Many consumers are careful about where they shop online, and for good reason. In 2019, U.S. consumers reported losing a total of $136 million dollars to online shopping fraud. So it’s no wonder that concerned shoppers frequently abandon a purchase if the website seems suspicious or untrustworthy to save themselves from becoming another fraud victim.
Unfortunately for anyone running an e-commerce business, vigilant shoppers make sales a lot more difficult. Not only do you have to convince shoppers that your product is worth buying, but you also have to convince them that their purchase is safe and legitimate, and you have an extremely limited amount of time to do it.
This seemingly impossible task becomes a little easier with the help of trust badges. Trust badges allow you to quickly communicate messages that reassure shoppers and help them gain the confidence to complete a purchase.
However, trust badges aren’t a magical, catch-all solution. Not all trust badges are created equally, and there are right and wrong ways to use them. There are also both free trust badges and those that require a certification fee, so that must be factored in as well.
To find success with trust badges, you have to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and consider their concerns at each stage of the journey on your site.
Let’s review five of the most popular types of badges and how to use them effectively on ecommerce sites.
As the name suggests, security trust badges are intended to show visitors that a site is secure, though the exact definition of "secure" varies widely among different brands.
Some security trust badges indicate that the site is free of viruses and malware. Some are meant to show visitors that their privacy is protected and that any data submitted on the site is secure. Some show that specific areas of the site, such as the checkout, are secure.
Whatever type of security badge you decide to use on your site, ensure that any claims that it makes are monitored and verified by a third party. With third-party verification, you don’t have to ask visitors to simply take your word that your site is safe, you can show them that an outside party has independently reviewed your site for security risks and that you’ve earned the right to display the trust badge.
Linking the trust badge back to the provider’s site is essential to showing that you’ve legitimately earned it, and can also help visitors see the exact requirements or qualifications you had to meet.
Some examples of independently verified security trust badges are:
From this we can infer that security is top of mind for shoppers when they first arrive at a site. Installing a floating trustmark on the bottom left or right corner of your site is a great way to ensure that customers can learn your site is safe no matter which page they land on first.
Above: The TrustedSite floating trustmark can be set to display on every page of your site, reminding visitors that your site is secure throughout the customer journey.
Additionally, nearly 30% of survey respondents reported looking for information about a site’s security policies in the footer, so that can be another effective place for e-commerce sites to display security trust badges.
Payment Trust Badges
Payment trust badges are intended to make a shopper feel safer about inputting their credit card information on a site. However, like security trust badges, not all payment trust badges have the same meaning or verify the same security protocols.
There are some that indicate the customer’s data is transmitted and stored safely with encryption. Others give customers assurance that their purchase is protected against fraud.
Some payment trust badges simply indicate that the pictured payment method is accepted by the site, and don’t actually verify the security of the transaction. While it is good to let customers know which payment methods you accept, we also recommend using a payment trust badge that verifies the security component of the checkout process.
Some examples of popular payment trust badges used on e-commerce sites are:
The most obvious place to display payment trust badges is in the checkout. According to a survey conducted by TrustedSite in May 2020, over 72% of consumers have concerns about their credit card information being stolen when asked to provide payment information on an unfamiliar site. Place a badge near the credit card field to reassure these shoppers that their sensitive information is safe on your site.
Above: Lensabl includes both the TrustedSite Secure Checkout trustmark and the TrustedSite Identity Protection trustmark in their checkout.
Another effective place to display payment trust badges is in the shopping cart. At this stage in the customer journey, shoppers may not be 100% sure that they will go ahead with their purchase. Showing them a payment badge here can encourage them to continue on to the checkout knowing that their transaction will be secure.
Payment badges and credit card logos are also commonly included in the footer on many ecommerce sites as a general way to inform visitors about what payment methods are accepted.
Endorsement Trust Badges
Endorsement trust badges are used to show visitors that an independent organization has verified the site is a legitimate business. Certain reviews widgets can also be considered endorsement badges as they show that previous customers recommend the business. Before making a purchase from an unfamiliar site, 93% of consumers read customer reviews, so these badges are very important to include on e-commerce sites.
