How Visual Merchandisers can create ‘Social proof’ in-store

Social proof is the psychological phenomenon where people seek reassurance from other people’s actions and opinions, validating their purchase decision.

Reviews, ratings, social stats and all kinds of other social proof have been shown to be highly successful for eCommerce stores, posing the question, how can a similar experience be created for customer’s in-store?

A few apparel retailers have obviously had the same thought as they’ve been testing out a range of methods, using digital signage, as well as some simple visual merchandising strategies.

An example of the latter is creating a ‘Most pinned’ wall, rack or table, which displays all the top products pinned on Pinterest.

Another simple idea is to create special hang tags or signage that can be easily added to items calling out their ‘Most pinned’, ‘Most liked’ or ‘Most shared’ status, depending on what your preferred social channel is.

Utilising digital signage opens the doors to many different implementation ideas, as imagery from social channels, as well as comments and ratings can be displayed in real time. For example using digital signage on the walls you could display Instagram posts of customers wearing current styles, allowing shoppers to see how real people are styling and responding to the clothes.

A more literal translation of online social proof can be achieved using Electronic Shelf Labels (digital product price labels), which can actually display all the same information you might see on an eCommerce store. Such as, ratings and reviews, the amount of pins, tweets, Facebook likes each product has received and so forth. This could be excellent for products like wine and books, where purchasers rely heavily on customer feedback as part of the sales cycle. Imagine you’re shopping for a nice bottle of wine at a bottle shop and the price labels showed you the percentage of customers that have stated that they would ‘buy this wine again’, how much easier would the purchase decision be? Not to mention customer satisfaction would be up, and I’d imagine sales of less well known wines would also be up.

As you can see in-store social proof can be created for all types of products, and tailored to the individual brand’s preferred social channels or rating system.

Find out more about Electronic Shelf Labels.

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