As mentioned earlier, social proof is highly-effective in situations where individuals face uncertainty. The theory behind social proof is that an uncertain individual will seek guidance from others.
This is why social proof is such an important concept in marketing, especially for eCommerce and Amazon.Social proof
is also present in the principle of similarity. As part of Cialdini’s theory, the principle of similarity explains behavioral motivation as a derivative of relatability. Ambivalent consumers, for example, will make decisions, or behave in ways based on how they see those of a similar age, gender, religion, community, appearance, etc doing so. Seeing others ‘like you’ behaving a particular way communicates which behavior is appropriate or not.
In the context of eCommerce, consumers who see others like them purchasing or desiring a product send an implicit message that that product is desirable and of value.
Social proof also works when expertise is conveyed. When individuals who are perceived as having knowledge or expertise are heard or seen approving a product or behavior, significant influence is exerted.
Finally, the greater the number of humans who perform the same behavior, or again, buy or want the same product, the more catalyzing the social proof becomes.