We’re going to take a swing at one of the most widely recommended ‘best practice’ for eCommerce websites out there. In fact, it’s so widely ‘accepted’ by the community that most Shopify themes add it by default. Some of you will agree with us, some of you won’t, but please hear us out.

Here it is:

Social sharing buttons on eCommerce product pages are most likely costing you sales and revenue, and you should remove them.

Now lets give you the reason why and then you can test it for yourself.

Social sharing widgets can have a number of drawbacks:

1. They lead to an increase in the page load time. It is no secret that page load times have a strong effect on bounce rates, decrease in conversion rates, and a loss in sales and revenue.

2. This one is simple. A low number of social shares act as negative (or unimpressive) social proof.

3. All of the social buttons on your product page take up precious real-estate that should be used to show more relevant product information.

4. They are a distraction when the goal of the page is to get visitors to buy. On your product page you want to provide the least amount of reasons to leave your product page as possible.

Finland based eCommerce site Taloon.com ran an A/B test last year where they tested the original product pages (which had social sharing widgets) against product pages without any social sharing widgets. The end result was an increase of 11.9% increase in Add To Cart conversions.

comparison

So, what are your alternatives

 

Here is a quick list of what you can do instead of adding social widgets to your eCommerce product pages:

Potential shoppers need a lot of information to make the purchase. You can help by replacing social sharing widgets with…

– Product availability
– Product details (dimensions, weight, cleaning, washing)
– Payment methods
– Shipping options
– Returns policy
– Size guide
– Color options
– International pricing
– Trustmarks like security certifications
– Special offers and discounts
– Cross selling
– Upselling

Remember that you can always creatively increase social awareness for your brand and products at other more impactful stages in the sales funnel. As an example, you can include an insert in your packaging asking your new customers to post a picture of their new product online. Or you can easily include a social media share call-to-action in your post purchase emails.