Whether it’s the TripAdvisor ‘Certificate of Excellence’ or Twitter trending topics – when indecisive or spoilt for choice, we tend to refer to the wisdom of the crowd. We look for conformity and follow the actions of others.
This can result in a bandwagon effect. The increasing popularity of a product encourages more and more people to get on the bandwagon. Thinking “everyone else has got one, therefore, it must be good”. Fashion trends can be explained that way.
Applied to the world of marketing, wisdom of the crowd has become a powerful and cost-effective tactic to acquire, grow and retain customers – thanks to the rise of UGC and real-time marketing. Used effectively, you’re helping shoppers make a purchase decision and feel confident about their choice.
So let’s look at three ways to leverage our ‘follow the herd’ mentality across email and web. Initiatives that will give your marketing campaigns that little extra oomph.
1. Play upon FOMO
Fear of missing out (FOMO) describes the anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere. A classic example is “Facebook envy” among social media users, caused by their friends’ posting party and holiday selfies.
Telling your shoppers what their peers are purchasing or looking at plays upon this psychological phenomenon. This creates a sense of urgency while providing reassurance that they are following the consensus.
An easy way to get started is letting shoppers know which products are creating a buzz on your website. Show that others are interested in the same product by displaying on the product category or product detail pages how often an item has been purchased or browsed in a certain time frame (e.g. the last 24 hours).
This can be a very powerful way to encourage action. Especially when combined with stock level information to point out that supplies are finite.
2. Recommend customer favourites
Product recommendations are great to help shoppers navigate your merchandise and make the shopping journey more personal and inspiring.
Making product recommendations as personal as possible by suggesting items based on the customer’s individual purchase and browse history is a given. But this can be easier said than done for new website visitors since you haven’t had the chance to collect any data from them yet.
So why not leverage stock data to let them know what others bought? Incorporating these recommendations throughout strategic sections of your site and in emails will maximize their impact. Include recommendations based on ‘people who bought this also bought’. A very effective way to upsell complementing products or recover a sale that otherwise might have been lost.
These can go on the product detail page, in shopping abandonment emails and order confirmations. Also, highlighting trending or bestselling merchandise on the homepage and in your online store’s site navigation can decrease the bounce rate.
3. Feature product ratings
If you’re a regular reader of this space, I probably don’t have to say much about the importance of product ratings. Shoppers have changed the way they evaluate products. They increasingly look for opinions from other customers to identify the best product to choose.
Displaying customer reviews from platforms such as Reevoo instills trust in your website. Real-time brand reviews on the homepage as well as product ratings on the product detail pages also drive conversions. Thanks to new straightforward integrations it is now possible to harness the power of product ratings in your emails. Without the need for any hard coding.
Ratings can enhance your newsletter or lifecycle email campaigns such as shopping recovery messages. A well-timed cart or browse abandonment email that includes the latest 5-star reviews and comments about the carted or viewed product, such as “My hubby loved it!” or “My friends all ask where I bought it” can give shoppers that little nudge they might need to proceed through the checkout.
Keep in mind that people follow others who are similar to themselves. Add further credence by including the customer’s name, age and location as well as the date of the review.
Making wisdom of the crowd work for you
Find whatever works best for your brand. Whether that’s playing upon FOMO, recommending trending products, making your campaigns shine with star ratings, or a mix of all of them.
The smart use of wisdom of the crowd by leveraging real-time, genuine and unbiased information can make a big difference to the ROI of your marketing initiatives.