The role of trust badges in eCommerce
Updated: Oct 19, 2020
“For eCommerce, the most important thing is trust” Jack Ma, co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group.
The all too familiar data breaches, identity theft and fraud in the digital age have left susceptible online shoppers sceptical. Some 75% of consumers have abandoned shopping carts due to lack of trust in an eCommerce store.
Consumers want to know that the company they are conducting business with is following online security best practices and their payment/private information will be safe.
How do you earn the trust of potential customers and increase conversions?
Numerous studies have demonstrated that there is a positive correlation between trust badges and increased conversions and sales. In one such survey conducted by Econsultancy, a compelling 48% of respondents said trust badges assured them of the safety and trustworthiness of a website.
Trust badges or seals, as their name implies, are a method of instilling trust in website visitors. They are typically displayed on the checkout page and increasingly feature prominently on the home page.
When third-party companies agree to allow your business to use their specific badge/seal, they are essentially confirming to potential customers that your business is legitimate and that their data/personal information is secure.
It's worth noting that SMB’s generally benefit incrementally more from trust badges (upwards of 20% more conversions) than behemoths such as Amazon and eBay that are already familiar, well established and trusted.
Safe checkout badge
Perhaps the most important trust seal is TLS (Transport Layer Security) which has largely superseded SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). TLS/SSL indicates that the site connects over https:// and that data being transferred is encrypted and therefore secure from interception by malicious third parties. Your site is verified to be secure.
The symbol for TLS/SSL certification, a padlock, appears in the URL (Universal Resource Locater) to the left of the https:// (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) address, indicating the site is secured by TLS/SSL. The details of the TLS/SSL digital certificate, including the issuing authority, corporate name of the website owner and validity, can be viewed by clicking on the lock symbol.
Although TSL/SSL certification is essential for instilling trust in online shoppers, it is also an important tool for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Google algorithms prioritise websites that use TLS/SSL certificates, that is, sites with TLS/SSL will outrank those without.
Accepted payment badges
A study conducted by Conversion XL revealed that when people are familiar with a brand they have a perception of security. “For the most part,” the study said, “greater familiarity also meant a greater feeling of security.”
Recognisable accepted payment brands such as PayPal, Visa and Mastercard displayed at the checkout and/or on the footer of the homepage, are highly effective in creating customer confidence.
In a study by CLX in 2016 on trust seals, it was revealed that PayPal was the seal most trusted by customers 50 years of age and older whilst the 'Google trusted store' badge was most trusted by millenniums. It's therefore important to understand who your customers are in terms of age, sex etc. in order to employ the most appropriate seals.
Free shipping and returns badge
Introducing a free shipping and or free returns badge ameliorates the potential risks to customers in ordering from an online store or incurring additional fees.
You can design your own badge or download a royalty-free image from sources such as VectorStock or Shutterstock. This badge is effective when used across your eCommerce site, from the homepage, to the FAQ’s, through to the checkout.
Money-back guarantee badge
The money-back guarantee badge is one of the most powerful badges to implement as it greatly assuages the fear and perceived risk of buying a product or service online. While they don't address technical security issues as do TLS/SSL and secure payment badges, they let potential customers know that your product/service is legitimate and their interests are safeguarded.
These badges are free in downloadable online versions, however having one designed may be more cohesive with your branding. Shoppers are wary when the theme of the website is incongruous with the checkout. Effective places for this badge are the homepage, ‘add to cart’, and the checkout page.
Third party endorsements
Third party endorsements add credibility to your website from third parties engendering trust in site visitors. Through reviews and ratings, they signal to your audience that others have had a positive experience shopping from your online store.
These endorsements are achieved through an application and review process from authorities such as the BBB Accredited Business and the Google review badge, superseding the Google Trusted store badge.
Once your eCommerce store is approved by Google, customers receive surveys after completing purchases. The badge is awarded after Google determines that the reviews are good enough.
Multiple studies have demonstrated that trust badges are highly effective in quelling consumer anxieties around online shopping, particularly in relation to the security of their financial/personal information.
Their adoption is a powerful tool for boosting conversions, sales and long term ROI.
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