Social Proof Rules

March 27th, 2014 by Sarah Gough


Ok, so your website is slick, integrated, and immaculately designed. Navigation is seamless, and it’s optimised for fluid function across all browsers and devices. Plus, it’s filled with excellent visual elements and compelling content.

Now, where are all the customers…?

The thing is, online sales are no longer about brilliant websites. Customers aren’t going to spend their hard earned cash simply because a site looks and feels professional. Instead, they want valid reasons, courtesy of other customers, to choose you. The answer: social proof.

Social proof rules. It’s known by psychologists as informational social influence, and is a phenomenon that involves people attempting to ‘fit in’ by adopting the behaviour of others. It’s often referred to as herd behaviour, wherein grouped individuals act simultaneously without any prior planning.

Social Proof HerdBy making social behaviour available on your site, you can take full advantage of shoppers’ flocking habits, thus seeing a fantastic improvement in sales. Methods include:

Customer reviews

Ratings

Case studies

Social media buttons

Wish lists

Here are a few of the very best who make the most of social proof…

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor’s whole business model focuses on social proof, the total premise being that of reviews and forums for holidaymakers. The majority of the site’s content is user generated, so you can gain authentic, honest reviews about destinations and accommodation. And it really works; after all, we are far more likely to book a fortnight in Crete if David from Bristol gave it five stars.

Amazon

Amazon make the most of social proof by locating a ‘Customers who viewed this item also viewed’ bar directly beneath your searched product. Trusting in a total stranger’s taste and habits seems ludicrous, but the system obviously works (the third quarter of 2013 saw a total revenue of $17.9 billion). The online retail giant also provides a 5 star rating system for products, with the option to read and write more detailed reviews.

ASOS

The UK’s largest independent fashion retailer ASOS takes social proof to the next level, giving customers the option to share favourite products across all popular platforms. Each listing has its own social media sharing buttons, meaning a customer that’s umming and ahhing can share an outfit on Facebook and await the majority decision, while a shopper that’s super excited about the jeans he just bought can tweet them to his followers. This is a highly effective method, encouraging customers’ social media contacts to also engage in the product, as well as inspiring them to also make a purchase.

Fortunately for you, integrating product reviews and feedback doesn’t cost the earth. There are plenty of cheap services including Shopper Approved, which allows website owners to insert a basic line of code that instantly enables customer interaction. Social media sharing buttons can also be easily added, and there are plugins available for star rating systems. All in all, incorporating social proof into your site is a simple, inexpensive process that is sure to boost your sales and sing your praises.

What do you think about social proof? Tweet us @boutiquemc and let us know!

What has Malaysian flight MH370 done to the media?

March 18th, 2014 by Sarah Gough


Missing Malaysian Flight MH370 Boutique

News providers always do well with breaking news stories, and the vanishing of Malaysian plane MH370 continues to demonstrate this. Since its disappearance ten days ago, flight 370 has remained a front-page story, the topic commencing every news segment, trending on social media, and leading a record number of people to sign up for push alerts.

While TV stays firmly put as the top medium for news, the internet is the leading place for people to follow-up on stories. A recent American Press Institute study found that nearly 60% of respondents head to the world wide web to learn more about breaking news, a trend that is easily noted when considering online engagement about the Malaysian flight.

So why are we so obsessed with the mystery? Well, because it’s precisely that – a mystery. Not simply a news story, a disappearing aeroplane is a culmination of things that stimulate us as human beings: danger, speed, conspiracy, technology, and the unexplainable. The ambiguity of the story is unrelenting in its appeal to people, and we continue to be fed updates, statistics and theories by anchors, broadsheets and social media alike. And, as always, the warranted info is also accompanied by unseemly responses, including fake discovery videos and bad-taste advertisements.

It is the topic and speed of news stories that drives people’s media consumption, and the transcendent power of a vanishing aeroplane means that people are now persistently logging on, signing up and tracking down the #MH370 hashtag. Interestingly, for something that relies so heavily on fact, the biggest part of the news is currently a story that severely lacks in truth and is instead bursting with obsession, uncertainty and imagination.

What do you think? Tweet us @boutiquemc and let us know!

The best offices in the world

March 12th, 2014 by Sarah Gough


… And that includes us!

We’ve been in our new office for over two months now, and it’s looking pretty darn good, if we do say so ourselves. While some of our clients and friends have had the chance to see our new home in the flesh, many of you are yet to feast your eyes upon our brilliant space. That’s why we thought we would share a few pictures of the office, so that everyone can have a virtual tour of Boutique HQ.

There are lots of amazing work places across the globe. In Madrid, Selgas Cano architects’ office is a bright, airy capsule with panoramic views of the Spanish forest. Over in London, Red Bull’s HQ were constructed with the intention of inviting young, artistic people to come in, kick back and collaborate. And, get this, the office turns into a bar at night… Amazing! YouTube, Google and Facebook all have fantastic offices, too. Architecturally stunning and colourful, the internet giants all inspire creativity in their work spaces, as well as offering employees dedicated places to recharge batteries, brainstorm and even play (think Segways, slides and DJ booths). Swedish ISP Banhof probably have the best office ever, though. Buried inside mountains in Stockholm, the converted WWII bunker screams Bond villain with its smoke machines, waterfalls, and a giant fish tank (no piranhas though!)

We’re rather smug that our own office holds its own when compared to the best in the world. Of course, we haven’t got tranquil woodland surroundings, a converted bunker or a slide (sob). However, this doesn’t mean that our home in Holbeck Urban Village, just south of Leeds city centre, isn’t something to be proud of.

The Boutique hub is situated on the fourth floor in Marshall’s Mill, one of the most unique office developments in Leeds. Our location is definitely something to shout about. We’re ideally placed only a short walk from the station, right on the cusp of motorway links, in the ‘coolest corner of Leeds’. We’ve tailored the office to suit our needs perfectly, and it is now a vibrant, creative hub that inspires us to work hard as well as encouraging a relaxed and social approach. Upon entry, the visual stimulation throughout the office is difficult to ignore. It’s the perfect representation of the Boutique brand…

Boutique Office Entrance

our kitchen

We love filling the shelves with a combination of crazy knick-knacks, including random reindeer, a tiny goat, and a cactus wearing a sombrero. Why not, ey?

divider

There are lots of options when it comes to choosing a place to work…

desk

Picnic Bench Boutique

simon and tom relaxing

tom in window

Whiteboard paint comes in handy for brainstorming sessions in the boardroom, which is branded to within an inch of its life with Boutique vinyl on the windows, a Boutique desk, and our prized Boutique mission statement on the wall.

Boutique Digital Elliot Jones

boadroom meeting

Boutique Meeting

P1050754

mission statement

The Boutique artistic flair flows throughout the office. More whiteboard walls and a few gilt frames make for the perfect memo boards, while our portraits have pride of place at the front door.

notices

portaits2

What do you think of Boutique’s home? Tweet us @boutiquemc and let us know!