Here's a riddle for you:
What do you have in common with a small-town sheriff, a decorated war hero, and your website?
They should all wear a badge.
That's Right. If your website does not use trust badges or secure payment badges to offer confidence to new visitors in your business, then you will be losing out in a big way.
In today's episode, we'll discuss why your website needs to use trust badges. We'll then look at a few examples of the most popular types of trust icons that you can place on your site today.
But first, let's make sure we are clear on exactly what badges of trust are.
Trust badges are small icons or symbols (also known as "trust badge icons") that show your audience that your website is totally trustworthy and that their personal information is 100% secure.
While you may not be familiar with the term, you’ve definitely seen these symbols on your favorite company websites:
And they're not there by mistake. Many reputable eCommerce websites feature eCommerce trust badges proudly as a way to create trust with new visitors. It's very easy, how it works.
New Visitors to your website have never connected with your brand. You may simply be another eCommerce scammer (or spammer) site offering a quick buck to them.
But when you use trust badges such as the one in the picture above, you are essentially borrowing authority from the places that people use and trust widely. This is one of the slightest aspects of using social proof to improve your company.
And believe it or not, these little trust icons can be the difference between gaining or losing a new customer. Which makes sense.
In fact, most of us rely on the trust badge in the real world, too. Imagine this scenario:
You’re at home watching your favorite rerun of Friends on Netflix. The doorbell rings, and you look out the window.
You see a car in the driveway that you don't know, and a guy in jeans, and a t-shirt in your entrance:
Do you open the door or pretend like you aren’t home?
Ok, how about this one:
You’re (again) at home watching Friends. The doorbell rings, and this time you see a police car in your driveway with a uniformed officer standing in the entrance. Everything looks 100% official and, more than anything, a bright shiny badge catches your eye as you peek through the blinds:
Do you open the door this time, or do you hide under the covers and catch up on the drama that was Ross and Rachel?
Since you've not done something wrong, chances are you're more likely to open the police officer's door than you're to the person you don't recognize. That's because you quickly get a few visual signs from the police officer that this is someone you can trust.
The car, the uniform, and, of course, the badge.
The Trust badge works exactly the same way on your website. When you don't have them on your page, certainly you can always get people to open the door for you.
But you are way more likely to inspire confidence in your audience by proudly displaying the best trust badge for e-commerce on your site.
If you are an owner of a company or work for an eCommerce site, you need to make sure that you are using the best trust badge for e-commerce or secure payment badges . This is because when shopping online, online customers find themselves in a special situation:
They are more vulnerable to fraud, and therefore more skeptical about websites. And for good reason.
The eCommerce world is the only situation where a customer is asked to pass on their credit card details for a product they haven't previously purchased, checked, or even seen.
Besides, if you don't have an online service, the customers will have to pay and then wait until they can access their order.
That's a feeling of super insecurity and makes eCommerce customers more vulnerable to fraud. It's no wonder that when they're asked for personal information, they treat websites with a good amount of suspicion.
It’s your job to minimize that skepticism by enhancing their user experience with social proof.
Why does that burden fall on you? Because your new visitors don’t know you, and online fraud is a seriously big deal.
That’s some serious scamming going on. When viewed in that light, it’s totally understandable that your online consumers approach your site with a bit of caution.
But how can you conquer those fears to help your visitors learn to trust you?
Yeah, obviously there are lots of forms. You will get testimonials from your customers. You can go online as well, and spend time improving your digital image. Perhaps you need to sit down and respond to those negative reviews that you overlooked.
The last is super relevant given how many consumers make buying decisions using online reviews.
But you can also go straight to the source by using trust badges in a way that builds confidence in your new users.
Trust badges in Shopify go a long way to ease the troubled minds of your customers. They allow you to borrow some authority from other well known and highly respected brands.
Plus, they’ve been proven to increase conversions. HulkApps ran a study where they had one form without a trust badge or secure payment badge and another one with a Verisign Secured trust badge.
The result? The form with the trust badge or secure checkout badges led to a 42% increase in conversions.
And this isn’t an isolated incident, either. VeriSign released a case study on how their extended validation (EV) certificates increased conversions by 30% for a hotel booking industry.
Now, most sites have caught on. Adding trust badges or payment trust badges has become the norm. Let’s turn our attention to 8 of the most common eCommerce trust badges you’ve likely seen in action.
Before we continue, let's remember the intent of a trust badge very quickly. It's intended to improve your reputation and inspire new visitors to trust.
In other words, it's an icon, logo, or badge that makes visitors have more confidence in your site. As we'll see, this is accomplished through an offer (like free shipping) or by using 3rd party brands to borrow credibility.
Why the disclaimer? Because we are about to see, there are other forms of badges of trust beyond what we have so far covered. In reality, you can have a few embedded on your site before you know it!
Let’s dive in.
This is one of the most common types of trust badges. In Google Chrome, this is the little lock that goes next to your URL:
It shows that your site has an SSL certificate and is secure. In fact, Google Chrome is now going a step further. By clicking on the lock icon next to any domain, you can then click on Certificate:
Many companies choose to put a security badge somewhere on their homepage. Here is an example from TrustLock which specializes in creating trust seals for other companies:
It’s a very small, subtle logo in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen that reminds visitors their information is secure.
The most recent survey on the topic showed that the most trusted badge is from Norton:
One way you can encourage trust in your visitors is by assuring them they can get a refund. Most businesses offer a money-back guarantee of 14 – or 30 – days.
Here’s a visual:
It may be a small icon, but it goes a long way in making your users feel safer about handing over their credit card information.
Some companies use free shipping as a way to encourage more consumers to go through checkout. This is also another safeguard against shopping cart abandonment, as it reduces the probability that hidden costs may surface at checkout.
And while you can always tell your customers that you are giving free shipping, why not show them with a trusted sign? Here's an example for free shipping from an online fashion store with a Shopify Trust badge:
You will find that both are hard to miss with their free shipping badge (and money-back guarantee badge) They have bright (yellow) colors, and they stand out due to their style.
This is the kind of trust badge icons you want to show upfront right as your customers are headed toward the checkout.
Once again, online shopping is incredibly weak. Essentially, in the hopes that they are legit, you are giving your credit card details to a complete stranger.
The addition of a safe checkout badge would certainly help your customers trust your credit card data. Here’s an example of a secure payment badge.
Notice that it’s not overly flashy and isn’t trying too hard to get the user’s attention. It’s a simple, green logo with a tiny checkmark.
In most cases, this is all it takes to remind your customers that their shopping experience is safe with you.
Some people may argue that "payments accepted" is not really a badge of confidence. But when you think about it, it also borrows prestige from other firms using the approved payment logos.
Once people see the Visa, Mastercard, or Amex logos they see a brand they know and trust right away. Here is an example from the pricing page on SEMrush:
Can scammers put these logos on their pages as well? Of course.
But showing your audience that you accept widely used and trusted payment methods can give that little added boost of confidence they need to make a purchase.
If in the past your company has received some prestigious awards, then you need to show your audience. These small seals of confidence prove you are respected not only by users but also among official critics.
Check out this example from SEMrush:
Even if people haven’t heard of the company designating the awards, these trust badges are still effective at building your site’s credibility.
Similar to the money-back guarantee trust badge, some companies offer total satisfaction. These companies are assuring customers that if they make a purchase and aren’t happy with it, they won’t be left to wallow in their regret.
In fact, you can go a step further and create a custom trust badge to a Happiness Guarantee or something you like:
Trust badges are a huge asset in retaining new visitors to your site. They’ve also been shown to increase sales and reduce cart abandonment. Moreover, It is useless to over-saturate your site with trust badges or guaranteed safe checkout badges if they are not needed. They should be placed strategically in various pages of your site. Take a walk through my next article on adding the trust badges in your Shopify store.