Last week I set out to discover how trust logo recognition effects online purchase behavior, especially in terms of shopping cart abandonment. It is widely accepted that trust logos can have a positive effect on conversion rates when purchasing online, but is that enough? What about which trust logo? As someone who works in the online industry I consider myself relatively knowledgable of the different supplies of SSL certificates, but what about Joe Consumer?
Disclaimer: This is not a scientific study, rather an ad-hoc attempt to gaining some actual insights.
Using several great tools to set up a guerrilla research study I took it upon myself to get some sense of the recognition of trust logos among consumers and its effect on shopping cart abandonment. See it more as a conversation starter for you and your colleagues or you and management.
Let’s get started!
- Which trust logos do you recognize?
- Which trust logos do you trust?
- Which single trust logo gives you the best sense of trust?
- Which single trust logo gives you the least sense of trust?
So which trust logos did we test?
Question 1 - Which trust logos do you recognize?
As far as recognition goes, many brands seem to do well. McAfee (79%) leads the way with Verisign (76%) coming in a close second and Paypal (72%) third. After that, the recognition levels drop significantly with BBB (37%) and TRUSTe (28%) picking up the trail in fourth and fifth place respectively.
Question 2 - Which trust logos do you trust?
On the topic of trust, there is only a slight difference between the first three brands, but we do see that recognition does not equal trust. Paypal (66%) leads the pack ahead of Verisign (63%) and McAfee (62%).
Question 3 - Which single logo gives you the best sense of trust?
This is where the test got interesting. When asked which single brand gave the user the best sense of trust between the top 3 and the rest shifted from being as wide as the North Sea to being as wide as the Atlantic with the percentual difference between Paypal and BBB being a staggering 22%. Paypal got 29% of the ‘votes’. Verisign (25%) and McAfee (23%) followed closely behind. BBB and TRUSTe scored 7% and 3% respectively.
Question 4 - Which single logo gives you the least sense of trust?
So the last question, well, what can I say. Of course there are many brands out there, even with this question the top 3 brands from the questions 1 thru 3 (tongue twister alert) scored so ‘non-love’ points. SynergyDetox and Comodo scored the worst. For those of you familiar with the brands in the test, you will see that Comodo is present with 3 different logos. Comodo had a combined score of 26% (13, 11, 2) on the last question.
With Wufoo I set out to ask a few additional questions after the Usabilla part of the test was complete. Now, I would like to re-iterate that this is in no way a scientifically approach research project. The results of the following questions do give some food for thought though. One questions that arises is… how much potential income are you missing out on by using less recognizable trust logos?
Ok, so it is clear that trust logos have an effect… but then again, we knew this already. Just checking…
Interesting. According to 2/3 of the participants trust logo recognition has an added affect to their sense of trust.
Ok, again another verification of the affects of the presence of trust logos. 61% of participants said that they have at one time NOT completed a purchase because there were no trust logos present.
Ouch, this one does have to hurt, especially if it can be scientifically proven. 75% of the participants stated they have at some time NOT purchased a product or completed an online purchase process because they did not recognize the trust logo. Even though a trust logo was present, it seems that recognition precedes presence.
This question was in reference to this screenshot. It seems that a significant amount of users do pay attention to the https status in the URL address bar in browsers. This is great news!
The browser URL address bar seems to be a hot item according to the open end feedback we got in the survey:
- “I look for the browser clues to a secure location — eg, padlock icons, https url — rather than the logo on a page.”
- “For the payment itself, I always seek some trusted logo and the URL bar logo and the url address.”
- “I look at https…if I know it has a s than it’s a secured site.”
- “If there is no logo or if on the tool bar it doesn’t show https I won’t buy!”
- “There is no security built into web browsers to verify that images displayed come from a trusted source, so I only rely on the browser’s security information (info in the bar, security certificates, use of https, etc).”
Shopping Cart Abandonment Conclusion
Recognition Precedes Presence
So, the next time you need to review your SSL license, I would suggest digging a little deeper into who you are doing business with and how this can potentially affect your bottom line. In this case with trust logos it seems that recognition precedes presence. Stop those shopping cart abandonments!
Demographics you say?
For those of you interested in where all the 150+ participants came from, here is a small break down:
- 70.63% came from the USA, 12.7% from Canada
- 86.51% were Microsoft Windows users, the rest Apple OSX
- 59.52% of the participants used Microsoft Internet Explorer, followed by Firefox with 20.63%
- Usabilla conversion rate (finishes/starts) was 100%, Wufoo 67.4%
- 4 Usabilla tasks took on average 1 minute to complete, the Wufoo questionnaire 1 minute and 42 seconds