This post is part of our Testing Trust series where website security trustmarks are put to the test in real-world experiments conducted by top marketing agencies. We hope the results of these tests will help ecommerce websites discover new ways to optimize visitor trust.
The Shoe Mart first began selling a wide selection of high-quality footwear over 60 years ago in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
They have since expanded their business online, and when it came to choosing an ecommerce platform, BigCommerce was their preferred choice. Like many ecommerce businesses, The Shoe Mart is accustomed to regularly experimenting with different ways to reduce cart abandonment that don’t require product discounts or detract from the user experience, and the BigCommerce platform enables them to do that with ease.
Initially, they added Norton Shopping Guarantee and GeoTrust badges throughout their site, but after learning that sites like CarCovers.com have seen conversion lifts by testing TrustedSite certifications over Norton, they decided to run an A/B test of their own.
We connected The Shoe Mart team with the conversion rate optimization experts at The Good (a valued Agency Partner of both TrustedSite and BigCommerce) who created an experiment plan that would test Norton and GeoTrust against TrustedSite.
The Good team hypothesized that replacing the current badges with the mobile-optimized TrustedSite trustmarks in five places on theshoemart.com would increase visitor trust and incentivize purchasing behavior, ultimately leading to an overall conversion rate increase.
Learn more about The Good's work on this test from their team member, Katie.
After running the experiment for 7 weeks, The Good’s hypothesis was proven to be correct. Not only did TrustedSite increase the overall conversion rate by 14%, but the site also saw increased conversions among mobile device users and first-time site visitors.
97% confidence level
Let’s dive into the experiment plan and evaluate why TrustedSite site outperformed the competition in this case.
TrustedSite vs Norton Shopping Guarantee + GeoTrust on theshoemart.com
Variants & Placements
The experiment was run as a standard A/B test for 7 weeks, with the control version containing Norton Shopping Guarantee and GeoTrust badges and the variant containing TrustedSite trustmarks. All site traffic was split evenly between the control and the variant.
Control - Norton Shopping Guarantee and GeoTrust
- 3 trust badges (2 Norton Shopping Guarantee, 1 GeoTrust)
- 5 placements
In the control version, 3 trust badges were placed in 5 locations throughout the site. Most of the trustmarks were visible to desktop, mobile, and tablet users, with the exception of the Norton Shopping Guarantee floating trust badge that appeared in the bottom left corner of all pages for desktop users only.
Variant (Winner) - TrustedSite
The winning version of the test placed 4 TrustedSite trustmarks in 5 locations throughout the site. All of the trustmarks were visible to users on all devices including mobile.
Placement 1 - Lower left corner, all pages
According to our recent survey, when consumers visit an unfamiliar site for the first time over 65% have concerns about whether they’ve arrived at a legitimate business that will fulfill its promises. Since a majority of traffic to theshoemart.com consists of new visitors, it’s important that the site shows every visitor they are a real business in a way that is immediately visible.
To achieve that in this test, the TrustedSite floating trustmark was placed in the lower-left corner of every page on the site. No matter which page they first arrive on, visitors are able to see and click the trustmark to learn that the site has earned TrustedSite’s Verified Business certification and easily find the business’s contact information that’s been validated by TrustedSite.
Unlike the Norton Shopping Guarantee badge that was placed in the same location in the control version, the TrustedSite floating trustmark is visible to visitors who shop on their mobile device, a factor we believe contributed to the 21% increase in mobile device conversions in the winning variation of the test.
Placement 2 - Footer
The most vigilant online shoppers will look for business information in a site’s footer to verify it’s legitimacy. The Shoe Mart was already doing a great job of showing they are a real business by including their phone number, addresses, business hours, social media links, and brief company description in their footer.
To further build trust, the TrustedSite Certified Secure trustmark was added to the footer in the winning test variation, replacing the GeoTrust badge. We believe the TrustedSite trustmark led to an increase in conversions over the GeoTrust badge because on some screen sizes the site’s help widget, also placed in the lower right corner of the footer, partially overlapped and hid the GeoTrust badge. To prevent this in the TrustedSite variation of the test, the Certified Secure trustmark was placed up higher near the social media icons.
Placement 3 - Shopping Cart
Our survey findings showed that when visitors get to the shopping cart, one of the things they worry about most is whether their personal information will be safe if they continue on to complete a purchase.
To help ease this concern, the TrustedSite Identity Protection trustmark was placed on The Shoe Mart’s shopping cart page underneath the payment option buttons. This trustmark lets visitors know that in case their information is compromised they are eligible to receive up to $100,000 in identity protection insurance, reducing the risk of purchasing in their minds.
The control version of the test did include a comparable trustmark from Norton, however, that trustmark does not explicitly state the dollar amount of coverage shoppers are eligible to receive. The TrustedSite trustmark also appeared bigger than the Norton badge to visitors on desktop so it could have been more noticeable to them, helping to contribute to increased conversions in the TrustedSite variation of the test.
Placement 4 - Checkout, payment information
Concern about the security of credit card information peaks at checkout, with nearly three-quarters of consumers reporting this concern in our survey. To help shoppers gain the confidence to complete their order, two additional trustmarks were added to the checkout process.
The first TrustedSite trustmark added was the Secure Checkout trustmark, showing visitors that TrustedSite has verified that the site collects data safely. It was placed directly above the credit card information fields so visitors on all devices couldn’t miss it as they input their most sensitive information.
At this step of the checkout process, not one Norton or GeoTrust badge was visible to visitors who viewed the control version of the test on their mobile device. Both the floating trustmark and Secure Checkout trustmark were visible to mobile visitors who reached this step in the TrustedSite test variation, another contributing factor to the 21% mobile conversion increase.
Placement 5 - Checkout, order summary
The second trustmark placement at checkout was beneath the order summary section that’s only visible to desktop visitors. The TrustedSite Identity Protection trustmark was used here again to remind visitors of the insurance coverage available to them after completing the order.
The comparable Norton badge was also placed here in the control version, but upon arrival of the page, the badge is collapsed. To see more information about the badge, visitors had to click to expand, unlike the TrustedSite Identity Protection trustmark which displays fully by default.
With these 5 TrustedSite trustmark placements, not only did The Shoe Mart increase conversions, but the average order value of new visitors also increased by 13%.
The Shoe Mart team was satisfied with the conversion improvements they saw with TrustedSite and decided to fully implement the service, removing the Norton and GeoTrust badges in the process. With their new mobile-optimized trust-building tools, The Shoe Mart can anticipate a nice revenue boost in the coming months.