Social Proof

New Forrester report: how Matalan taps social proof messaging to improve the customer journey

By 

Alison Wiltshire

 on 

March 17, 2020

This report analyses how this retailer uses social proof messaging to better support customer needs and decision making online.

I’ve yet to meet a retailer who doesn’t have a laser like focus on improving the online customer experience.

The challenge, of course, is to make it more like it is in real-life stores where you can easily compare what’s on offer, get extra info from a human sales associate and see what other shoppers are buying. The latter is especially potent because the behaviour of others can influence our own choice (feel the FOMO). But knowing what you need to do isn’t the same as knowing how to do it, which is why this new case from case study from Forrester Research, Inc., Matalan Taps Social Proof Messaging to Improve the Customer Journey, March 2020, is important reading. 


In the report, Forrester analyses Matalan’s strategic approach to improving the customer experience, as well as detailing how this retailer uses social proof messaging to better support customer needs and decision making online. (If you’re not familiar with Matalan, the Liverpool-based company is a leading UK and international value retailer selling more than £1 billion annually of fashion and homeware through stores and its fast growing online channel.)


Matalan’s internal analysis had uncovered a set of customers who wanted more reassurance on style and trends in order to shop more confidently online. From here, it was a logical step to consider social proof messaging as the potential solution. By highlighting shopping trends and showing them what other customers were buying, social proof messages would accompany, inform and encourage those more cautious customers on their shopping journey. 


You can read the full story in the Forrester case study of how Matalan chose, tested and introduced Taggstar solutions but I will share here the significant business results (spoiler alert!):

  • Social proof messaging on product display pages increased sales conversion rates: the very first test on PDPs increased conversion rates by 5.5%.
  • Extending messaging to product list pages, with messages such as ‘Going fast!’ delivered 

a conversion rate uplift of 6.98%. 

  • In December 2019, adding emojis and refining the style of the PDP messaging gave a further online sales conversion rate uplift of 1.44%.


In the report, Forrester concludes “the successful partnership between Matalan and Taggstar is the result of setting clear strategic objectives, deliberately investing in internal and partner resources, planning, and developing a “test and learn” mindset, among other factors”. To which we can only add ‘hear, hear!’. And it doesn’t stop there. Taggstar and Matalan are continuing to explore fresh opportunities to use social media to enhance the customer experience and deliver more commercial value. 


By helping to re-create the buzz and camaraderie of shopping in a bricks and mortar store, we know that social proof messaging can enhance the customer experience in so many ways and deliver a real return on that investment for the retailer. This new Forrester report shows that with hard evidence. Matalan’s experience is relevant and valuable for retailers from every sector. 


You can download your complimentary copy of Matalan Taps Social Proof Messaging to Improve the Customer Journey, March 2020 Forrester Research, Inc.


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