As a growing nation of online shoppers I’m sure most of you are familiar with some of the Trustmark security logos placed on websites, such as VeriSign, McAfee and PayPal. These Trust logos help reassure customers that it is safe for them to shop on a particular website. It means he website will have passed a number of security tests that protects customers from threats like credit card fraud and identity theft.
So how effective are Trustmark’s in reassuring customers that a website is a safe place to carry out financial transactions or impart personal information?According to The European Consumer Centres’ Network Trust Mark Report 2013, Trustmarks can be defined as:
“Electronic labels or visual representations indicating that an e-merchant has demonstrated its conformity to standards regarding, e.g.,security, privacy, and business practice.”
Consumers have become far more confident shopping online and certainly where a brand is well-known and long established, I suspect Trustmarks probably make little difference. For example so full of trust am I in John Lewis’s brand, I don’t think that I have ever looked at or checked their security credentials. However on a site I am new to or unfamiliar with, security reassurance is one of the first things I would check. Online security is still high up on people’s list on concerns and for smaller online businesses with less established brands reassuring customers with your security credentials is essentails. Indeed research shows:
- 84% of online shoppers are “concerned to very concerned” about shopping at websites they have never heard of before (McAfee)
- 69% are concerned about buying at websites where they have not shopped in the past (McAfee)
- 76% of survey respondents had not purchased something because they hadn’t recognised the logo (Actual Insights)
- 61% of participants said that they have at one time not completed a purchase because there were no trust logos present. (Actual Insights)
How can trust marks help?
For most small businesses it is important to reassure your customers as much as you can about the security and trustworthiness of your site. As we mentioned earlier small businesses and start-ups can’t rely on having an established and recognisable brand to convey trust and therefore need to work harder to convey the credibility of their online business.
Alongside other trust building activities (which we’ll come onto in a moment), Trustmarks can be used to help give customers confidence that undertaking online payments and transactions involving personal data is safe and secure.
This can help reduce shopping cart abandonment and increase conversions. Indeed, according to research:
- 58% of consumers have abandoned their shopping carts over concerns about payment security (Econsultancy)
- Research by McAfee shoes that showing a McAfee Secure Trustmark can significantly increase sales conversion by an average of 12%
Use Trustmarks as part of a ‘trust package’
Using Trustmarks in isolation won’t work when it comes to getting customers to part with personal information or complete a financial transaction. Rather, Trustmarks should be looked at as one part of a number of wider activities that you need to undertake to give your site credibility. For example:
- Your website needs to be well designed. It needs to look professional, be easy to navigate and have up-to-date, relevant content. Make sure you contact details and registered address are present and easy to find.
- Client testimonials, independent reviews and links to official associations can all help convey trust.
- Your shopping cart and checkout process should be easy to use, linking to a number of PCI DSS compliant payment gateways. And it’s security partner will guard against credit card fraud, identity theft, spyware, and other threats
- Customer services should be helpful and professional at all times – dealing with queries quickly and efficiently
Trustmarks in combination with the factors listed above will help convey trust and reassure visitors to your site.
Make sure your Trustmark is recognisable
Choose an online shopping cart solution that is affiliated with a recognisable Trustmark . A Trustmark should be one that people recognise. Otherwise, in terms of recognition and it won’t immediately establish as much trust with the consumer as an instantly recognisable one can. Indeed, 64% of people surveyed said an unknown (unrecognisable) Trust logo would affect their sense of trust for a specific website.
In a Trustmark Survey by Actual Insights, the top three most recognised Trust logos were:
- McAfee 79%
- VeriSign 76%
- Paypal 72%
So in summary….
- Ensure you choose an ecommerce solution that supports and utilises a Trustmark logo
- Use an online store with one of the most recognisable Trustmarks- For example McAfee
- Don’t use Trustmarks in isolation but alongside other ‘social proof’ to build trust package
We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this topic. So please do take a moment to leave a comment.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net