You’ve just created a website. It could be an online store or blog. It looks great, but something is missing. That “something” is a website element that encourages the next visitor to your site to act, for example, make a purchase, comment, or subscribe. After all, if visitors to your site see others acting, it will increase the chances of them following suit. Individuals relying on the actions of others is known as social proof.
Social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon in which people rely on the feedback and actions of others to determine what is right and wrong in each situation. It is considered prominent in ambiguous social situations where people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior. It is driven by the assumption that the surrounding people possess more knowledge about the current situation. Social proof works because we are continually looking for queues and to take mental shortcuts before acting. Social proof has been studied for decades and relates to similar human behavioral studies such as the bandwagon effect, bystander effect, groupthink, critical mass, and crowd psychology.
Social proofing methods have surfaced in various industries and professions like entertainment, marketing, sales, and social media. For example, some people buy likes and followers for their social media profiles to project popularity, authority, and credibility. Displaying these attributes can expedite getting followers and engagement. By contrast, a social media profile with only a few followers will project less popularity and even relevance.
Social proof has found its way into website design and online marketing. There are many things we can do to social proof our websites. Common social proofing methods include:
- Recent and “live” sale pop-ups
- Customer reviews and feedback
- Featured customer/client testimonials
- Number of blog comments
- Social shares for content
- Case studies
- Celebrity, influencer, and expert endorsements
- The number of people and things, for example, the number of users, downloads, subscribers, customers, etc.
- User-generated content, for example, a blog or video review from someone who has tried/tested a product
- Showcasing client logos
- Showcasing media outlets that a person has written for or been covered by, for example, “as featured in”
- Trust seals, for instance, the Better Business Bureau’s “Accredited Business” or Symantec’s “Norton” logos
WordPress users have ample choice of free and paid customer review, testimonial, blog comment, and social share plugins. Also, Thrive Themes offers two power, premium plugins for testimonials and blog comments. Therefore, let’s explore live and recent sale notification plugins, widgets, and apps for WooCommerce and WordPress.
Recent and live sale notifications project social proof by showing purchase activity. These purchases can be real or fake. If you use one of these plugins, you should consider your notification frequency so that they appear authentic, for example, having pop-ups appear randomly in intervals of at least 60 seconds. When pop-ups appear every few seconds, people may become skeptical.
Social Proof Sales Plugins
Beeketing offers a suite of marketing and sales apps to turn your online store into a money-making machine. They have a few WordPress plugins and of note are WooCommerce Live Sales Notification (Recent Sales Popups) and Beeketing for WooCommerce – Marketing Automation to Boost Sales. Also, they integrate with BigCommerce, Shopify, and a few other e-commerce and marketing tools.
The WooCommerce Live Sales Notification plugin shows recent sales popups to notify visitors of recently bought items. When visitors are aware that many other customers are buying, they will be more confident about making purchases. All features are configured and managed on their server, so the plugin is lightweight and efficient while minimizing your website’s resources. Top features include:
- Add URL links to notifications to direct traffic
- Auto-sync with store’s sales data to generate live sales feed of real orders
- Create fake sales notifications to promote any item
- Design notifications to match with your store’s look and feel
- Control display and scheduling settings, for example, expiration and interval times
- Free and paid options
The Beeketing for WooCommerce plugin aims to optimize conversion rates, increase average order value, prevent cart abandonment, and boost online sales. This plugin is loaded with features, and the top features for social proof are:
- Showcase recent real and fake order notifications
- Display a sales countdown clock on product pages to create urgency and scarcity (FOMO)
- Show how many people have viewed and bought products
- Show bestsellers, recently viewed, “who bought this also bought,” and recommendations based on cart product carousel sliders
- Free and paid options
Proof adds customer activity notifications to the bottom of your page. When visitors see that others are buying, they are statistically more likely to convert as well. Proof integrates with Leadpages, Instapage, and many other e-commerce and marketing tools.
- Display recent sales and opt-ins on your pages
- Show how many visitors are browsing your site, for example, “28 people are viewing this page”
- Get detailed profiles of visitors who enter their emails
- Watch visitors travel across your site and see which steps they take to convert
- Control when, how long, and how fast notifications display on your site
- Translate your announcements into any language
- Over 60 integrations
- A fourteen-day trial with prices starting at $66 monthly
The ProveSource WordPress plugin is a social proof platform for websites. It displays notifications about positive user interactions on the website, such as recent purchases and signups.
- Create social proof to show page visitors, recent signups, recent purchases and more.
- Supports more than 15 languages and counting!
- Beautiful notifications, including mobile support.
- Customize look and feel, position, timing, pages to display and more.
- Free with prices starting at $16 monthly
The WooBought WooCommerce plugin shows non-intrusive notifications of recent purchases.
- Edit the notification message with buyer and product info
- Position the image to the left or right of the text
- Change background and text colors
- Change notification position: bottom left or right
- Set the time between notifications
- Supports multiple languages, for example, English, Dutch, and French
- See a live example on the options page before saving your settings
- Lightweight and efficient
- Free and paid options
WPfomify increases conversion rates on your website by displaying recent sales and signups.
- Integrates with WooCommerce and a few other e-commerce/marketing services
- Easily customize the look and feel to match with your site’s branding
- Display real-time customer activity from your E-commerce or LMS website
- Display client reviews and ratings
- Show time-limited offers to create a sense of urgency and boost conversions
- Track activities with Google Analytics
- A fourteen-day trial with prices starting at $69 annually
Fomo for WooCommerce
The Fomo for WooCommerce plugin displays recent orders.
- Choose to display every order, some orders, or only orders from a specific period
- Position notifications in any corner, i.e., bottom left, bottom right, top left, or top right
- Lightweight and built to scale
- Fully customizable CSS animations and colors
- Randomize notification delays for a more life-like experience
- Hide notifications from specific pages
- See users interact with your notifications in real-time
- Customize the message, style, position, and timing to suit your branding
- A seven-day trial with prices starting at $29 a month
On EnvatoMarket, two sales notification plugins sell for less than $30.