The Impact of Social Approval and Customer Reviews on Consumer Behavior

In today's highly interconnected world, consumers have access to rich information about products and services.

The Impact of Social Approval and Customer Reviews on Consumer Behavior
Reading Time 3 min / Publish Date - 26.10.2023

In today's highly interconnected world, consumers have access to rich information about products and services. With so many options available, it can be challenging for businesses to capture and make a difference in the attention of customers. One of the most effective ways to do this is by using social proof and customer reviews.

Social proof refers to the tendency of people to reference the actions of others in similar situations. For example, believing that a crowded restaurant must be good is an example of this. People do not remain indifferent to the choices of their peers or surroundings. In the marketing context, social proof can influence potential customers to prefer your product or service.

Customer reviews are an important component of social proof. Indeed, studies show that the majority of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. These reviews have as much influence on the decision-making process as recommendations from friends or family. Positive reviews provide reassurance to hesitant shoppers, while negative reviews are seen as a warning sign.


Building Trust

Every successful business relationship relies on trust. Potential customers trust you more when they see positive reviews from those who have used your product or service before. In this regard, social proof minimizes the risk of cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is the discomfort people feel when there is a contradiction between their beliefs and actions. Such dissonance can arise, for example, after a purchase. In such situations, people seek social approval to put their minds at ease.


Encouraging Action 

Social proof is also an effective method to prompt consumers to take action. For instance, it is important in this context to know how many people have previously purchased a product or service. Accessing this information can create a sense of urgency in potential customers, encouraging them to make a purchase.


Leaving the Competition

Entering a crowded market can be challenging. Social proof helps you differentiate your brand by showcasing the unique value and benefits you offer. While doing so, you can emphasize positive customer experiences, helping them understand why your product or service is the best choice.


Real-world examples of social proof and customer reviews include:

Amazon's customer review and rating system allows customers to leave feedback about the products they have purchased. These reviews prominently feature on product pages, greatly influencing purchase decisions.

Airbnb's host and guest reviews help build trust among platform users. Guest ratings of hosts are particularly important in this regard. Thanks to these reviews, Airbnb has created a social proof system that makes users feel more comfortable. You can also draw from these examples when creating a brand communication strategy.

On the other hand, social media influencers leverage their social proof to recommend products and services to their followers. Influencers persuade their followers to try out new products or services through the trust and impact they have established with their audience.

As a result, social proof and customer reviews are powerful tools that significantly influence consumer behavior. Businesses can build trust through the positive experiences of others, thereby prompting action and diminishing the significance of competition. By incorporating social proof into their marketing strategies, businesses maximize their impact and gain the opportunity to stand out in a crowded market. Therefore, understanding the potential effects of cognitive dissonance is significant. Businesses should harness social proof to enhance shopping experiences that put their customers at ease.

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