How to Incorporate Social Proof into Your Web Design

Social proof is a huge indicator of trust, it makes dollars and sense to incorporate social proof into your web design, here are 7 ways.


When it’s time to buy a new pair of shoes or pick out a furniture store, chances are that you ask your friends and family for their advice and suggestions. Then your best friend will come to you sharing their latest story of that fabulous hair stylist or the must-visit burger place that has opened mere months ago, so you add them to your list, as well. Trust is a fickle beast, and as such, it needs constant pampering, so companies far and wide invest heavily in strategies that boost trust.

Enter: social proof. The phenomenon that combines simple human nature with our access to overwhelming amounts of information online. Simply put, when it’s time to invest our time and money into a purchase, we want to choose a tried and tested brand. We’ll go online to check for reviews (one form of social proof), ratings (another one), and check for security seals (you’ve figured it out by now, it’s all social proof).

Let’s break down these and other ways to incorporate social proof within your web design to give your customers all the reasons in the world to trust you, and stay loyal to your business for the long haul.

Publish and encourage customer reviews

  • When you make a sale, ask your customer for a quick review, sometimes in exchange for a discount for a future purchase.
  • Send a freebie together with their order and ask them for a review.
  • Ask your customers for permission to use their social media reviews to publish on your site.
  • Design a dedicated page for reviews and attach product-specific reviews to that particular item to help people make a decision more quickly once they understand the impact on other customers.

Customer-generated content

To showcase the role your brand plays in your customers’ lives, you can ask them to send you a photo of them with your product or using your product. Of course, with their permission, you can share it alongside your product description on your site, and thus help other potential buyers imagine themselves with your product, too.

Digital tools to generate social proof on your site

To sway their decision in your favor, you can rely on a customizable social proof tool that automates notifications whenever someone makes a purchase on your site. Once the uncertain visitor sees other people eagerly buying from you, they will feel reassured to go through with their own purchase.

These pop-ups can be short and informative without being intrusive, so that people can keep browsing while your site lets them know someone has made a purchase.

Case studies as your social proof portfolio

Infographics infused with your brand’s color palette, clear statistics on how you’ve improved your client’s business, and similar details with a few CTAs can help grow your brand’s relevance. Ultimately, case studies can be vital in positioning your business as an industry leader.

Security seals for your customers’ peace of mind

  • Research has shown that 70% of buyers cancel a transaction when they feel it’s not secure.
  • Almost 80% of shoppers expect to see some sort of security seal on the site.
  • Using security seals can boost conversions by double-digit percentages. For instance, smaller businesses using “Best of the Web Trust Seal” have noticed a 20% conversion increase, and more.

Product-specific star ratings

Just in case they’re not in the mood to read reviews or they simply don’t have the time, star ratings will help nudge them in the right direction.

Industry credentials and certifications

What that means for your web design is that you should place those certification seals and badges on visible spots across your website and landing pages. That way, they will notice your, let’s say, environmental contribution, humanitarian causes you support, and your cruelty-free badge. Whatever gives you the edge and earns your customers’ approval, make sure to earn it and flaunt it!

Over to you

Chris London, Owner/Marketing Director for Pixel Productions Inc, is an expert in brand building, Ecommerce Development, and online marketing.

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