How Brits are tooling up for months of learning, working and playing at home

We human beings are immensely adaptable creatures. Faced with the prospect of several weeks if not months of staying at home, people are rapidly finding ways of making life under lockdown as easy and normal as possible and staying connected.

The result is we’re heading online like never before. Web traffic is already up by 50 per cent. More than half UK consumers say they plan to shop online more as a result of COVID-19.  

Millions of us are working from home (#WFM), many for the first time. A recent YouGov survey found that more than four in ten UK workers (42 per cent) have to work from home all the time, and another 12 per cent now work from home some of the time. That’s hundreds of thousands of people who need additional hardware – laptops and monitors, headsets, wireless routers and so on – in order to do their job.

It’s not just work that’s driving demand for electrical goods. Home schooling means that households where children previously shared the family laptop for their homework may now need additional devices. Then there’s tablets and games consoles and TVs for entertainment, webcams for socialising with friends and family. And let’s not forget mealtimes. The whole family at home all day means a lot more meal planning and cooking: fridges, freezers, breadmaking machines are in high demand. 

At the same time as demand rocketing, COVID-19 is disrupting the whole global supply chain, from manufacturing shortfalls through to freight constraints and logistics capacity as businesses seek to keep their employees and customers safe. Popular products are in short supply. In these circumstances, it’s important for retailers to communicate clearly with customers and help them make the best buys for their budget. After all, these days we can’t just pop out to return an unsuitable item to the shop or Post Office.

Carefully crafted social proof messages can help create a positive online experience. Some consumers will be shopping online for the first time and it’s important they are encouraged and supported during throughout the whole process. Deciphering technical specifications is hard enough even in-store with a knowledgable sales associate at hand. By showing that lots of others have bought this item, social proof creates trust in the product and the online sales journey. And all visitors to a website will find it useful to be informed about bestselling items, stock levels and customer ratings (‘39 others have rated this 5 stars for features’, details which can help them narrow down their choices. 

We know lots of people would much prefer to see and touch a TV screen or fridge/freezer in the store before deciding. With that option no longer available, those shoppers can be reassured online by the validation of others ‘5 people are looking at this right now’ or ‘14 of these purchased in the last 24 hours’. Social proof says it’s OK to buy even major household goods online because other people are doing it.

One of the most cheering aspects of the current crisis is how people are coming together to look after each other. In a small way, social proof messaging replicates this community feeling online, sharing the experience of all to help everyone make the right purchase. 

For retailers new to social proof, we can create and test messaging and get it up and running on your website in days. If you already use social proof, you might like us to work with you to make sure that the content and tone of voice is right for these uncertain times. 

Contact us to learn more about using Taggstar social proof on your website.

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