Ecommerce Fundamentals: Social Proof Best Practices for Online Retailers


Table of Contents

Customers have always been and always will be the pulse of ecommerce. Their perceptions can make or break brands in seconds. If you can’t get them to pay attention and talk about your brand in a positive light, you might want to start looking into other areas of business.

To avoid such scenarios, we’ll explore a powerful solution that has the potential to catapult your ecommerce brand into the spotlight.

You’ve probably heard of social proof, but do you know how to make the most out of it? Let’s demystify it first: Social proof is the psychological phenomenon where people mimic the actions of others, assuming that if many people are doing it, it must be the right thing to do.

In ecommerce, some social proof tactics have evolved into potent tools for boosting credibility and sales. The point of this article is just that – to unravel the social proof best practices that have the power to set online retailers apart from the rest. Think social proof on steroids – that’s what we’re diving into.

Provide Context for Certifications and Associations

Certifications and associations are like the VIP badges of the ecommerce world. But let’s be honest – simply plastering some official-looking logos on your site doesn’t cut it anymore.

You need to spell it out for your audience because not everyone understands why “USDA Organic” or “Fair Trade Certified” are big deals. So, make it crystal clear.

Take ATH, a sports nutrition supplements brand, as a stellar example. They make sure to explain the certifications and claims they display on their homepage.

Each badge is clickable, linking to the official organizations that issue these certifications. You’re not simply staring at a “Certified Drug-Free” badge. You’re getting a quick rundown on why this matters for you and your all-natural lifestyle. It takes the guesswork out of the equation and builds trust on the spot.


Now let’s bring it back to your brand:

  1. Take the time to annotate each certification or association logo.
  2. Follow ATH Sport’s example and offer a short, digestible explanation of what it means and why it matters.
  3. Then, link to the issuing institution. This gives your certifications more weight and educates your audience at the same time.

Providing this context will help you look like you’re not just a show-off. You’ll come across as that brand that helps its customers make informed decisions.
In ecommerce, the audience appreciates it when you go the extra mile to be transparent and informative. So, give your badges the stage they deserve.

Display Star Ratings Wherever You Feature Products

Star ratings are more than shiny emojis next to your products. They’re like mini-billboards of trust!

When you make it super easy for customers to see star ratings, you’re essentially equipping them with a speedy evaluation tool. No need to click through to a separate page or dig around for reviews – the information is right there, loud and clear.

Here are the can’t-miss benefits of showcasing star ratings every time you feature your products:

  • Immediate credibility
    A quick glance at a 4.8-star rating instantly builds trust.
  • Quick decision-making
    Star ratings offer an at-a-glance quality assessment, saving shoppers time.
  • Increased engagement
    A higher rating usually leads to more clicks, views, and, ultimately, sales.
  • Transparency
    Ratings reflect real customer opinions, enhancing your brand’s openness.
  • Higher conversion rates
    Products with high ratings typically experience higher conversion rates.

Now, let’s talk about a company that gets this perfectly – Shop Solar. This brand sells solar power systems and doesn’t miss the beat when it comes to star ratings.

On their Home Solar Kits category page, every single product has a star rating displayed right under the product description. That allows shoppers to quickly gauge the quality and reliability of each kit, streamlining their decision-making process.


If you haven’t yet, start incorporating star ratings into every nook and cranny where your products appear. This includes search results, category pages, and even promotional emails. You’ll be amazed at how these little stars can have a big impact on your ecommerce success.

Get started for free

All-in-one review management solution for Shopify stores looking to build trust and increase conversions. 

Install Opinew

Get an Expert in Your Corner

You know that feeling when you’re totally stumped about which product to choose, and then someone who really knows their stuff gives you a recommendation? It’s like a beam of light cutting through the fog of indecision.

Getting an expert to vouch for your product is precisely that – a supercharged way to instill confidence and persuade potential customers.

You don’t need to score a celebrity endorsement. What matters is aligning with someone who has recognized authority in your product’s niche. Are you selling skincare products? Get a dermatologist on board. Specialized camping gear? How about a seasoned outdoor guide?

Here’s why this is one of the social proof best practices:

  • It boosts credibility.
    When an industry professional stands by your product, it elevates your brand’s reputation.
  • It gives a detailed explanation.
    An expert can offer a nuanced understanding of why your product works, providing that extra layer of reassurance.
  • It adds a trusted voice.
    People are more likely to trust the word of an expert in the field than a random review.
  • It drives sales.
    Expert approval can significantly influence buying decisions, pushing those fence-sitters to make a purchase.

