The concept of buying a product online is a risky one. Any successful transaction relies on an impressive number of expectations.
To make a purchase, you need to send money to an essentially anonymous individual who may be in a completely different country. You then expect that store operator to act in good faith and ship out your product.
At the same time, you expect that your personal data is protected from prying eyes. You expect that the shipping carrier is going to act in good faith and deliver the goods on-time. You expect the website administrator to take measures against accidentally exposing your data to hackers.
However, the Internet is decentralized. There is no single, all-powerful authority capable of establishing trust between you and some distribution warehouse in Shenzhen, China. For this reason, e-commerce store owners go to great lengths to establish trust with customers – and you should too.
What is a Trust Seal?
If you have spent any time on the Internet, you have seen trust seals. They grace most professional webpages and make specific, branded promises. Major security firms like Norton and McAfee are some of the most readily identifiable – because they’re the most popular.
These seals tell website visitors that your website is legitimate – that a reputable third-party has verified that your business is authentic and your website is not leaking data to hackers and cybercriminals. Importantly, this message is implicit – it’s something that website visitors feel when they visit your site, even if they don’t know exactly what the trust seal means or does.
How Do Trust Seals Affect Conversion?
Interestingly, trust seals have been found to affect conversion rates. CrazyEgg carried out several case studies using A/B comparisons on websites to find out just how much of a difference trust seals can make.
- Virtual Sheet Music experienced a significant drop in sales when its trust seal provider removed the seal due to a contractual disagreement. Upon reinstating the seal, the website saw a 31% increase in conversions.
- Clean Energy Experts found that adding a trust seal increased conversions by 137%.
The statistics clearly show that online customers prefer websites that offer a branded security guarantee to website users. 65% of online shoppers feel that Norton’s Secured Seal is a reliable indicator that a website is safe to browse.
How to Obtain a Trust Seal
Obtaining a trust seal is easy – so long as you meet the requirements of trust seal providers. Generally, if you have an SSL certificate and an EV code signing certificate for your site, you qualify for a trust seal.
Your provider will ask you to implement some code on your site. This code will take care of the verification process, ensuring that your site meets the standards set forth by that provider. Once your site is verified, the provider will give you the code for implementing the site seal, and you are free to place it anywhere on your site.
You may notice that some sites have multiple seals. This is because specific seals assure website visitors of specific security concerns. For instance, the McAfee Hacker Safe seals makes a different promise than the BBBonline Business Trust seal. The three main types of seals are:
Privacy Trust Seals
Security Trust Seals
These seals ensure that your website is reasonably well-defended against cybercriminal activity and malware. Generally, you receive a security trust seal upon buying an SSL certificate.
Business Trust Seals
These seals verify the identity of your business and assure web users that you authentically represent your business and try to keep customers satisfied. If your web reputation is too low, you may not be able to get this seal.
Importantly, e-commerce store owners follow the same basic process to implement these seals. The provider’s code takes care of managing and verifying your website’s data, and they contact you to either approve or reject the application for the seal.
Since the trust seals offer rely entirely on compliance with industry standards, you must ensure that your site is compliant with these standards. In most cases, professionally designed websites hosted on reputable platforms pass verification – if your site doesn’t, the trust seal provider will walk you through the process of achieving compliancy.
The entire process is beneficial for all parties involved. Your customers want to be confident in your website, you want inspire greater customer confidence, and your seal provider has a clear incentive to sell meaningful trust seals.