5 Trust Badges That Can Increase Your Conversion Rate

It’s probably one of the more frustrating things to see as an online retailer: abandoned shopping carts. We’ve all done it; we’ve gone online, shopped for something, added it to our shopping cart, and then didn’t follow through with the purchase. We left our shopping carts abandoned with items remaining in them. It’s similar to going to the grocery store, putting items in your cart, then walking away and leaving it in the middle of an isle.

As a retailer, that can be incredibly frustrating.

Shopping cart abandonment can happen for a variety of reasons. According to Barilliance, online retailers can lose, on average, 75 percent of their sales to shopping cart abandonment. In 2015, Statista found that 15 percent of lost sales were due to concerns about security. By 2017, the Baymard Institute found that the percentage of lost sales grew to 19 percent for the same reason. This increase highlights how important online security has become to most consumers over the years.

Shopping cart abandonment statistics from Statista.

If you do the math, you’ll find that this means you could potentially increase your sales by ten percent or more, just by gaining the trust of your consumers. It may not seem like much to some of you, but that’s a pretty substantial increase. 

And it is, perhaps surprisingly, an easy fix.

So how do you start gaining the trust of your consumers? Well, first you can start with trust badges. Read on to discover the top five trust badges to help increase your conversion rate.

What is a Trust Badge?

A trust badge is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a badge that you place on your web page that instills trust. You often find them during the checkout process, but more and more retailers are placing them on their landing or home pages. They are simple tools that can boost sales and satisfaction with your site.

Behind these trust badges are often (but not always) security features that help keep credit card information and personal information safe. The Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, is part of a complex system for  internet safety that will encrypt certain information sent over the web. In general, trust seals are issued when these secure systems are implemented.

You can tell whether or not the site you’re visiting is using some kind of SSL safety protocol by the little lock symbol that’s next to the URL, or by checking that the web address starts with HTTPS instead of HTTP. However, not everyone knows this, which is why it’s so important to have the trust seal visible on your site.

Types of Trust Badges

There are five main types of website badges that you can implement on your site. Each one has its own meaning and use. You can decide which trust badges to use on your site, based on the desired effect you would like to achieve.

Below, you’ll find explanations for five different kinds of trust icon, as well as examples of each and how to acquire them.

Examples of Trust Badges from ConversionXL

Safe Checkout Badge

This site badge may be the most important of the five. These are the badges that you get when you sign up with a company that provides an SSL certificate. SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, and can be a little technically confusing (we won’t dive into specifics here), but   essentially, it protects the internet connection and the information that is transferred.

This type of trust badge indicates that your the checkout process on your site is safe and secure, that the information shared is encrypted, and that your customers’ identity or credit card information will not be stolen. Instilling this kind of trust in your business will help tremendously with your overall conversions. 

Using the most trusted and recognized safe checkout badges will quickly make your customers feel safe and secure. The number one most recognized and trusted SSL badge is from Symantec. Symantec owns what used to be called VeriSign, as well as Norton and LifeLock. All of these names are well recognized and trusted security certificate providers. Symantec offers a variety of options and packages to suit your needs.

Perks of signing up with Symantec. From the Symantec website.

Another example of a well recognized and trusted security system is PayPal. You can purchase protection from PayPal just like you can from Symantec, and in the process receive the trusted security badge for your site.

Perks of signing up with PayPal. From the PayPal website.

Shopify is one more example of an increasingly recognizable SSL provider. If you open an ecommerce store using Shopify, then you will automatically receive integrated SSL certificates. When ecommerce customers shop at a Shopify store, they know that their personal information will be kept safe.

All three of these examples are of trust badges that must be paid for, however there are free SSL certificate options, such as Flywheel or Cloudflare. Keep in mind, however, that one of the reasons the safe checkout trust badges work so well in increasing conversion rates is because they are recognized. Brand recognition does play a major role in building trust (see the next section on “Accepted Payment” badges). 

Display these badges near your “Add To Cart” buttons and at your checkout page. They need to be clearly visible in order to have the desired effect. They can also be displayed at the bottom your landing page or home page. 

Accepted Payment Badges

Nothing instills confidence more than seeing a brand that you recognize. That’s exactly what these trust badges are meant to do. Having the Visa, Mastercard, or PayPal badges listed as accepted payment options can boost the level of trust in your website, without you having to do a ton of legwork. 

