I'm obviously a believer in the power of trust badges on your website. But you can always have too much of a good thing. So, how much is too much when it comes to trust badges?
A survey a few years back by a company called CyberSource claimed that while 85 percent of e-commerce customers look for trust badges when considering a purchase, they will be turned off when a site has too many. They recommended having no more than two -- one on the homepage and one on the checkout page.
OK, sounds nice, but which two?
A security trust badge? Payment assurance? Third-party validation from the Better Business Bureau and Google Customer Reviews? Money-back guarantees? Free shipping policies?
I would argue that at least one of each of the five major types of trust badges makes sense for an e-commerce site. For a site that does not sell to consumers or sell online at all, only security badges and third-party endorsement logos may be relevant.
Beyond these, however, other trust signals that come in the form of logos or badges -- such as the logos of your customers and partners, memberships in industry associations, and industry awards -- likely should have a place on your website as well. These might not all work on your home page, but they might improve the authority of your About Us page, Customer Stories page or other parts of your website.
So never arbitrarily limit the number of trust badges on your site. But do consider the following when deciding whether and where to add them:
User relevance. Avoid adding trust badges that your customers would not recognize or find relevant. As part of developing what at Idea Grove we call a Trust Profile for your customers, we would suggest surveying your audiences to see what trustmarks make an impact. If you have mostly Gen Z or Millennial buyers, you might choose to go with a Google Customer Reviews badge rather than a BBB seal. But for older buyers, the BBB logo might be the better choice. If you prefer not to pursue survey research, another option is to split test with various permutations of trust badges on your site, and then see which badge combinations deliver the most conversions and sales.
User experience. Design the user experience to ensure trust badges aren't a speedbump or, worse, a roadblock. Your website must connect with people, build trust with them, and direct them to a desired action. Going overboard with trust badges, particularly if they are scattered across your site in a cacophony of looks and layouts, can serve to confuse visitors. If you have quite a few trust badges you think your visitors should see, one design possibility is a slider or scroller. You could even link to a dedicated page of badges if you believe they are all important -- but if you do this, don't just show the badges. Provide a description of each badge and explain their relevance for your visitors.
One e-commerce store owner recently wrote that he's come across sites that offer three different sets of trust badges, each differently designed, on the same checkout page. That's too much.
In many cases, a single matched set, such as the one below, might be all you need.
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Scott is founder and CEO of Idea Grove, one of the most forward-looking public relations agencies in the United States. Idea Grove focuses on helping technology companies reach media and buyers, with clients ranging from venture-backed startups to Fortune 100 companies.