The study, conducted at the University of Granada in Spain, monitored 29 shoppers in the purchase process for a book. They were shown the Confianza Online security trust seal; a ratings table featuring five-star and near five-star ratings for the bookseller; and statements by the bookseller providing assurances on shipping, privacy and security.
Trust Seals Over Star Ratings
The research showed that shoppers trusted the trust seals most and the star ratings least, with assurance statements somewhere in the middle. The report stated that “third-party certificates are far more trustworthy than rating systems given the activation in previously hypothesized ventral striatum and septal areas.”
Translation: the Confianza Online seal activated parts of the brain showing trust, while the star ratings activated parts of the brain revealing feelings of ambiguity and risk.
Previous neuroimaging research has tested the impact of variables like pricing and website usability on shopper trust.
As the cost of neuroimaging has come down in recent years, studies of this kind represent a feasible way for marketers to compare a specific audience’s reactions to different potential trust signals—and to get more accurate results than a survey might yield.
Your Website Should Feel Like Home to Your Visitors.
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.