The Value of Trust Badges: Driving Customer Confidence and Conversion with Ecommerce Security Logos

trust badges

They may look a little unsightly on your carefully crafted ecommerce site, but trust badges play an important role in helping you to gain the trust of your customers. They help you to build credibility among your audience and, depending on which seal(s) you choose to display, you can reassure customers that their transactions are secure, their privacy is protected, and that the site itself is safe from hackers – making for worry-free online shopping for them and more sales for you.

The argument in favour of displaying ecommerce security logos is clearly very strong. But which trust badges are the most trusted and therefore most likely to convert visitors into buyers?

Baynard conducted a survey on site seals in 2013. The institute asked US shoppers: ‘Which badge gives you the best sense of trust when paying online?’ While 1,224 respondents answered that they did not know or had no preference, 35.6% of the 1,286 respondents that did answer chose Norton, 22.9% chose McAfee, while TRUSTe came in third (along with BBB) with 13.2%.

trust badges

Let’s take a closer look at three of the most popular trust badges and what they actually represent when displayed on an ecommerce site.

The Norton Secured Seal, which gave survey respondents the greatest sense of trust when paying online, provides reassurance to customers that the website displaying the badge has the best security practices in place. The Norton seal also verifies that the website is validated as a legal business entity, uses top-level encryption technology to protect transactions, and conducts daily scans for website malware. Seal-in-Search technology puts the Norton Secured Seal next to your link in search results on enabled browsers and partnering websites. According to research conducted by Symantec, 94% of consumers are likely to continue an online purchase when they view the Norton Secured Seal during the checkout process, more than other seals or when no seal is displayed at all.

Websites that display McAfee Secure ─ the seal that respondents chose as giving them the second highest ‘sense of trust’ in Baynard’s research ─ have been scanned and verified as secure by McAfee. The seal indicates that the site will protect customers from identity theft, credit card fraud, spam and other malicious threats, and provides reassurance that a valid SSL certificate is in effect. McAfee Secure sites also benefit from the seal appearing next to their results in the search engines, giving the customer confidence that the website is secure. On its website, McAfee presents the success of candy company Jelly Belly as an example of what businesses displaying its security seal could achieve: a sales increase attributed to showing the certification mark of 6.42%, with Jelly Belly projecting an annual return on investment of just shy of 2,400%.

In joint third place was the TRUSTe Certified Privacy Seal, which reassures customers that the business adheres to privacy best practices regarding the collection and use of personal information on its website and apps. If you see the TRUSTe Certified Privacy Seal on a desktop or mobile website, the company operating the site has met the privacy certification requirements established by TRUSTe. The certification process, according to TRUSTe, helps ensure the business is transparent about what information they collect and how they use the information; the business provides the customer with control over what information they collect and how they use that information; and the business is accountable to the practices it outlines in its piracy policy statement.

The Baynard research concludes that if you only want to display one ecommerce security logo on your site, it’s a good idea to opt for Norton as it generates the highest sense of security among customers shopping online. However, it suggests that covering all the bases could be worth the investment in terms of encouraging conversions: a Norton SSL seal to indicate an encrypted connection; a McAfee seal to indicate a clean, non-infected ‘hacker-safe’ site; and a TRUSTe seal for establishing trust in consumer relations.

They might not be the prettiest of icons and can stick out like a sore thumb on some more stylish websites. But given the confidence, credibility and conversion benefits they generate, the fact that they do stick out is their best feature rather than their worst.

Other badges of honour

Aside from security and privacy seals, there are a couple of other forms of ‘trust badge’ that can help build confidence among your customers.

trust badges

Google Certified Shops
Companies that display the Google Certified Shops logo have been endorsed by Google as being a ‘great place to shop’. Google grants this badge to sites that prove that they’re fast and reliable shippers with a record of positive customer feedback. When customers are on your website they can hover over the badge, which will then display your customer rating and shipping record.

trust badges

Create your own
‘Homemade’ trust badges cost next to nothing to produce but can drive significant conversions. ‘100% Money-Back Guarantee’ badges, for example, can be a low-cost way to bring attention to, and build trust in, your company.

Primary image credit: nasirkhan via Shutterstock