Developing Trust Towards Your Website: Two Options to Consider

Jun 18 2014 by Smriti Chawla | 1 Comment

Whenever we go to a website we have never been to before, there is a small voice of doubt inside our head, asking "Why should I trust this site? What if I place the order and don’t receive the goods? What if their payment system isn’t secure and my private information leaks out to the public?"

And just like that, we talk themselves out of an online purchase in a matter of seconds.

We have to address these anxiety-inducing concerns our users have when they first encounter our website. Based on some studies, what follows are a couple of ways a website can establish trust with its users.

Consider Using Trust Seals

Recognizable trust seals/security seals such as Norton Secured, McAfee Secure and TRUSTe are designed to provide assurance that a site is secure and that the site has been audited by a third party.

Logos of popular trust seals.Logos of popular trust seals

Do they work though?

In some cases, they do.

A survey research by Actual Insights shows that 61% of the research participants have at one point decided not to purchase an item from a website that didn’t have a trust seal.

Source: actualinsights.com

An A/B test study by online craft store Jo-Ann (reported by Internet Retailer) suggests that trust seals can lead to increased online sales. In the A/B test conducted by the e-commerce website, sales grew 5-6% because of the Hacker Safe trust seal.

Home page of Jo-Ann online store

Trust seals give people a sense of assurance that it is probably safe to transact with a website, but subscription to these services can be expensive. In the case of Jo-Ann, the subscription set them back $15,000 a year. This may not be a viable option unless you can generate enough added sales to offset the cost of trust seals.

Display Customer Reviews (Even Bad Ones)

According to a report by Econsultancy, bad reviews actually increased conversions by 67% in one case. This is probably due to people mistrusting reviews consisting of only positive feedback.

Another similar option is adding a third-party online consumer review widget on your product pages. One example is Trustpilot, a product review platform. One of my company’s customers implemented a Trustpilot widget and saw a 58% increase in their sales. (Read the case study at my company’s blog).

Honesty and transparency — showing the good and bad side — go a long way towards building trust towards your website.

Your Turn

What are some ways you establish trust with your users? Share it with us in the comments.

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About the Author

Smriti Chawla works at Visual Website Optimizer, which is a design and conversion rate optimization tool. Connect with Smriti on Twitter.

1 Comment

Akshay Hallur

June 20th, 2014

Hi Smriti,
This is a great post indeed. The fact that negative reviews increase conversions is astonishing. I too have observed that, if a product has review ratings 4.0/5 the conversions are more relative to 5/5. People love honest reviews.

Using trust seals definitely increases conversions.

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