Let’s bring this to life with the example of SomniFix, a brand that sells mouth strips designed for better sleep. On their homepage, a real dentist gives a professional opinion on why SomniFix’s product is effective.

The effort made here isn’t some marketing fluff. It’s a knowledgeable perspective that lends substance to the brand’s claims. This expert testimony sets the stage for trust, and trust is ecommerce gold.


Don’t Limit Product Reviews to Product Pages

Cooped-up product reviews are a missed opportunity. Sure, they are doing a great job on individual product pages, but why stop there?

Listing your top product reviews on your homepage or other landing pages is like rolling out a red carpet of trust for everyone who visits your site.

Think of it this way: Your homepage is your storefront window in the digital realm. Just like a physical store puts its best merchandise in the window, you can put your best reviews front and center.

Here are some must-know benefits of this strategy:

  • Instant trust
    Visitors landing on your homepage get a welcoming dose of credibility.
  • Enhanced engagement
    Displaying reviews up front encourages further exploration of your products.
  • Highlighted best sellers
    You can strategically feature reviews of your most popular products to boost sales even more.
  • Versatility
    You can use these reviews in targeted campaigns, newsletters, or even in ads.
  • Visual appeal
    Along with text, you can showcase star ratings and trust badges for a comprehensive view of your product’s awesomeness.

FOCL, a brand specializing in plant-based wellness solutions, absolutely nails this approach. On their homepage, they feature a dedicated section highlighting their top product reviews, complete with star ratings and a trust badge.


This initiative isn’t just for decoration purposes. It’s a strategic move that gives first-time visitors an immediate sense of the brand’s value and reliability.

That’s why you need to liberate those glowing reviews from their product page confines. Broadcast them where they’ll get the attention they deserve and let them work their magic on a larger scale.

Remember That Your Brand Also Needs Reviews

It’s not just your products that need those five-star shoutouts. Your brand needs some love, too. While product reviews are the bread and butter of social proof, brand reviews are the secret ingredient that ties it all together.

When visitors see positive brand reviews, it’s like getting a thumbs-up for the entire shopping experience. It assures potential customers that they’ll be taken care of from click to delivery.

To capitalize on this, give your customers the option to review your brand in addition to individual products. Make it easy by providing a quick form or a direct link to a review platform like Trustpilot.

Here’s why this is a big deal:

  • Holistic trust
    A review of your brand covers the entire customer experience, not just the product.
  • End-to-end satisfaction
    Brand reviews often mention factors like shipping speed, customer service, and website/app usability.
  • Future-proofing
    A solid brand reputation makes it easier to launch new products or services down the line.

Take a cue from Mannequin Mall, a fashion mannequin retailer. They’ve got a Review flyout right on their homepage that goes the extra mile by separating product reviews from site reviews.

That’s how they allow their visitors to read about how great their mannequins are and learn that they’re a dependable site with quick shipping and excellent customer support.


So, don’t sideline your brand when gathering reviews. By elevating it alongside your products, you’re offering a full, appealing picture that could make the difference between a hesitant visitor and a confident customer.

Give Positive Reviews Extra Visibility on Social Media

Social media isn’t only great for product launches or promotional campaigns. It’s also the perfect stage for showcasing customer love and the raving reviews that come with it.

Bringing reviews to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok is all about creating an authentic connection. When someone shares their positive experience, it paints a vivid picture of what new customers can expect.

Whenever you celebrate positive feedback on social platforms, you’re building a community that trusts, supports, and roots for your success. So, the next time you get a review that makes you smile, craft a captivating post and let your social community join in on the celebration.

Here’s why you should be amplifying those positive vibes:

  • Immediate validation
    Seeing real reviews on a social platform can instantly boost trust among your followers.
  • Shareable content
    Happy customers might reshare or tag their friends, amplifying your brand’s reach.
  • Engagement boost
    Reviews can spark conversations, comments, and further testimonials.
  • Emotional connection
    Reading a fellow shopper’s positive experience can create a relatable bond for potential buyers.

Now, let’s dive into a real-world example by Anytime Baseball Supply. This high-end baseball equipment supplier knows the power of praise. They recently took a glowing review from their site and turned it into a beautifully designed post for their Instagram feed.

