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Nov 11, 201311:49 AMOpen Mic

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What does a new customer look for on your website? You might be surprised

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Not too long ago, I was in the market looking for some particularly unusual supplies for a costume I was sewing for my daughter. Apparently, she thought making a wearable giant ahi tuna sushi would be no trouble for Mom. In fact, over the years, in creating a collection of comically large food, I’ve shopped the Internet for some hard-to-find supplies. I prefer to shop locally, but when I need something unusual, it’s necessary to buy from online sellers, some I don’t know very well.

To compensate for my lack of familiarity with the seller and the product, I look for common symbols on the seller’s site that provide a level of comfort for me when making a purchase. These “trust symbols” can be icons from McAfee, BBB, industry associations, and others. Turns out, I’m not alone in my search for these icons.

According to the recent Bizrate Insights Trust Symbols Study (August-September 2013), half of online customers have used a trust symbol as a deciding factor in making a purchase. In addition, 85% of consumers find trust symbols to be meaningful, and 75% of consumers have read ratings and reviews in the process of determining their purchasing decisions.

Why so many? Perhaps it helps to first understand why a consumer looks for a trust symbol in the first place. According to the Bizrate Insights study, 41% of consumers say they look for trust symbols when they are not familiar with the retailer and 29% look for trust symbols when it’s their first online purchase from a retailer, regardless of how familiar they are with the company. Consumers also search out familiar trust symbols when they don’t see the “https://” on checkout pages, when they’ve read unflattering ratings and reviews, and when the pages are too busy or too hard to shop. What triggers them to look? Above all else, it’s the need to enter personal information or a credit card number.


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