When the going gets tough…the tough turn to Taggstar

Why Taggstar’s social proof messaging is the perfect solution for peak.

As the 2023 peak season begins it’s not surprising that retailers’ nerves are, to put it bluntly, a little frayed. It hasn’t been an easy year. 

This time last year retailers and consumers globally were on the cusp of a cost-of-living crisis as energy prices soared, with subsequent rises in everything from food to fashion as inflation skyrocketed, hitting a peak of 9.1% in June 2022. Disposable income all but went out of the window for many and for those who were spending their decisions had to be strong and justified. 

Things aren’t that much different this year. Consumers are still under pressure. Inflation rose 3.7% in the 12 months to August 2023, lower than previous peaks but a rise on the previous month’s figure and still higher than the Federal Reserve’s 2% target. 

As in the UK, the Federal Reserve announced it would leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged in September, with the rate sitting in a range of 5.25% and 5.5% – a 22-year high that was initially announced in July – however another interest rate rise before the end of the year is likely.  

It remains tough out there but, as the Billy Ocean song goes: ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going…When the going gets tough, the tough get ready.” 

Such words have never been more applicable than at the start of peak in a tough retail climate. Brands and retailers need to work hard to gain customer confidence and persuade them to spend, getting ready to maximize all the opportunities that peak offers, despite the challenging climate. Helping customers to validate their buying decisions with social proof messaging is key, and, at Taggstar, we have a decade of experience in doing just that. 

How social proof messaging works 

Social proof messaging shows customers what others are buying, including what’s popular and selling fast. Harnessing the power of your existing customers can help to convince a customer faced with overwhelming choice and struggling to make a buying decision by aiding product discovery and reducing basket abandonment. 

The social proof messages are displayed in a bubble format over the product, anywhere in the buying funnel – from the product listing and product detail page to the basket page – and may include such messages as ‘trending’ to personalization messages that will show how many items have been sold since the visitor’s last visit. Such messaging can also be included in digital advertising, social media and email marketing to reassure the shopper yet further that they are making the right purchasing choice. 

And, if they are still wavering, social proof messaging that incorporates aggregated review information, as well as social proof recommendations, can encourage hesitant shoppers to buy and can create ‘of the moment’ product discoveries related to market trends. This power of the crowd feature has a huge influence on the wavering customer, boosting conversion rate optimization and subsequently sales, and also helping to reduce the likelihood of costly returns. 

An easy investment decision 

If consumers are struggling to make the decision to spend without total confidence in what they are buying, then so too are retailers. Justifying the extra cash to invest in new solutions to support your business can be a challenge, especially if you aren’t sure they will work. 

But what if success was guaranteed? And that at the very least you would make your money back with an ROI of at least 100%? Wouldn’t that be enough to tempt you to give Taggstar’s social proof messaging a try? 

Taggstar boasts an extensive rollcall of established retailers and brands who have seen tough times before – we’ve been at this for the last ten years. Our customers know that social proof messaging can help to support their success in both buoyant times as well as more challenging periods. 

Many have already seen the technology in use at previous companies that they have worked with, and that means they’ve already seen the positive results that social proof messaging can drive. Lakeland’s Head of Digital and Acquisition Matt Elliott, is one of those. He knew Taggstar’s power as an incremental growth lever and wanted Lakeland to witness it too. Lakeland’s initial test, implemented in April 2023, delivered an average 5% uplift in conversion, representing a 15X ROI. “It’s a no-brainer. It proves itself and pays for itself multiple times over,” says Matt. 

At premium brand Charles Tyrwhitt, meanwhile, a 1.8% conversion rate uplift delivered a jaw-dropping 501% ROI when Taggstar’s social proof messaging was first integrated in 2021 with an international test that included the US. “For our business it’s important not just to surface the right product information to our customers, but to do so in an elegant way befitting of our target customer and our brand ethos,” says Alex Buckingham, Head of Digital Experience at Charles Tyrwhitt. 

A quick and fuss-free implementation

Of course as you are reading this peak season is already beginning. Holiday inventory is likely already hitting your shelves both in-store and online, and your focus is on maximizing results over the next few weeks. You might be thinking there’s no time to be distracted by new technology or risk upsetting what already works ok. You might be impressed by Taggstar’s results, but perhaps thinking instead about adding social proof messaging to your roadmap for 2024. 

But why wait? Is doing ‘ok’ really good enough in such tough times and when the opportunity to maximize peak is within your reach? 

Resilient retailers will use every lever in their power to boost sales when the going gets tough. But they balance their decisions by choosing trusted, proven solutions – especially in the critical peak season. Speed and ease of implementation are also vital. 

Taggstar’s social proof messaging can be implemented in as little as two weeks, with minimal impact on your business. “We were impressed with how easy the technology was to implement,” says Charles Tyrwhitt’s Alex. 

Positive results are not only seen quickly but they impress too. Despite our unwavering confidence in the power of our technology (since we have all the data and success stories to back up our boasting) many of our customers are still surprised at not only the speed of how quickly social proof messaging drives conversion rates and ROI, but also the scale at which it does so. 

They have seen conversion rate uplifts ranging from 2% to 20%. That can literally deliver millions in incremental sales. You can have experiment with our free conversion rate optimization calculator to see the likely impact on your business if you still need convincing. 

And of course you can get in touch. When the going gets tough, the tough call Taggstar and it’s still not too late for you to make the call in time for peak, so do let us explain how we can help. We even promise not to sing to you…

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