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Social proof occurs when consumers look to other consumers’ reviews, opinions, or shopping behavior to inform their own purchasing decisions.
Social proof is the psychological concept that people are more likely to take an action, purchase a product, or engage with a brand if they see that others are doing so as well.
The primary way this occurs is through consumer reviews. Products with a high number of positive reviews tend to be more popular than those with fewer reviews — regardless of product quality — due to the social proof effect.
Because of social proof, businesses that create easy opportunities for customers to leave reviews often benefit from a compounded consumer impact. Similarly, case studies can be powerful tools to highlight how consumers have used or engaged with a product.
Social proof also works via word of mouth, as consumers frequently look to the opinions of those in their circles for recommendations. That’s why providing a cohesive, consistent brand experience across all channels is critical for businesses today.