Trust is more based on design and brand than security

March 23, 2007

A telling bit of research from those guys at Webcredible (the usability and design consultancy) has shown that your average web shopper takes factors such as design and brand more seriously than security when choosing sites to purchase from.

Not really a huge surprise at all! What was surprising to me was that 40% of respondents said that they looked for it to say ‘https’ in the address bar. This shows that web users are getting more savvy and I’m certain that even a year ago that number would have been much lower. I’d expect a repeat of this study in a years time will show that security is the deciding factor and brand/design will matter less to users looking to buy.

Webcredible advise online retailers to:

  1. Provide written assurance about security policies
  2. Include user reviews and have other site visitors rate the reviewers
  3. Provide links to references of the company on other websites
  4. Ensure content is up-to-date across the website
  5. Include details of any affiliations or awards

All really good advise and great ways to build up trust with your customers in the online environment. One basic point they have missed is applying a seal (eg. Verisign) to your website on the checkout page, research I conducted last year with our customers showed that a lot of users will buy purely if they see the seal without regard for https or not.


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