Trust is a huge part of getting a customer to buy from your website. Many customers have been educated on the value of a “trust” endorsement and that secure padlock symbol that tells them their transaction won’t be hacked. This post explores the new VeriSign trust seal program and provides general tips to help improve your e-commerce efforts.
This post is for any small business owner who runs a shopping cart or online store and discovers shopping cart abandonment (people exit just before buying) in their analytics application. It could be that your security protocols do not inspire enough trust. Sometimes a badge/banner like the one below can help win a customer’s trust.
Will your customers have the confidence to click?
The news reports are filled with virus warnings, phishing scams, fake sites and identity theft. All this news has a direct impact on your marketing and sales efforts. It makes consumers leery of all websites and reluctant to enter private or financial data on a site they don’t know well.
According to different studies and research, small businesses (and large businesses) can struggle with creating shopping cart confidence among consumers. You can read similar data from the 2006 eMarketer report here (still relevant info) and at Consumer Reports‘ “Guide to Online Security.” Trust seals can be one way to improve the shopping experience and help consumers complete their purchase in your store. Five things a small business owner can do to inspire trust and confidence include:
- Showcase association and professional memberships (usually in the form of badges or certificates)
- Most e-commerce platforms today come with secure online transactions – emphasize the fact that your site offers encryption, SSL, and similar aspects.
- Provide iron-clad customer guarantees to inspire confidence and this is also a good time to mention positive reviews and testimonials.
- Have a strong customer service process so that you are responding to inquiries in an efficient manner.
What’s the difference between SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and a Trust Seal?
You have probably seen SSL symbols or the common padlock symbol when you’re in an online store. SSL is the most prevalent form of securing a website transaction. You can buy a Secure Socket Layer certificate from a “certificate authority” which verifies information about you and your business. Your website server, during a secure transaction, then communicates with the certificate authority and it acknowledges that you are indeed a verified and trusted business.
The difference with a trust seal, by VeriSign, and others, is that a seal is more of a marketing badge of approval. It is seen in more places, meaning it shows up in search results and on pages where you can’t use or don’t need the full SSL technology. If you are not collecting confidential, private information, you probably don’t need to buy a SSL certificate, but a trust seal might prove useful.
What I liked about the VeriSign trust seal program
- It can help guide customers to your site. Seal-in-Search, a very cool feature from VeriSign, shows that you have been endorsed–and it appears directly on the search results page, which could increase website traffic dramatically. I couldn’t find examples in Google, but shopping specific search engines reportedly show various trust seals to help you determine which online stores are safe.
- They conduct a daily review of your Website to help protect it from being blacklisted by search engines and to make sure you are not infecting your customers’ computers when they browse your Web site.
- It demonstrates your commitment to customer relationships. It is more than just a badge saying you were a “Top 10 Online Store” by some random award or list. Each month you are spending money to validate your site in a proven authentication process by a credible third party.
Many website owners see online sales stagnate or drop and don’t know why. Once you study your analytics to see where a consumer is abandoning a purchase, you can determine if a trust seal would help. With a new 60-day free trial, VeriSign offers an affordable way for a small business to test what is and isn’t working in their e-commerce process. This author recommends that you make sure you have your analytics working well and study it before you start the 60-day trial so you can avoid using a valuable free trial period for debugging analytics and reporting.
Learn more about VeriSign for Small Business.