How important are trustmark logos for an eCommerce website?

Trust is the foremost thing when it comes to doing a business with someone. Although online shopping is rapidly picking up speed all around the world, many people are still sceptical of making a purchase online. And even the avid online buyers do not readily venture into buying from a completely new website. So the thing that is crucial for any website is to assure the visitors that it is legit and reliable. Trustmark logos are one such trust symbol that certify the security and reliability of a website

Trustmarks or trust logos are images of third-parties which test the website for various security and privacy requirements. They could also be for good business practices and even a carbon neutral certification badge. A badge by such a third party is a symbol that the business is credible. The image below by econsultancy shows a list of 20 such agencies who verify websites on different criterions.

Although a person has so many options to choose from,  it is really important to judge which trustmark should be put on the website. It won’t make any sense for the business owner to spend money on a security certificate which the consumers won’t recognise.

Also, along with user recognisability, one should check for the certifications that comes with the logo. For instance McAfee Secure is against hacking and vulnerabilities, PayPal Verified stands for fraud protection and the VeriSign Trust Seal, which is now the Symantec is for Security and Encryption, which provides SSL certificates to websites. SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer”. SSL is most often used for transmitting credit card, tax, banking, or personal information to a business server somewhere.

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Commonly seen Trust Logos in Indian websites

Trust Logo Name Significance
northen Norton Secure by Symantec ( Previously VeriSign) SSL Certificates and PCI Compliance
mcafee McAfee Secure The website is tested daily by McAfee for a variety of vulnerabilities.
h Hackerproof by Comodo Tested and approved against hacking
combo-scure Comodo Secure SSL Certification
Rapidssl RapidSSL 256-bit encryption, SSL Certification
trustplay TrustPay by SnapDeal TrustPay protects customers against fraud
ebay eBay Guarantee Protection of eBay customers against fraud

In India, popular certificate brands include Symantec, Comodo, McAfee, RapidSSL among others. These badges/certificates could be purchased from various certificate providers, like Trustico or from domain vendors like GoDaddy and BigRock.

It is essential to have your online store verified by at least one of the above mentioned third-parties, as it will enhance your credibility in front of the visitors. In a brick and mortar retail store, a customer is more trusting as he/she can have a one on one interaction with the seller. But this is where online retailers have their hands tied. In order to convince the customers that the website is secure and their money isn’t getting involved in a retail fraud, website owners need to have a standardized assurance.

Comodo had conducted a survey in 2005 where 78 percent of the online shoppers said that a seal indicates that their information is secure. This still holds true, besides a secure https connection, a sceptical customer is more likely to make a purchase if the webstore has a security badge.

These badges and certificates cost money, usually an annual subscription costing a minimum of around INR 16K and going upto almost a lakh. It is possible for many eTailers to wonder if they actually need to have a paid certification to attract more customers. The answer is yes they do. In a case study a couple of years back, it was found that trust badges on websites lead to 32% increase in conversions. No online retailer would want to let go of that much of a consumer base

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However, a well visible badge need not be the sole criteria for the success of an online store. We took a look at the three well-known names in the Indian eCommerce industry – Myntra, Jabong and Flipkart. The first two offer 256-bit SSL security, but don’t have any of the above mentioned certificates, whereas Flipkart has its own security seal with a green padlock in the address bar.

So even though these exceptions can’t be ignored. A retailer, particularly a new one, cannot take the risk with its credibility among its customers.

During his time in Symantec Bob Angus, Partner Marketing Manager at PayPal, wrote in a blog ‘ eCommerce merchants need to establish trust and secure their customers’ confidential data with the best. The good news is that your SSL investment usually pays off with a bump in sales and loyal customers.’

So now what will you choose for your retail website? Write your response in the comments

To contact the author, write to sugandh.dhawan@wirefootindia.com

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