Do you know the amount of psychology involved in buying of products and services? When you critically analyze the factors that have ever induced you to purchase something, you will see that there is a function of marketing and sales psychology, which made you buy the item without realizing the subconscious influence. You may argue that your buying decision was a result of necessity or desire, well you are right, but what made you choose a specific brand of product in a competitive market?
Some external factors influenced and reinforced your choice, which are a derivative of social proof such as visual customer feedback or recommendations by a human being (commercials). The human figure can be so persuasive compared to a product alone because it is the closest thing we can relate to. Nowadays video appears in 70% of the top 100 search results According to a study at Advance Auto Parts, visitors who watch demonstration videos with people, stay on the site twice as long and visit twice as many pages than those without videos. (KissMetrics: http://blog.kissmetrics.com/product-videos-conversion/).
Purchases are rendered because of your existing knowledge that a product has worked for someone else, and that person happens to have shared a positive testimonial about it. Do you agree so far? Then it goes to show when customers provide a positive experience about the benefits of a product and how it has exceeded their expectations, it adds to the reason why you should buy something, be it a specific brand or a specific seller.
Many customers feel safe buying a new product because they see it will work for them through others who already bought it. When you tap into the psychology of using social proof to increase sales across the board, you will be able to convert visitors to buyers much more effectively. The most difficult task for any business is getting customers. Yet many businesses fail to realize the easiest way to gain those customers is through social proof. The results from social proof are long-term because the outcome will be repeat patronage from each customer with additional sales and add-ons.
To prove that this actually works, Robert B. Cialdini writes, in his book Influence, of multiple examples on efficacy of social proof. For example, canned laughter is so effective for poor jokes on TV shows because it provokes an automatic response in audiences that cues are powerful stimuli. (Media Studies http://www.media-studies.ca/articles/influence_ch4.htm).
We are most vulnerable to the need for social proof during uncertain times of shopping where product value is unclear. Online research company Knowledge Networks conducted a study showing 17.8 million consumers are “strongly influenced” in their purchase decisions by opinions in social media (up 19% from 2010). (AGBeat http://agbeat.com/real-estate-technology-new-media/purchase-decisions-influenced-by-social-media-up-14-in-last-six-months/).
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