How to Boost E-Commerce Credibility with a Website Trust Seal (Part 2)

Online shopping has never been so convenient as it is nowadays. As a shopper, you can buy almost anything without having to physically drive to a store to purchase the item you want. As an e-commerce business owner, the idea of not having to work in an office environment as well as not being stuck to an 8-hour shift five days a week because your business can be run through the internet is such a rewarding thought.

The ease of online shopping has paved the way for multiple e-commerce sites to open and make themselves available to the millions of consumers ready to spend their budgets on products that satisfy both their wants and their needs.

Build on Trust, Turn Visitors into Customers

One of the best ways of boosting a site’s credibility is by investing in site seals, which works by placing a seal on a particular e-commerce site to inform visitors that a third-party web verification company has found the site to be reliable and trustworthy for web browsing, has ample security measures for secure online transactions, and is a legitimate business with no history of complaints.

One particular web research agency, called Baymard Institute, conducted a survey this year that tried to take on a very critical task, which is to determine which among the top site seals are the most trusted by consumers.This action was prompted by their previous research, which found out that majority of the web users have limited knowledge regarding the technical details of website security, which means that they rely mostly on their observations and gut feelings.

Visual clues such as security seals inform shoppers that whatever personal information they provide a website will remain confidential at all times. According to the survey, which obtained answers from 2,510 individuals from January 9-11, 2013, tested eight most popular website seals, namely:

  • McAfee Secure
  • Norton
  • TrustE
  • BBB
  • thawte
  • Trustwave
  • GeoTrust
  • COMODO

The survey respondents, who were adults currently residing in the U.S., were asked to choose which among those mentioned above gives them “the best sense of trust when paying online?” The question highlighted online payment because their focus is on checkout usability, so Baymard provided respondents with an online payment scenario.

The results were not surprising, as Norton got the highest vote, getting 35.56% of the respondents’ votes. Next in line is McAfee (22.87%), followed by TRUSTe (13.24%). In fourth place is BBB Accredited with 13.16% of votes, while Thawte got the 5th position at 6.03%. At the end are TrustWave (3.21%), GeoTrust (3.09%), COMODO (2.84%) with 6th, 7th, and 8th places.

Decoding the Results

So what does this mean for business owners and customers alike? Well it seems that majority of the survey respondents chose known internet security companies such as McAfee and Norton as their first choice, primarily because they are wary of fraudulent sites. By investing around as low as $30 to as much as $300 monthly for McAfee Secure and around $80 to $400 for Norton.

Next in line is TRUSTe, which deals with privacy management, which explains why a significant number of individuals chose this over the others, because they want personal details to remain private and secure even after they make a purchase. The good news about getting a TRUSTe seal is that it only costs almost $6 monthly to $70 a year.

BBB, on the other hand, came in at second place as well. This is because more and more businesses are finding this independent, non-profit organization very dependable in terms of informing consumers about scams and bad businesses. In 2011, a Louisville, Kentucky business with three employees is required to pay around $34 a month under the monthly pay plan plus a one-time membership fee of $50 dollars.

Despite having to pay annual dues for a BBB certification, businesses can get them back through the added revenue brought about by the influx of new customers influenced by the BBB seal of approval.

Companies that came in at fifth to eighth, as per the respondents’ perceived security, are Thawte, Trustwave, GeoTrust, and COMODO. Both Thawte and Trustwave cost around $4 to $50 a month while GeoTrust and COMODO’s prices start at more or less $8 a month or around $90 to $100 a year.

Ultimately, what businesses need to know is that majority of customers or would-be buyers choose site seals based on their perceived security. So in this case, the survey tried to discover which particular seal made consumers more confident about a site, and not to actually gauge which among the seals provided the most accurate representation of a website’s credibility.

If you consider yourself as one of those perpetual online shoppers, then you know how much impact a website trust seal has on convincing you to buy from a certain online shopping store. When all is said and done, no amount of design or layout can match the amount of credibility a site seal can give a website.

On the other hand, if you’re the business owner who is planning to set up a shopping site to sell your products or feature other brands, then it is crucial for you to ensure that your site is not only providing visitors with outstanding user experience, but also getting the right amount of conversions within a specific timeframe.