When someone spends money on online, they want to know that the transaction is secure. Whether using PayPal or a more direct payment portal, you as a business owner are responsible for insuring that security. Failure to protect your client’s payment details makes you liable if the content is hacked! Beyond the physical security, however, many buyers want assurance that their money is being spent wisely. Using digital badges and seals reassures potential buyers that not only is it safe for them to enter their payment details: it’s the smart thing for them to do.
The standard location for badges and seals is in the page footer. However, if your targeted buyers are heavily invested in security, there’s nothing wrong with featuring badges and seals at the top of the page or interspersed throughout the content. These types of badges and seals are pictures, emblems that show customers they’re safe and secure.
SSL Badges and Seals
There’s one inescapable requirement for payments: an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate. It’s the process that turns the website address into an https, not just http. An SSL certificate, when applied to the website, encrypts information submitted through secured pages. If the content were intercepted, a hacker would get a bunch of gibberish, as opposed to credit card details. The page may be secured, but by adding SSL badges and seals, it brings the fact to your customers’ attention.
When an SSL certificate is successfully applied, the certificate provider generates a code which, when placed into your website’s coding, creates an image saying the website is secured. In plain English, it puts a little picture on your website that says something like, “This Site secured by XYZ.”
Does it make the site more secure than the SSL certificate alone? No. It does, however, enhance the trust factor for anyone coming to the website. When using PayPal, PayPal does the work for you. All PayPal transactions are completed on the PayPal website, and their SSL certificate takes care of security. Their pages include security badges and seals at the bottom of transaction pages. It doesn’t hurt, however, if your website begins with a secured page even before a client is transferred to PayPal’s system. For any page secured by an individual SSL certificate, displaying the certificate’s safety seal tells potential buyers you invested in their security.
Company Guarantee Badges & Seals
In the digital world, customer concern doesn’t stop with the ordering process. It doesn’t end until a customer receives what they ordered. To take it a step further, it doesn’t stop until they receive what they intended to order.
Let’s say you’re selling men’s shirts. Mrs. Smith ordered shirt for her husband, size XL, in slate blue. When it arrives, though, it’s NAVY blue. Mrs. Smith is heartbroken!
The good news is, you promised her in advance that your company would make it right. How? By website badges and seals on the page. Use more than one, saying something like “100% Satisfaction Guaranteed,” or maybe, “If Your Order is Wrong, We’ll Make It Right.”
Mrs. Smith is unhappy at receiving the wrong color, but she knows that she can call your company toll-free and swap the navy-blue shirt for the slate one she originally wanted. (If you have shrewd employees, they may talk her into buying both, by offering a small discount you’ve already factored into the budget.)
The addition of company badges and seals tells customers their business matters to you. It makes them feel valued, and secure in their purchase. Verbal promises are dandy, and it’s fine to put it into the fine print. A picture, though, is worth a thousand tiny little disclaimers.
Third Party Badges & Seals
As mentioned earlier, a customer wants to feel safe when entering their personal information online. Aside from physical security (SSL) and business promises from the business itself, customers are reassured by badges and seals from trusted third parties. If a company is a member of its local Better Business Bureau, the BBB provides coding for a site seal. The same goes for the Chamber of Commerce and other similar business-support entities. They lend a sense of professionalism and trustworthiness when they appear on the page.
Third party badges and seals on a website take its business to the next level: they provide a unspoken promise that this is a legitimate business, and not just someone selling proverbial watches out of the back of a van. Membership in the BBB says a business is established and trusted, in a way few other things can do. Membership in the Chamber of Commerce speaks of civic awareness and business responsibility. These are the types of badges and seals that help a customer make the final decision, to click the order button, and to expect a successful experience with your company.
Whether you place badges and seals in the header or footer of your site, or if you display them right next to your forms and CTAs, use them to help convert visitors into leads & sales. By experimenting with different badges and seals & their placements, you can find out which combinations yield higher conversion rates.