The Checkout Series Part 6: Security and Trust Seals


Trust: the emotion that controls the balance between “Should I?” or “Shouldn’t I?” Gaining the trust of a customer is a difficult task but one that is necessary when dealing with sensitive information such as credit card details. Making sure your online store is trustworthy can be broken down into many elements both technical and visual.

Is this store secure?

Your average consumer has little to no knowledge on the technical aspects of website security. In this light, even though it is an absolute necessity to secure your online store to the customer it is more a case of perceived security that builds trust in your store.

It has been found that prominent brands require little to no visual indicators of security apart from major technical aspects such as SSL encryption which a web browser will visually flag as unsecure if not installed. This is a prime example that trust is a fickle concept when it comes to a customer forming the conclusion if a website is secure or not secure.

Visually reinforce sensitive fields

Perceived security during the checkout process is of utmost importance and, when lacking, one of the major reasons for abandonment. Even though the entire checkout process is secure from a technical aspect it is still vital to visually reinforce sensitive fields. This is especially the case for fields where the customer is inputting payment data. Techniques such as background highlighting can boost the customers level of perceived security.

Trust seals

Trust seals are a great way to leverage the trust of another company’s brand. Most SSL certificate and website security companies provide a seal as part of their product offerings. In a recent study into trust seals it was found that prominent security brands such as Norton had a large sway into if a customer trusted a site’s security. However, it was also found SSL brands such as GeoTrust were less recognisable due too little to no presence in the consumer facing market.

Image source: Baymard Institute Blog

Not only trusted security brands affect perceived security but adding symbols / icons within the checkout process can also have a large impact. The most common symbol of security, a closed lock is very popular among e-commerce stores for indicating a page or form element is secure. Consider implementing trust seals and symbols where possible within the checkout process.

Secure your store technically and visually

There is no denying security is a key factor when it comes trust and triggering customer engagement. Even though it may seem odd that something as basic as a symbol of a lock can change the customer’s perception of the security of your store, it may be the small visual cue required that gets the customer across the line.

Source: Baymard Institute

Rowan Volker - Lead UX / Front-end Developer

Rowan is the UX/UI and HTML guru at Neocreative. He is a creative thinker, problem solver and has taken it upon himself to claim the job of office barista. Rowan spends his weekends out on the golf course or playing cricket.

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