You Need Stinking Badges

“We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges.”
From The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Unlike that famous movie quote, you are generally better off having a “secure site” seal or similar “tested” badge on your Ecommerce site. We’ve all seen examples of those badges at the various sites we’ve shopped at. Seals such as the “McAfee Secure”, the “Verisign Trust Seal” (now owned by Symantec), and the BBB Accredited Business Seal are found on many web stores.

If these badges are so good, you may wonder why it is that you don’t see them at Well, it’s – shoppers have heard of them, already trust them, and do not need a third-party to verify how safe or trustworthy they are. Your site, however, is probably not as well known. Thus, some kind of third-party endorsement may be a reassuring sight to a number of your shoppers. I say ‘may be’ because most of the studies (though not all) show that sales do increase with the use of these seals.

Various reports of A/B testing indicate a general sales increase of anywhere from 4% to as high as 15%. There are, of course, some merchants that report no increase in sales. That being said, I think that if most merchants see an increase in sales from using the badges, then why not try at least one badge on your site? Price, understandably, can be an issue. If you are a small merchant or just starting out, then every penny matters and you may not be able to afford any of these third-party seals. Thankfully, ShopSite merchants have a built-in seal that comes with their shopping cart – the “ShopSite High Security” seal.

ShopSite will calculate how securely your store is taking payment information. If your store is at the Highest Level (there’s low, medium, and high), then the “ShopSite High Security” Seal will be displayed with the current date. A shopper that clicks on the logo is taken to this page to explain what the seal means.

Note that even if you choose not to use the “ShopSite High Security” seal, I strongly urge you to make sure your site qualifies for the Highest Security level. When viewing orders in the ShopSite backoffice merchant interface, the security level is displayed in the upper left. Clicking on the level (low, medium, or high) takes you to a page explaining why you are at that level.

For more information on how well badges work to boost consumer confidence, I recommend this GetElastic article and this one by Ask Dave Taylor. I found it interesting to note that the placement of the badge affected the results. It appears that having it in the top part of your site or checkout is best. By default, ShopSite’s High Security seal is placed in the footer, but by putting a tag in your custom template, you can put it wherever you like.

So, unless you are or the bandits in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and do not need “any stinking badges”, you should try one or more of these seals. Like Humphey Bogart, some of your shoppers will want to see your badges before they trust you.

One Comment

  1. Joseph A'Deo says:

    That’s a good point about Amazon — it’s already become enough of a trusted name that it doesn’t need help from anybody. I often discuss the VeriSign Trust Seal (I work for them) in terms of us “lending” our trustworthiness to websites — even if users aren’t familiar with the website name, they see the VeriSign Trust Seal and instantly know that the site is free of malware (the seal provides daily scanning) and that we’ve checked out the site’s background. Amazon certainly needs malware scanning, but they probably do it in-house — and don’t need our name to piggy back off of. The benefits of becoming a Walter Huston-like icon…

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