Social proof has been around since the dawn of marketing, but the best ways to drive more sales with it are constantly evolving — and for good reason.
There’s nothing quite like an uncertain economy to spark unpredictable consumer behavior for brands to contend with. McKinsey recently reported that, despite concerns about inflation and low job security, shoppers are splurging in some areas and penny-pinching in others — and that’s just one of the ways consumers are challenging the norms of retail as we know it.
We’re in the era of the zero consumer — a diverse and growing segment that shops omnichannel, displays contradictory spending habits, tries to vote with their wallet, and shows little brand loyalty — or willingness to wait around for what they want.
So, how are brands supposed to appeal to this new segment of fickle shoppers?
Only time will tell. But we expect that the brands that emerge as winners on the other side of all this change will be the ones who go beyond the standard techniques for increasing sales with social proof. And with customer reviews proving to be among the most versatile and effective forms of social proof for cutting through the noise, they’re the best place to start innovating if you’re looking to increase sales.
Never forget: Reviews are officially table stakes — people write more than three million reviews on Trustpilot each month alone. That’s a lot of social proof fodder to work with, and it will pay to be one of the front-running brands finding new ways to go about it.
To that end, we put our heads together to dream up five creative ways you probably haven’t already tried when it comes to using customer reviews to increase sales. Let’s get into it.
Weave keywords from positive reviews throughout your ads and marketing content
Any copywriter will tell you that to resonate with your target audience, you have to speak like your target audience.
If you already have reviews coming in, then you already have all the consumer insights you need to get inside customers’ heads and refine your marketing messages and ad copy accordingly.
TaxSlayer would agree that nobody can talk to consumers the way other consumers can, especially in a market crowded with competitors. Before they started collecting reviews on Trustpilot, they relied on consumer research agencies to generate customer insights and feedback for their testimonials.
These days, their reviews are a one-stop-shop for rich consumer insights and testimonial content to hone and back up their advertising and marketing claims. The team at TaxSlayer sees each new review in real time, and that steady stream of customer sentiments allows them to craft ad and marketing copy that’s sure to resonate — especially in campaigns targeted at high-intent customers.
The team at TaxSlayer says, “our customers are already talking about us exactly the way we want them to,” — and we couldn’t say it better ourselves.
So, borrow language from your customer reviews if you’re looking to increase sales. And know that Trustpilot offers tools to analyze customer sentiment and spot potential keywords to borrow from your positive reviews.
Show you have nothing to hide with a third-party review badge on your website
Unscrupulous review practices were once a little known fact, but the recent wave of regulation has turned the fake reviews industry into a hot topic for consumers.
In 2024, consumers are worried about all shapes and forms of fake user-generated content, but fake reviews are the biggest worry with 75% of consumers concerned about running into them in their shopping journey.
Even more noteworthy is that less than half of consumers wouldn’t trust businesses to verify the authenticity of their own reviews, but 70% would trust verification from a third-party review platform — and for 73% of people, a simple trustworthy symbol is all they would need to feel good about buying from a brand.
Fortunately, there are review badges out there that allow you to show off reviews from a third-party source like Google My Business, Trustpilot, or Yelp directly on your website, so potential customers know your reviews are credible and you have nothing to hide.
A Trustpilot logo and score are the Glasses Direct’s review badge of choice.
If potential customers click on the review badge, they’re taken directly to Glasses Direct’s public Trustpilot profile, where a detailed overview of where their reviews come from, how their ratings differ by source, how many reviews they flag — and whether flagged reviews actually breach Trustpilot guidelines — is transparent for all to see.
Trust is the first hurdle to purchase, and review badges can help you clear it every time.
Did we mention that 71% of consumers agree a good Trustpilot score makes them more likely to buy from a brand?
Incorporate customer reviews throughout your pitch decks and sales enablement materials
If you’re in B2B sales, then you know firsthand that there are enough reasons why deals don’t close — and a lack of trust shouldn’t be one of them.
It begins with the pitch deck that guides the initial sales meeting, and that prospects takeaway to help them remember your conversation. It’s the real-life examples of satisfied clients who have benefited from your product or service that are often the most memorable part — they’re exactly what make the benefits of your offering tangible and relevant.
