Skip to content

If a product is selling well, say so!

Displaying the number of product sales significantly influences purchase intentions, according to many studies. Common sense tells us this will work – who doesn’t want the reassurance of knowing many people have bought a product or service before us?

Social selling cues: The dynamics of posting numbers viewed and bought on customers’ purchase intentions was a 2021 study that compared the effects of showing sales numbers or – when these were too low to show – page viewer numbers. It found that the impact of showing the number of products bought increases purchase intentions significantly, although not linearly (the impact falls off with larger numbers). Displaying the number of views has a concave curvilinear effect; beyond a certain point, more views can actually decrease purchase intentions. When both views and purchase numbers are low, it’s better to display the larger number of views. However, if both numbers are high, showing the number bought is more effective. Revealing both the number of views and purchases is only beneficial if the views-to-purchases ratio is lower than 20:1. This strategy is effective for about the top 25% of brand landing pages.

The important thing is that even a small number of sales or page views, such as a few hundred, can positively affect the perceived popularity and quality of a product. Anyone who sells a popular product and doesn’t use its popularity as a sales asset is wasting an opportunity.