Not only did this highlight the product’s quality, but it also showcased the brand’s commitment to customer satisfaction. It’s interactive, authentic, and resonates deeply with anyone scrolling through their feed.


Get Your Site Listed on Review Aggregators

Review aggregators are the equivalent of town squares where people gather to share their opinions and experiences. By listing your site on these platforms, you’re making a smart move to amplify your social proof.

This strategy doesn’t only involve collecting more reviews. It’s a move that signals that you’re open to feedback, confident in your service, and committed to transparency.

Here’s a rundown of the notable review aggregators that can elevate your brand’s reputation:

  • Trustpilot: A global platform where consumers can write and share reviews about businesses.
  • Google Reviews: These reviews appear alongside your business on Google, influencing local search rankings.
  • Sitejabber: A platform that offers consumer insights through genuine reviews of online businesses.
  • ResellerRatings: Catered specifically for online retailers, it allows users to rate and discuss their experiences.
  • Yelp: Not just for restaurants, many ecommerce brands have started using Yelp to display user feedback.
  • Feefo: An invite-only platform where businesses can collect genuine feedback.
  • Business Bureau (BBB): A time-tested source of reliability reports and business reviews.

Send Payments, an international money transfer service, is a shining example of leveraging review aggregators. They proudly display their 5-star Trustpilot rating as a badge right in their homepage header.

This simple yet powerful tactic instantly assures visitors of the brand’s credibility and trustworthiness.


Another example is Lardera, an online coffee shop brand. They brew a perfect blend of visibility and trust by featuring a Google Reviews button on their site.

This ever-present button in the lower-left corner of their website is a gateway to their impressive star rating and glowing reviews. It’s definitely more than just a decoration – it’s an invitation for potential customers to learn firsthand about the brand’s top-notch offerings and service.


So, hop on these platforms, showcase those stellar ratings, and keep your brand at the forefront of customer trust.

Involve a Credible, Relevant Influencer

In the past few years, you might’ve noticed a surge in endorsements by individuals who resonate deeply with certain audiences. These are influencers – social media powerhouses that wield immense sway over their followers.

Partnering with the right influencer can be a game-changer for your brand. A whopping 83% of brands have found influencer marketing to be a highly effective strategy.

Platforms like TikTok are surging, with 56% of brands using it for influencer marketing, outpacing even Instagram at 51%. Meanwhile, Facebook and YouTube lag behind at 42% and 38% respectively.

Some of the social proof best practices regarding hiring an influencer include:

  • Matching with your brand.
    Ensure the influencer’s audience, style, and values align with your brand’s ethos.
  • Opting for quality over quantity.
    A smaller, engaged audience can be more valuable than a larger, less involved one.
  • Outlining clear guidelines.
    Draft a clear contract specifying deliverables, timelines, and compensation.
  • Preserving authenticity.
    Encourage influencers to use your product naturally, ensuring the endorsement doesn’t feel forced.
  • Tracking and analyzing.
    Monitor the performance of influencer campaigns to gauge ROI and refine future strategies.

In essence, influencers aren’t just about “influence.” They’re a bridge connecting your brand to audiences that might have otherwise remained unreachable. So, if you’re on the fence about tapping into this resource, now might be the time to jump in and amplify your brand voice!

That’s what Adidas, a titan in the sportswear realm, does constantly. They have long recognized the potency of influencer marketing, often teaming up with big names to give their products that extra spotlight.

By occasionally stirring the pot with a touch of controversy, they highlight their products and start conversations at the same time.


That’s how influencer marketing helps amplify visibility and initiates narratives that can keep your brand relevant and talked about.

Final Thoughts

That was our tour through the evolving world of social proof best practices. We’ve seen how everything from expert endorsements to brand reviews can supercharge trust and send those conversion rates soaring. It’s all about connection, and when visitors see real people vouching for your products, that connection solidifies.

Investing time and effort into these practices is more than hopping on the latest marketing trend. It’s a testament to your commitment to genuine customer relationships. And in the age of informed consumers, authenticity is gold.

If you’re eager to get started, ensure to start small. Maybe showcase a glowing review on your social media or reach out to a relevant influencer in your niche. Then, measure, refine, and scale your efforts.

Remember: with each step, you’re implementing powerful social proof best practices and weaving a rich flag of trust that can make your brand truly unforgettable.

Get started for free

All-in-one review management solution for Shopify stores looking to build trust and increase conversions. 

Install Opinew

Online Customer Reviews