If you’ve already tried this before, fear not. There are still new levers to pull with this tried and true form of social proof. The effectiveness of using customer reviews in your sales materials comes down to how they’re presented, and how relevant they are.
To maximize the impact of the reviews you put forth in your pitch deck and sales enablement, you might want to:
Choose reviews that speak to specific features, outcomes, and use cases that align with the key selling points of your offering — and the industry and business type you’re selling to.
Include visuals that highlight your review volume. An example would be including your Trustpilot score on the footer of each page to show prospects your average rating based on your total number of reviews.
With review recency becoming more important to the average consumer, it’s best to include as many fresh and recent reviews as possible. This could mean dedicating a page page to all of the reviews you received in the last one to three months from customers in your prospect’s industry.
Bonus points if you can feature customer reviews from some well known companies, as long as they’re relevant to your prospect’s sector and niche.
At the risk of stating the obvious, B2B prospects are people too. Including customer reviews in your pitch deck adds a human touch to your sales narrative that will make it more likely to stay top of mind for prospects.
Companies can talk about the many wonders of their offerings until they’re blue in the face, but prospects would rather hear it from their peers — or even competitors — who have navigated similar challenges and come out on top thanks to what you’re selling.
The TL;DR? Getting social proof right in your sales materials increases the likelihood of your sale.
Turn customer reviews into a compelling infographic
We know somebody out there needs to hear this: infographics can increase sales by up to 80%. This is likely because our brains can process visual information up to 60 times faster than written information, so an infographic helps you share your most compelling data points in a way your target audience can actually digest.
That includes data points like your customer reviews.
Imagine you were looking into car insurance and came across an infographic from one of the companies you found along the way. If that infographic mentioned that 9 out of 10 customers had a 4-star experience or better — and planned to keep their insurance policy the following year — would that get your attention?
We thought so. And we bet it would be even more head-turning if the infographic also featured some interesting quantitative data points — like a word cloud of what past customers liked most about their experience with that car insurance company.
The best approach will vary based on the nature of your business, and your customer feedback.
But no matter which type of infographic you go with, it can likely work across channels to help you increase sales: via social media, blog posts, your about page, email campaigns, and so on.
Keep customers on your site by highlighting reviews on exit pages
At the end of the day, every buying journey has a start point and an end point — and if that end point isn’t the purchase confirmation page, there’s some conversion rate optimization work to do.
A good first step is to identify any pages with high exit rates by checking out your exit page performance in Google Analytics to see which ones get solid traffic and have a high exit rate.
If you identify some, it’s worth taking a look at the page to see if there are any low hanging fruits you can tackle for an immediate improvement:
Is the page a dead end on the website?
Are there too many CTAs for any site visitor to reasonably act on?
And of course, would a relevant customer review help keep people on the page?
The truth is, relevant reviews belong on all of your exit pages — and Trustpilot’s Review Tagging feature makes it easy to find the most relevant ones.
Here’s an example.
If your Delivery and Returns page has a high exit rate, you’d set up review tagging to flag any reviews that mention those words so you can easily filter them. From there, it’s way easier to drill down to find a testimonial or two that speaks to a five-star delivery or returns experience — and then put those front and center on the exit pages.
This tiny consideration can have an outsized impact. After all, you miss 100% of sales when potential customers hurry off your site.
Key takeaways for increasing sales with customer reviews in 2024
Customer reviews are known to be one of the most powerful forms of social proof for driving sales, so it’s always worth trying new creative ways to show them off to potential customers.
Businesses can make their customer acquisition efforts more effective by weaving keywords from positive reviews throughout their ads and marketing materials.
Using review badges to prove your reviews were collected through a reputable third-party can help today’s most discerning shoppers feel confident enough to click buy.
Customer reviews can make B2B pitch decks and sales enablement materials more memorable and trustworthy, increasing the likelihood of closing a sale.
The combination of quantitative and qualitative data in customer reviews can be turned into an infographic for social media, blog posts, your company’s about page, and your email campaigns — and potential customers are more likely to remember the customer review highlights you share when they’re presented visually.
Showing customer reviews on website pages with a high exit rate can make potential customers think twice about clicking the X button. The more reasons you give them to engage with your website and offering, the more likely they’ll be to convert.
Ready to give Trustpilot a try? Sign up for a free demo here.