Some examples of endorsement trust badges include:
The most common place to display the BBB seal is in your site footer, but it can also work well on an About Us page or Contact Us page.
Above: LensDirect includes multiple trust badges in their footer including the BBB Accreditation Seal, Trustpilot Trustbox widget, and TrustedSite Certified Secure trustmark.
In the July 2020 survey, TrustedSite found that 54% of consumers look for customer reviews on product pages. A best practice is to include a reviews widget near the top of individual product pages (somewhere near the title and price) to show the overall rating the product has received, and then display the full catalog of customer reviews below the product description.
The floating endorsement trust badges can also be an effective placement since any visitor coming to your site will be able to see it.
Above: Adagio Teas includes the Google Customer Reviews floating badge with a popup of a recent review in the bottom left corner of their site.
It should go without saying, but do not include the BBB seal on your site if it has not earned accreditation. Customers can search the BBB website and if they do not find your organization listed, their trust in your site will be broken. Additionally, only use reviews badges or widgets on your site if you have a high approval rating.
Guarantee Trust Badges
Guarantee trust badges are largely used to encourage customers to make a purchase with the reassurance that they can return it if their expectations aren’t met. Guarantees can also come in the form of a warranty or a price match.
Though not required by law, money-back guarantees are so common that many customers have come to expect them from every business. Because policies can vary greatly from store to store, be sure to link guarantee trust badges to the fine print so that customers will know the exact terms.
Examples of guarantee trust badges include:
The best place to display a guarantee trust badge is on product pages. The LARQ bottle includes a 12-month warranty badge in the product description, which when hovered over displays the terms of the warranty.
Above: LARQ includes two trust badges on product pages: a 12-month warranty badge and a 100% secure checkout badge.
If you include a universal money back guarantee or warranty for items across your site, you could also include a badge in a sitewide banner or header.
Shipping Trust Badges
Shipping trust badges are used to inform customers of any special offers related to shipping or returns. Sites will commonly offer free shipping with a minimum order value (no order minimum if you’re lucky!).
Shipping trust badges are largely custom designed to fit within a site’s theme and include statements like:
Many consumers are now considering shipping costs earlier and earlier in the customer journey, with 65% saying they look for a site’s free-shipping threshold before adding items to their carts. Because of this, if you offer free shipping include it front and center on your site’s header. With such strong potential to convert visitors, you don’t want them to miss this detail.
Include a shipping trust badge on your product pages as well. Solo Stove includes a free shipping and returns statement in bright orange text creating contrast with other elements on the page so that it stands out. When clicked, the badge opens a pop up with further details about the offer.
Above: Solo Stove makes sure that customers know of their free shipping and returns policy by including a statement in bright orange in their product descriptions.
Additional Tips for Using Trust Badges
When placing trust badges on your site, it’s important to avoid “trust badge clutter.” This occurs when you place too many trust badges, particularly those that don’t have strong name recognition, together in one area.
Above: Too many trust badges in one place can cause visitors to question your site’s legitimacy.
We recommend using no more than three trust badges in any given area.
Additionally, use trust badges with high resolution images. If the image is pixelated or blurry, visitors won’t understand the meaning of the badge and many will question its legitimacy.
Lastly, as we mentioned earlier, use trust badges that you’ve earned through a third party when possible. This will show visitors that someone outside your organization has vouched for you and more strongly demonstrates trust than your words alone. Link these trust badges back to the provider’s website so that your visitors can verify the claims.
When used correctly, trust badges can be a reliable way to build trust and increase conversions up to 30% in some cases. By following these recommendations for where to place each type of trust badge, you can optimize your site’s conversion rate. Whenever possible, be sure to conduct A/B testing or user testing to verify the effectiveness of the trust badges you implement.
The McAfee SECURE seal is no more.
Long one of the most ubiquitous trust badges on e-commerce...