. While reviews may come from strangers, consumers are still highly likely to trust them because they come from real people. In fact, 46% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations that come from friends and family. (BrightLocal)
20. In some cases, these reviews may also be considered as trustworthy as a recommendation from an influencer they look up to. 35% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from the social media personalities they follow. (BrightLocal)
21. Positive social proof is bound to increase trust in your brand because consumers can see that other customers have had good experiences. 72% of consumers trust a business more as a result of positive reviews and testimonials. (BigCommerce)
22. While written reviews work great, visual proof could further add an extra layer of trust in said reviews. After all, it’s much more difficult to fake a photo or video than it is to fake a written review. In fact, 63% of consumers trust product reviews more when there are photos or videos included. (Yotpo)
23. This also extends to the B2B space where testimonials are used frequently to tell client stories. You can imagine that people are much more likely to trust testimonials that feature a real client. As such, 63% of consumers consider visual testimonials to be more credible than written testimonials. (TINT)
24. On top of this, 72% of consumers find images shared by customers to be more trustworthy than stock images. (TINT)
Social Proof Statistics on Purchase Decisions
Social proof gives consumers peace of mind to make informed purchase decisions. Reviews, testimonials, and other types of social proof help to showcase whether the product or service lived up to customers’ expectations. This makes it easier for consumers to assess how to make buying decisions based on that information. Let’s look at the following social proof statistics to understand its impact on purchase decisions.
25. While the presence of reviews undoubtedly helps people to make a purchase, it’s only natural that the absence of it would have the opposite effect. In fact, 30% of consumers would avoid buying an item if it has no reviews. (Yotpo)
26. It’s also important to note that it’s not just having reviews that matters; it’s having reviews that are recent enough to be relevant to your customers. Review recency is a factor that affects the purchase decisions of 50% of consumers, with 40% expecting to see reviews that are no older than a month. (Yotpo)
27. The number of reviews also plays an important role because clearly, consumers want the reassurance that a lot of people are speaking positively about the brand and its product. In fact, 46% of shoppers are most likely to get influenced by seeing a high number of reviews when making a purchase decision. (Bazaarvoice)
28. It’s not just reviews and testimonials that are influencing people’s purchase decisions. Social media also plays an important role. 34% of social media users find the perfect product from seeing a friend’s social media post. (SproutSocial)
29. Of course, it’s only natural for consumers to trust the people they know i.e., their friends to provide them with relevant and trustworthy recommendations. So these recommendations have a huge influence on their purchasing decisions. Recommendations from friends are the top reasons why consumers purchase on social. (SproutSocial)
30. Moreover, it’s not just the social media posts from friends that are influencing those purchases. Seeing what other consumers are saying about a brand or product is an important factor in making a buying decision. Comments or product reviews are the second biggest reason consumers buy on social. (SproutSocial)
31. Posts from other social media users and content creators also play a role, making it more important than ever for brands to leverage user-generated content. Almost 69% of consumers have bought something after seeing it on social media. (TINT)
32. Beyond social media, personal recommendations themselves are highly impactful in influencing people’s purchase decisions. 76% of consumers have bought something because of someone else’s recommendation. (TINT)
Social Proof Statistics about Influencer Marketing
In an age where certain social media personalities have established influence over consumers, influencer marketing can also be a valuable source of social proof. However, with a growing distrust of influencers, brands must be careful to work with the right content creators. These would essentially be influencers who are authentic and command a significant influence over the right audience. Let’s find out some social proof statistics related to influencer marketing to better understand how to leverage it.
33. Although people are most likely to trust recommendations from people they know, influencer content doesn’t fall too far behind. 71% of consumers still trust product placements, opinions, and advertisements from influencers. (Nielsen)
34. Moreover, 37% of consumers have a deeper trust in social media influencers than they do in brands. This trend is more apparent among Gen Z and Millennial populations, which are twice as likely as Boomers to trust influencers. (Oracle)
35. As such, influencer ads can also be an effective way for brands to connect with a relevant target audience. In fact, influencer ads resulted in a 9-point increase in brand affinity and purchase intent when compared to consumers who did not see the influencer ads. (Nielsen)
36. Influencers help to drive product discovery, making them a great way for new brands and startups to launch themselves. 28% of consumers find out about new brands and products through influencers. (Oracle)
Based on what you’ve seen so far, social proof is here to stay. And if you know how to leverage it, it could be the perfect tool for your brand to build trust and boost conversions. Be sure to take advantage of visual social proof and influencer marketing campaigns to take your efforts even further.