The Direct Correlation Between Trust and Conversion Rates

November 22, 2016

8:30 pm

Everyone is involved in establishing trust in an ecommerce business. Content marketers try to connect and develop relationships, while sales and customer service reps try to be responsive. Even owners are designing their sites for great UX and UI. All of these things help to nurture customer relationships and keep them loyal.

Another huge piece of trust, and one which can dampen all other efforts, is the entire checkout process. Customers fill their shopping carts and moving to checkout. What they see there is critically important to their willingness to give up their payment information, especially to a company with which they have never done business before. Your job is to have those trust badges in place to make them as comfortable as possible.

There Is Research

Not long ago, Conversion XL completed a study related to customer perceptions of the trust badges that they find on checkout pages. The study included 340 participants and involved two phases. Participants were surveyed about their online shopping behaviors and their feelings of trust when the reach the checkout page for an online purpose.

Participants were then asked to “pretend” that they were purchasing bed linens from an online site and ultimately reach the checkout page. They saw one of six different badges when they reached that stage, and their eye movements were then tracked through heat maps. The six badges were Norton, SiteLock, McAfee, PayPal, Google Trusted Store, and BBB.

The study found that all participants did view the trust badge that was on the checkout page, although the number of seconds they stayed varied a bit. More people viewed PayPal than any of the others, and when asked to recall the trust badge they had viewed, participants were able to identify PayPal, Norton, and Google more than any other.

What It Means For You

While this study is not the “be-all and end-all” of trust badges, it does provide some insight. Businesses would do well to survey their customers about trust badges and determine which they find most comfortable

A company would do well to use Norton, PayPal and Google above the others. If PayPal is not an option, then Norton is the best choice

Trust is a Comprehensive Feeling

Of course, those badges are important, and customers do want to see them. But trust is a more holistic “feeling” that customers get from a site. Other important factors include the following:

  • How fast does your site and each of its pages load? Trust declines as load times increase.
  • Is your site visually appealing and up-to-date? Clutter, huge blocks of text, etc. indicate an old site that has not been updated
  • Do you have a blog that is current with recent posts?
  • Do your social media pages have recent and regular posts?
  • Is your customer service streamlined as much as possible?

You want to look like a company that is actively in business and that provides both the best UX and UI possible.

Keep Building It

Trust is a long-term endeavor. It results from relationships that are built over time. Happy customers recommend your brand to their tribes. Break that trust just once, and you will pay dearly.

Having those badges that your customers recognize and know are trustworthy will go a long way to “bring that sale home.” No matter how impressed customers are with your product line; no matter how much you work on building relationships; when a customer reaches the checkout phase, he wants to know that his financial information is secure. Lack of trust in this final process is a significant piece of shopping cart abandonment.

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien