Consumers are apprehensive and cautious regarding online security, and with reason. The number of reported scams, hackings and credit card fraud is increasing every day. For small online business owners, it can be a struggle to keep up with regulations and security needed to create trust in their brand; trust that will help turn their store visitors into customers.
Recently, we here at 3dcart conducted A/B testing for three months on 5,000 of our supported online stores. This experiment proved that the visibility of trusted security seals and certifications on the sites boosted sales and conversion rates exponentially.
Based on our research - and just in time for the holiday season - here are five tools that can help you build trust in your brand and increasing sales.
1) Visible Contact Information
As simple as it sounds, customers feel better being able to put a “face” to a business, rather than just an e-mail. Displaying a phone number at the top of the page or in the “about” section of your site - along with an address linked to Google Maps - helps boost the visitor’s confidence and makes your online business feel more personable and real to the shopper instead of a possible scam.
By listing the company’s contact information, your customer’s will know they have an immediate form of communication should questions or concerns arise about the order and transaction. Even if the phone number you list is your mobile, people will subconsciously feel more secure with an older and familiar form of communication.
2) Customer’s Testimonials and Reviews
Showing that other customers have had good experiences with your site and your products not only makes your site more reputable but also increases sales. Services like PowerReviews will generate “tag-based” reviews that will connect with your target market. Though it is one thing to connect with customers as a company, user reviews are an element on your store that connects customer to customer - reviews prove that online shoppers have had an experience with your company and product. This community-like structure is known to be fairly honest and affective throughout social media and e-commerce due to the customer’s ability to relate to the reviewer.
3) Dedicated SSL Certificate
When placing an online transaction securely, a browser will access your site through a Secure Socket Layer connection (SSL). In order to ensure the connection is secure, the web browser will access the site’s SSL certificate.
When using 3dcart’s services, you are given access to a free shared SSL certificate that uses your base *.3dcartstores.com URL for its authentication. Please note however, that the use of a shared SSL certificate changes the domain name displayed during checkout.
Obtaining a Dedicated SSL Certificate from security companies such as Geotrust, Verisign or Comodo will further bring your customer some peace of mind while checking-out. If possible, get an EVSSL (Extended Validation SSL) since it is the maximum level of security. The Dedicated SSL Certificate not only verifies your identity as a company and proves that the customer’s information is encrypted during the process of transmitting sensitive information to complete an online transaction, but it will also be assigned specifically to your domain name. Thereby keeping your base URL the same throughout the whole transaction process.
TRUSTe is one of the most recognized privacy organizations, used by top retailers like eBay, Microsoft and Apple. The presence of their seal has been proven to increase order value by at least $10 and sales by over 29%!
5) Security Seals from Reputable Companies
Displaying a reputable security seal like McAfee Secure or VeriSign TrustSeal conveys the message that your business has gone through a validation process and establishes an association with the entity providing the seal.
Some seals illustrate that your company has passed an identity verification process while other may show that a specific, trusted company is handling the payments for your business,
In a way, these seals help provide some assurance to first time visitors who are eager to place an order, but may still have doubts regarding the background of the business.
There are also security seals show that your store is scanned periodically for security vulnerabilities and malware. For example, a service like Verisign’s TrustSeal will perform daily scans of your site and alert you if there are any compromises in the integrity of your site.
Though most of these seals and verifications cost money, their respective companies will usually have plans and options that cater to small and medium size business owners.
Make no mistake; online security is on every shopper’s mind.
Our research has shown that these five elements, implemented on your 3dcart supported sites, will help increase conversation rates and sales by easing any concerns your visitors may have about your business.
About the Autor:
Gonzalo Gil is the President, Owner and CEO of 3dcart. Gil oversees all aspects of the company's operations. Gonzalo Gil's background includes a B.S. in Computer Science with a focus in e-Commerce Infrastructure, with over 12 years of experience as an e-Commerce Engineer and Business Manager. He is considered a leader in the e-commerce industry by thousands of merchants, and has successfully guided 3dcart to a position as one of the top hosted e-commerce solutions in the market.