KikScore Online Trust Survey Finds information Sharing Leads to Trust

DC-based startup KikScore created a patent-pending Confidence Badge and online trust score platform that enables small online businesses and non-profits to demonstrate trustworthiness through data and information.  Last month, they released the findings of the first KikScore Online Trust Survey.

Kikscore co-founder Raj Malik, a lawyer-turned-entrepreneur, said, “The main takeaway from the survey is that website visitors want to know who is ‘behind the online business’ and information about the business itself….Once a person finds out more information about a previously unknown subject/person, that person then can make a much better assessment about the credibility and trustworthiness of that subject/person.”

According to ComScore, online spending reached a record $35.3 billion this holiday season, a 15% increase over last year, and this is spurred by technology that is making it easier for eCommerce to be conducted online. At the same time, there exists a fear of being defrauded or a victim of an online scam, which has led more than 90% of consumers that shop online not to complete a transaction according to the KikScore survey. That is a lot of money being lost.

Before anyone opens their wallet, people want assurance about the credibility of the business they are buying from. Sites alike Amazon and eBay have reputation and feedback scores, which look like they are graded by the  transactions taking place on their own sites. Other services focus on the reputation and scores of the individual, like “Have they been verified?” KikScore’s stands out in providing an entire report card and trust score about their business that can be added to your website or blog as a seal.

The small business report card is actually pretty interesting in the data it provides to website visitors. KikScore takes information about  financial history, website security, traffic trends, location of the business, certifications and business policies (return, privacy, customer service etc) to create an online trust score.

The score and the data on the report card are fully dynamic and each are constantly updated. Think Klout for small business without the social information. Malik told me that KikScore is working on incorporating social data and information from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn into a small business report card.

The KikScore Report provided these following recommendations for small business to act on to start addressing the information asymmetry:

  1. Start providing key information about your small business on your website;
  2. Important information to provide can include details about the management team, financial history, location information, website history and security information, customer service and privacy policies, certification and awards and introductory videos;
  3. Display real customer feedback and testimonials about a shopping experience or your customer’s experience hiring your small business to provide a service; and
  4. Using and displaying a trust seal(s) that help you show website visitors that your business has been validated and provides information about the reputation of your small business.

Do you think online trust measurement leads to higher conversions? Should bloggers have a seal? Please comment and let us know.

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Written by:
Shashi Bellamkonda is the Chief Marketing Officer at Surefire Social. He is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. Shashi is passionate about helping startups and small business and has been recognized twice as one of the Top 100 Tech Titans by the Washingtonian and Top 100 Small Business Influencer Champion 2011 by Small Business Trends. Follow him on Twitter @shashib.
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