Trust is a key factor in determining the likelihood of whether a visitor will convert as people will instinctively avoid dealing with people or organisations they don’t feel they can trust. Being transparent and displaying indicators of trust (e.g. SSL security icons, testimonials, customer ratings and reviews) are common strategies used for conversion optimisation to establish trust in a website.
For markets that have relatively few similar brands and where social influence is a crucial driver of choice, prospects will often seek recommendations from a small number of expert users or authoritative people. In this environment testimonials and recommendations from such individuals is used as a short-cut to making a considered choice. Trust is therefore granted by the behaviour and recommendations of a small number of experts and authoritative users.
In the example below, Formisimo uses a testimonial from expert user Peep Laja at ConversionXL to help build trust with the brand. Well-known expert users can have a powerful influence on the behaviour of prospects because some of their reputation is transferred to the brand they are recommending.
Research by ConversionXL found that PayPal was the most trusted brand for online payments. It was closely followed by the Norton Secured and Google Trusted Stores logos.
However, be careful about when you display trust icons. A/B tests on registration forms have found that if trust icons are introduced too early in the journey they can help raise fears that were not previously present. Trust also needs to be earned through how people associated with your brand behaves. Actions are more powerful than words and so it is important that policy decisions reflect promises or values that are regularly promoted by the brand. When company actions go against stated aims or values this can destroy trust in the brand.
Conversion marketing – Glossary of Conversion Marketing.
Rating & review software – 6 top e-commerce rating and review platforms to improve trust and credibility.
Over 300 tools reviewed – Digital Marketing Toolbox.
A/B testing software – Which A/B testing tools should you choose?
Types of A/B tests – How to optimise your website’s performance using A/B testing.