The office supplies retailer say it sacrificed some sales to improve online profitability. It also redesigned its business-facing e-commerce site, StaplesAdvantage.com.
That’s because that assurance helps the retailer build trust.
When consumers are buying life-saving medications over the Internet they want to be certain that they’re entering their sensitive information, such as Social Security number and medical information, on a legitimate site.
For a retailer like online-only pharmacy CanadaDrugs.com that means it finding ways to demonstrate to consumers that it is not one of the many “fly-by-nighters illegally offering international drug scams over the Internet,” says Brock Gunter-Smith, director of e-business.
“Our customer is the furthest thing from the casual buyer who doesn’t need much of an excuse to abandon a shopping cart,” he says. “We need to show that we’re a real business that conducts itself professionally and is accountable to customers, which is tough when we’re dealing with cautious site visitors thousands of miles away.”
To build trust in its brand it initially turned to an undisclosed Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) provider, a technology that secures web servers from unauthorized access and is designed to ensure visitors that a web site is legitimate and able to protect consumer data. . However, the vendor asked for minimal information to verify the authenticity of the company’s practices, which didn’t sit well with the retailer.
“Our Internet service provider told us it would be quick and easy with the other company, that there was no real information we’d have to supply,” says Gunter-Smith. “That was supposed to be a selling point but it actually turned us off in a big way since our whole focus was on demonstrating our legitimacy.”
Conversely, the retailer found that VeriSign staff engage in a lot of work to ensure a company’s authenticity before allowing the retailer to display the VeriSign Secured Seal. That led the retailer to switch providers.
Once VeriSign validated CanadaDrugs.com, the switch was simple, he says.
The retailer also added VeriSign’s Extended Validation SSL Certifications, which show consumers using many browsers a green address bar that indicates a web site is genuine, and includes the name of the security company, VeriSign, offering that assurance. That’s designed to overcome consumer fears that they may have reached a site created by criminals that looks legitimate but is designed to capture personal information, such as credit card and Social Security numbers..
That addition has boosted CanadaDrugs.com’s bottom line. The conversion rate for consumers using Internet Explorer 7, which displays the green bar, is 1.75%, 33.6% more than the 1.31% who convert on IE6, which does not display the green bar. Moreover, those IE7 consumers spend 27% more per order than those using IE6.
“That must go back to the extra measure of security that people feel when they see the VeriSign green bar,” Gunter-Smith says.