Building up social proof matters because people are going to be more inclined to believe what other people have had to say about your retail business, rather than simply reading a sales pitch from you. 

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Here are some of the different types of social proof that can really help to make your retail company’s presence felt:

Real-time stats 

Another way to use social proof to boost your conversions is to show real-time statistics on your site. There are a number of different ways you can go about this depending on the type of product you are selling. For example, a lot of the hotel booking websites today show when a property was last booked. Another example is when retail websites show how many people are looking at a product at that time. 

 

Customer showcases 

Getting your customers to send in photos of them using your product can also serve as social proof. This works especially well with clothing brands. People will be more inclined to purchase a certain item of clothing if they can see what it looks like on the average person rather than only being able to see the model photos on the e-store. 

 

Customer testimonials 

Of course, customer testimonials also play a critical role when it comes to social proof. However, don’t fall into the trap of purchasing reviews or writing your own comments. Make sure you focus on building reviews organically and naturally. Customers are savvy today and a lot of them only trust comments that are left on independent review platforms, as they can be sure of their authenticity. 

 

Case studies 

Last but not least, case studies can be used for high authority social proof considering their formal nature. After all, a lot of customers value long, and in-depth reviews over brief excerpts about their experience with a product or service. A good case study is one that highlights the problem and then shows the exact steps that your business took to fix it. 

 

Find a great web host

It is also important to find a good web host. When doing so, uptime is an evident place to start. Uptime relates to the amount of time your website’s server is up and running. Many web hosts offer an uptime guarantee; this instills more confidence in customers as it shows that the web host is sure they can offer a decent uptime, otherwise they will offer something in return, e.g. free period of hosting, refunds, etc.

An uptime of at least 99.9% is recommended. If a potential customer attempts to visit your website and it’s down, this is not only going to push them into choosing another web host, but it also means they likely won’t return again.

As well as pushing customers away, poor website uptime can also result in bad SEO for your website. Search engines like Google analyze how often your website incurs downtime and will penalize your SEO efforts if it’s not good enough.

 

Types of Web Hosting

As well as looking at the options a web host provides in terms of resources, security, uptime, and speed, there are different types of hosting plans available too. Each type of hosting has its advantages and disadvantages, so you should consider your requirements first to establish the best type of hosting for your small business.

Shared hosting

On a shared hosting plan, many customers share the same server, including its resources. If one customer uses more resources than they’ve been allocated, it could have an adverse effect on the performance of other customer’s websites on the server. However, shared hosting is often very affordable, with plans starting from as little as $0.99 per month.

VPS hosting

VPS hosting offers a lot more control and flexibility. You will still share a server with other customers, but this is greatly reduced in comparison to shared hosting. VPS hosting often has a choice of servers with differing resources, including CPU and RAM. VPS hosting is more reliable, but it also costs more than shared hosting.

Cloud hosting

Cloud hosting is scalable and secure. If a server fails for any reason, your website files are picked up by another server on the cloud network, meaning it’s far more reliable and offers better uptime. Cloud hosting resources can be scaled to your requirements, so if you start to notice an increase in traffic to your website, you can increase the amount of bandwidth when you need it. Cloud hosting is more expensive than shared hosting and VPS hosting.

Dedicated hosting

Renting a dedicated server means you get access to an entire server. This means you’ll have full control of your server and resources, and can even host multiple websites. Dedicated hosting is incredibly expensive and is only really recommended for large websites and eCommerce sites, who have knowledge of how a dedicated server works.

 

If you’re a small business owner just starting out, there’s a wealth of web hosts that will be suitable for your needs. Shared hosting is an ideal starting point, especially if you need to tighten the belt on your budget. If you outgrow your shared plan, you can always transfer your web hosting over to a different host that offers VPS, cloud, or dedicated hosting plans.

Finding a comprehensive package at the right price with generous features is a must for small businesses. If you know what you’re looking for, you can find a suitable web host that will cater to your needs, if you bear the above points in mind.

 

P.S. This post contains affiliate links.

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