Social Proof & FOMO?
As members of a society, people tend to follow or imitate the consumption behavior of others around them. With the extensive use of today’s social media, Fear of Missing Out, or FOMO, defined as “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent,” (Przybylski et al. p. 1841) is becoming increasingly widespread.
FOMO has a potent psychological effect when it comes to making purchasing decisions.
For instance, in 2015, Yeezy Boost 350 shoes, co-designed by Adidas and American singer Kanye West, caused a frenzied buying wave worldwide and sold out in minutes despite their hefty price tag of $539. No kidding! How did they do it? The shoes were released in minimal quantities – only 9000 pairs were made. Given the product’s scarcity, it had significant FOMO power because everyone wants to be that cool kid in town.
Likewise, the American outdoor brand, The North Face, which is known as a “second school uniform“, has become an essential item among South Korean teenagers. Even though its consumption can be a significant economic burden for some consumers, everyone still wants to display their logo. Individuals are often influenced by and tend to copy the behavior of their peers.
The list goes on and on. Since people have a strong tendency to follow others and imitate the mainstream as well as other members of the community they identify with, there is good reason to consider the power of FOMO as a useful marketing tool.
Online Stores Can Leverage Social Proof to Increase Sales
The principle of Social Proof has already been used extensively by eCommerce platforms like Amazon. For Shopify store owners, there is a particular category for Social Proof in the platform’s app store. Below are 2020’s best Social Proof Apps for Shopify.
At the time of this writing, there are 271 social proof apps in Shopify from testimonials to product reviews to popups to alerts. I picked the best 3 apps that targeted specifically for Social Proof.
When talking about FOMO, the first thing that usually comes to mind is FOMO.com, the original Shopify app that delivers social proof notifications. However, my research humbly suggests otherwise. It’s possibly Fera, not Fomo, trumps the most popular app in this category based on its staggering number of 5-star reviews (2600 as of 6/11), compared with Fomo’s 200+ reviews.
Fera’s most notable component is its A/B testing feature that doesn’t rely on a 3rd party service like Google Optimize or Optimizely. From the dashboard, you can compare two versions of a webpage to determine which version performs better.
The second notable feature is Timer. Placing a time limit on the checkout process creates psychological urgency in a customer’s mind as nobody wants to miss out on a great deal!
Fera uses the term “Skills” to describe its series of social proof popups. Currently, Fera offers about 50 Skills. Users can customize Skills using its Skill Designer. No coding is required.
Customizing skills without any coding is a snap, much like our Cuedd designer.
Area of concern
- Limited integration outside of major eCommerce platforms.
- A/B Testing is only available in the most expensive plan.
|Skills||Max: 3 skills & $5k avg rev/mo||Max: 10 skills & $50k avg rev/mo||Max: 20 skills & $200k avg rev/mo|
I would love to find out why Fera gets so many good reviews since it was launched after the original FOMO app. The first review was submitted on July 11, 2017. If you divide the number of reviews by 3 years, it comes to 866 reviews per year – almost 2.8 reviews per day! That’s insane!!
2. Fomo Social Proof
One can’t discuss Social Proof / FOMO without citing the original Fomo app. The first social proof app on the Shopify App Store launched in 2014 under the name ‘Notify’ before changing to “Fomo” when it got acquired by Justin Mares in 2015 after he saw a colossal conversion boost on his own Shopify store after implementing Notify. Since the acquisition, Fomo has grown from a low six-figure business to a multi-million company in less than three years.
From the beginning, Fomo focused on ease of use and delivering a good user experience. The founder once said
If you have two matching products, you’ll choose the one with a better overall experience.
FOMO offers a unique designer tool that allows you to customize the notification to suit your needs without any coding. Interestingly, out of Fomo’s 30+ customizable notifications, it does not offer a Timer feature, even though it would be moderately simple to implement. They seem to have a valid reason for that choice. Talk about immeasurable ethical business practices. Perhaps that could inspire us to do a better Countdown timer on Cuedd.
- Excellent user experience and ease of use
- Theme Builder: you can brand one of the pre-made themes with a simple point and click. It is completely customizable with CSS. There’s a video tutorial to get you started https://fomo.com/video-guides#
- Over 50 integrations with BigCommerce, Instagram, Judgeme, Instagram, Stamped
- The original Fomo!
Area of concern
- No Timer notification (but with valid reasons)
- NO FREE plan
Like Fera, Fomo targets Shopify stores with high monthly revenue. It does not have a free plan but offers a free 7-day trial. You’ll need a credit card to sign up.
3. Nudgify ‑ Social Proof & More
Nudgify claims to be a strong FOMO.com alternative. It has continued to deliver a strong product that is at least on par with Fomo in terms of features. In Nudgify, the notification has a fancy moniker – “Nudge”.
Right off of the bat, Nudgify offers four sets of Nudges
- Social Proof Nudges (“sales pop”)
- FOMO Notifications
- Free Delivery Nudges
- Custom Nudges on any page
Nudgify comes with a drag and drop Builder that makes designing and activating your nudges super easy. You can accomplish any task with just a few steps.
There’s a free plan that supports up to 1,000 visitors per month for one domain with limited Nudges. If you reach the limit of Unique Visitors for your plan, the Nudges will simply stop appearing. They’ll start again at the start of the following month.
Nudgify also offers over 100 integrations. It can be used as a plugin or through native integration with the world’s most popular eCommerce platforms.
- Drag and Drop Builder
- Free plan
- Vast integration
But wait, there’s more!
I did not include another potential contender, Proof (useproof.com), a Y Combinator-backed, venture-funded startup. But after reading Fomo’s blog post about it, which left a bad taste in my mouth, I decided to drop it from the list. It would be best if you read the article here.
Wait, but Cuedd is still missing!
So why did I write this blog post but barely mentioned our own social proof product Cuedd?
I truly believe that healthy competition always helps businesses deliver quality products, and that will ultimately benefit customers. In the early days, the company like Fomo created this new market, and they deserve many kudos. Also, I consider that the social proof market is large enough for many players.
Hiten Shah, the founder of Kissmetrics, Quick Sprout and Crazy Egg, once said,
Building business is really just about progressively improve your product better than your competitors overtime.
– Hiten Shah
We are not trying to feature compete (even sometimes we do). Still, we always keep in touch with our customers and continually make improvements in Cuedd to deliver the best notification widgets that can help businesses to sell more.
That is our promise. 🙂