Popular or not, web retailers can use help building shoppers’ trust

Shoppers say online trust symbols build shopping confidence even with familiar retailers.

Paul Demery

Even well-known web retailers can use some help building shopping confidence among their customers, Bizrate Insights says in a new study.

Nearly a third, or 29%, of shoppers in a recent study said they look for an online trust symbol—such as “McAfee Secure” from McAfee Inc., “BBB Accredited Business” from the Better Business Bureau and “Customer Certified” from Bizrate—when making their initial purchase on a retail web site, regardless of whether they’re familiar with the retailer, Bizrate says.

Bizrate, which based its study on an online survey of more than 6,000 online shoppers, found that 48% of shoppers clicked a trust symbol at least once to verify a retailer’s information, and that 75% have clicked symbols revealing a retailer’s consumer ratings and reviews when deciding on a purchase.

Bizrate conducted the survey from Aug. 27 to Sept. 2 with pop-up questionnaires that appeared immediately after shoppers completed a purchase on one of the more than 5,000 e-commerce sites in the Bizrate Insights Network in the United States and Canada.

It also found the following percentages of online shoppers who said they looked for trust symbols under the following online shopping circumstances:

● 22%—when they don’t see a secure URL (typically appearing with https://) on a checkout page;

● 10%—when have heard or read unflattering ratings and reviews of a retailer;

● 7%—when web pages are “too busy or hard to shop”;

● 32%—when starting to check out or whenever entering personal information;

● 23%—when shopping on a site for the first time;

● 16%—when deciding whether to place items in a shopping cart.

The study also noted where online shoppers look for trust symbols:

● 40% look for them during the checkout process;

● 31%, on the home page;

● 25%, at the bottom of a web page;

● 23%, in a shopping cart;

● 13%, on product information pages;

The study also found that 21% of shoppers don’t look for trust symbols.

Bizrate Insights is a unit of Shopzilla Inc., which also operates online shopping sites including Shopzilla.com and Tada.com, and online display advertising agency Aisle A.


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