Guest Post: A Dropshipper’s Guide To Building Trust With Social Proof
With dropshipping stores becoming more and more popular, it can be tough to differentiate yourself from the competition. With lots of competition and alternatives, you need to ensure that people trust your store, or they’ll shop elsewhere. The question then becomes, how does a dropshipper build trust?
The easiest way for your business to achieve and build trust is by using social proof!
The case for adding social proof is especially important if you’re a new dropshipper. That’s because you are unknown, and you’ll need to build trust to make sales online. Once you’ve chosen great dropshipping products, created solid descriptions, and built your site to be fully functional, you’ll need to add social proof to truly build trust.
What is social proof for dropshipping?
Social proof is essential to giving early adopters a reason to purchase from your store if it’s new. But what is social proof?
Well, it’s the idea that shoppers will change and adapt their behaviour based on what other people are doing.
Social proof examples
In the real world, if you pass a new store and see it’s bustling and tons of people are buying and lining up, you’ll be more inclined to check it out too. Or, if you hear about a great workout class from a friend, you are more likely to register for it.
Creating social proof online
How do you manage to demonstrate social proof for an online business? It’s not like you can physically see shoppers. There is no doubt that in the online world, showing social proof is harder to achieve than it is IRL, but it is not impossible!
You can do this by adding social proof tools to your online store.
Examples of effective social proof that showcase online activity are
- counters that tell you the number of people who are currently checking out an item
- small unobtrusive popups that show the shoppers what recent sales have occurred.
These are just a few small ways to add social proof and build trust for your dropshipping store. And they work!
Use social proof to build trust when dropshipping
Earning the trust of your customers is such an essential factor as a dropshipper.
Once you’ve earned their trust, then they believe in the products or services that you’re selling. This trust should lead to initial sales, which will increase your conversion rate.
To make those sales, you have to show people why they should buy from you and not someone else.
The best way to build trust with social proof is by adding the following to your dropshipping store:
- reviews and testimonials
- photo and video reviews
- viewer counters and social feeds
Let’s go through why these are so important, and how you can add them to your store.
Reviews and testimonials
Reviews and testimonials can be an easy and quick way to build trust.
Get reviews and testimonials from customers
To build momentum, you’ll want to reach out to your early customers for these reviews. A quick follow-up email after a customer purchases an item is an excellent way to try this. Remember to give them a coupon or gift for a review!
For example, send the review link and offer a 5-15% discount on their next purchase. Offering discounts is a great way to get reviews and also hopefully, some repeat purchases!
Get reviews and testimonials from suppliers
Sometimes you can even import the reviews from your supplier as they are reviews on the item from other businesses and customers that have tried the product(s).
This can be hard, but it’s easier if you can find the right product(s) and the right supplier.
To find the right products, try an app like FindNiche, it is a free tool with a large database of more than 2 million products, 11000 niches, and 700000+ Shopify stores!
FindNiche extracts easy to manage and understand data from big data and filters, sorts and searches the winning, trending and high margin products for you. It helps take the guesswork out of finding the right items to sell.
It also provides you with product analysis. With a few clicks, you can get other information related to a particular product like its
- Link on AliExpress
- Top countries of buyers
Not only that, but it gives you the option to explore more products like it all free of charge!
Include 3-star reviews
There is a common misconception that only 5-star reviews are valid. That’s not entirely true. If you only see positive reviews you may not trust them either. It’s good to include your four and 3-star reviews as well to show that you are an authentic seller.
Including lower rating reviews shows shoppers that while not every customer is 100% satisfied with your products, the majority are. This helps to build trust.
Just remember that even four and 5-star reviews come with drawbacks too. Some customers are happy with your product, but maybe wish the merchandise came in different colours, or shipped quicker, or did one extra thing.
Having positive reviews and negative reviews will help your shoppers conclude that they are okay with these drawbacks and move forward to buy your product!
How to display reviews on your dropshipping store
You can add reviews and testimonials to your product page(s). You can show them on your catalogue pages by including 1-5 stars under the item(s) that have received reviews, with the number of reviews next to the stars in brackets.
Amazon is an excellent example of this as they display reviews on the collection pages and the individual product pages.
Photo and Video Reviews
The easiest way to get reviews, as we mentioned earlier, is to have a follow-up system.
Many social proof apps allow you to display photos and videos on your online store. These apps often have a feature to send emails or messages to customers that ask them for a review after the purchase.
Do some research and see if the one you already use has this feature, or to help find the one that is right for your business.
As was also previously mentioned, you can take the reviews from your supplier or dropshipper (like Aliexpress) as long as they are a legitimate one. This also goes for photos that your supplier/dropshipper may have for product(s). Often they have tremendous and high-quality images that you can also use!
User-generated content (UGC) can be a great way to add photo ‘reviews’ to your online business. This content is often pictures from your shoppers wearing/using/owning your products that they’ve posted to their social media accounts.
Typically your shoppers will share with their friends’ items they like or believe in/trust, and usually, their friends and followers are also the core target audience that would align with your brand’s target market.
View Counters and Social Feeds
Counters and social feeds will help to build shopper trust, but it’s essential to consider which fit with which type of product.
For example, fashion brands are very different from tech brands, so it’s important to understand what is a better technique for your specific business.
Fashion brands may do well with social proof in the form of a view counter (shows the number of shoppers currently on an item page) because fashion is very much about popularity and what is trending.
In the tech world, it may be all about niche products that not many others know about, so you’ll potentially want to see fewer people viewing it.
In this case, social feeds may be helpful to show what other customers have purchased or added to their cart, as well as good photos and product descriptions to see exactly what the item is.
There are a few other things to consider when trying to build trust.
You want to make sure your site
- is aesthetically pleasing
- functions properly
- has an up to date and modern design
- loads easily on both desktop and mobile devices
- is easy to navigate
- has search functions for shoppers to find what they are looking for
You should also include critical pages like
- an ‘About Us’
- a ‘Contact Us’
These pages are great for building trust and letting the customer know about your business and its goals and mission. They are also great to have because they give your shoppers an easy way to reach you should they have any questions or concerns.
Social proof is probably the easiest way to build trust for your online business. It’s authentic and easy to set up and can ensure a boost in your sales.
By generating this trust, you’ll have further customers and have repeat customers. For a new dropshipping store, social proof can be the thing that differentiates you from your current competition and gives you the edge on sales.
Jameela is the owner of the online jewelry store Alora Boutique and the Marketing Manager at Fera Commerce. You can find her on the interwebs on LinkedIn and Instagram