A study by performed by ConversionXL asked over 1,000 people which payment badges they recognized most, and which badge they trusted the most. A whopping 42 percent chose Visa-Mastercard as the most recognized brand, while PayPal was voted as the most trusted brand. Furthermore, ConversionXL states thatthe hypothesis that familiarity accurately predicts a population’s perception of security is generally supported. For the most part, greater familiarity also meant greater feeling of security.”

Most familiar vs. most trusted brands. From the ConversionXL website.

The best part about these trust badges is that they are free and easy to get. Visa does have a Verified By Visa merchant program that, when you sign up for it, you receive a Visa Verified badge for your site that will boost confidence and conversion rates.

Example of accepted payment badges from NWAlpine Gear. 

These badges are more commonly displayed at the bottom of each page on your website. They do not necessarily need to be at the center of attention or glorified in any way.

Third-Party Endorsements

Third-party endorsements can help instill trust in your customers by showing them that you have credibility. These programs generally involve an application process and a review of your site before being granted the badge.

Security added via trust seals. From ConversionXL.

The Better Business Bureau Accredited Business badge adds a significant amount of trust to your site. According to the Better Business Bureau, 173 million people search BBB.org annually for existing business profiles in order to check their ratings. After being granted this badge, your customers can click on the badge and verify your accreditation. Go to the Better Business Bureau website to find out more about the accreditation process.

Better Business Bureau Accredited Business and rating badges.

The Google Trusted Store badge is also a well recognized and trusted badge. Please note that Google is moving away from the Trusted Store badge to the Customer Reviews badge. In the ConversionXL study, the Google trust seals are more recognized and trusted by the Generation Y group (under 30 years old) and was trusted over the BBB.

To earn the Google trust seal, you must first apply and meet the requirements that Google sets for this program. Once Google has approved your store, your customers begin to receive surveys after making purchases. You are granted a badge after Google decides that the reviews are good enough.

Google Customer Reviews and Trusted Store badges.

You may be asking yourself why you would go through the trouble for these trust badges. Although these trust seals can take a little extra legwork and time, they are worth the effort and may work to increase conversions on your online store. It’s a way for you to show off your excellent ratings with ease, and those ratings and reviews can be important for increasing the trust in your store.

Think about it like this: you are more likely to purchase an item from Amazon.com if it has excellent ratings, rather than a similar item that has no ratings. The same goes for your ecommerce store. Consumers are more likely to buy from you if they know that others have had a stellar experience.  

These trust badges tend to be displayed near the bottom of the web page and are usually displayed a little more prominently than the accepted payment badges. 

Money-Back Guarantee Badges

Also called the “Homemade Special,” this website badge is 100 percent free and still works to build trust with your online customers. You can make these badges yourself, or if you don’t have that kind of talent in graphic design, you can easily find downloadable versions of this badge. 

According to Visual Website Optimizer’s experiment with a “30 day money back guarantee” badge, sales increased over 32 percent over an 11 day period for an online education service.

That’s huge.

The idea is that this badge helps to eliminate fear and the perceived risk of buying online, which is one of the biggest factors in conversion rate problems. This trust badge does not address website security like the SSL and safe checkout badges, but in a way, it does provide confirmation that you have your customers’ backs. In doing so, they feel safe, and therefore they are more likely to purchase from you.

Examples of free trust icons.

This is the kind of trust badge that needs to be displayed proudly, otherwise your customers may not pay much attention to it. These badges are frequently found around the same area as the safe checkout badge near the Add To Cart button or the Checkout button. 

Free Shipping and Returns Badge

Another free trust icon, this badge makes it known that you offer free shipping and/or returns through your online store. Like the “Money-Back Guarantee” badge, the “Free Shipping” or “Free Returns” badge can instill trust and a feeling of safety in your customers, taking away some of the perceived risk of buying online. It highlights your store policy and excellent customer service.

This trust badge should be displayed along with the money back guarantee badges, should you choose to use them. 

It’s understandable that people are wary about providing personal data online. With the number of data breaches that have occurred and identity theft being such a huge topic of conversation these days, it’s no wonder that consumers are so cautious about their online purchases. This is why gaining their trust is so crucial. We understand that your time is important, and some of these trust badges take a little effort and money, but the increase in sales and your return on investment will make it worth it.

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