What trust badges should I use for my eCommerce store?
💡 Quick Answer: The most important trust badges for your store are those centered around website security and safe checkout processes. Data fraud is very common and if your potential customers aren’t sure that their data is going to be safe with you, they may choose not to buy at all. We recommend at least an SSL certificate badge, and payment methods badges – to be displayed on your product and checkout pages, as well as your website footer. On top of these, easy returns and satisfaction guarantee badges will reassure your customers that they can buy with confidence.
Launched a store but conversions are slow?
Looking for that special sauce for boosting sales?
If you’ve been trying in vain to find a reliable way to improve bounce rates, gain customer trust, and skyrocket conversions, look no further. This article will tell you how to do it.
Whether you’re a dropshipper or wholesale retailer, eCommerce trust badges are an awesome, yet often overlooked way to give your store that extra lift it needs to really get the profits rolling. Plus, they can give your brand that all-important good reputation on the web.
Online stores have been cropping up left right and center, especially since the pandemic, and there is a veritable ocean of places customers can choose to buy from online. Unfortunately, for all its ease and convenience, shopping online isn’t always a walk in the park, and the number of shady characters and scams in the industry are making customers more cautious than ever. In the first half of 2022 alone, US consumers reportedly lost $3.56 billion to online fraud.
That’s why it’s so important to set your website and store up in a way that inspires confidence in your brand, including adding third-party endorsements that your customers know and trust. This is exactly where eCommerce trust badges come in – an easy and low-cost way to reassure your customers.
While we definitely recommend having the most important and relevant trust badges on your site, there has recently been a trend for eCommerce ‘gurus’ to recommend too many badges all in one site. In our opinion, there is a definite limit where trust badges turn from help to hindrance, as too many just end up looking untrustworthy and spammy.
So let’s dive a little deeper and find out the best approach to take with trust badges.
What are Trust Badges?
eCommerce trust badges are essentially recognizable graphics in the form of badges or seals that you can place on different parts of your website.
Humans are visual creatures, so while putting things into writing is good, having visual, trust-inspiring elements on your website is significantly more effective.
Much like social proof (i.e. reviews and recommendations) lets people know they can trust a company because other people vouch for them, a trust badge (particularly if it’s widely recognized) gives potential customers that extra bit of trust to feel secure in buying from you – often because it associates you with a trusted brand or service, or because a well-recognized brand endorses you.
Initially, the most common eCommerce trust badges tended to be part of the checkout process, but all sorts of different badges in various categories have cropped up in recent years. It’s important to really think about what’s relevant to your brand and customers, so you don’t end up going overboard and achieving the opposite effect, i.e. appearing dodgy. It’s like this: If you’re so desperately trying to prove you’re trustworthy by putting 1000 badges on your site, does that mean you’re trying to cover something up? Less is more, as is true in so many cases.
Where Should Trust Badges Go on Your Site?
As mentioned above, eCommerce trust badges used to be found mostly within the checkout process of an online store. However, in recent years it has become more and more popular to house trust badges on the homepage, as well as other areas of your site. This can be led back to people’s decreasing attention span and resulting bounce rates, meaning you often only have those few seconds spent on the homepage to capture a customer and motivate them to explore further.
Other than the homepage and checkout pages, you need to consider each trust badge closely to decide if you need them and, if so, where best to place it on your website.
Check out the 5 major types of eCommerce trust badges categories and their ideal placements:
- Data Security / Safe Checkout badges
- Primary: Checkout flow
- Secondary: Cart, Mini Cart, Product Pages, Homepage
- Payment Badges
- Primary: Homepage & Footer
- Secondary: Product pages, FAQ
- Guarantee Badges
- Primary: Product pages
- Secondary: FAQ, Returns Policy page, Homepage
- Shipping Badges
- Primary: Homepage, Product Pages
- Secondary: Footer, Shipping page
- Third-Party Endorsements
- Primary: Homepage & Footer
- Secondary: FAQ
To avoid overcrowding as mentioned, we recommend you use no more than 3 badges at a time in one website location – this will keep your site looking professional and legitimate, and really leverage the conversion-power of your eCommerce trust badges (shown by numerous studies to increase conversions up to an average of 42%).
Furthermore, and we hope this goes without saying, only add badges to your site that you have actually earned. You may get some quick wins by pulling the wool over people’s eyes, but once the truth comes out (and trust us, it will!), the results will be catastrophic for your reputation.
The Definitive List of Must-Have Trust Badges
Website Security / Safe Checkout badges
Probably the most common concern customers have online is whether their data will be safe. There are a lot of baddies out there with some extremely nifty strategies, so it’s important to know that your information is going to land in the wrong hands.
eCommerce trust badges in this category include those that indicate that your site is free of viruses and malware, those that show visitors their data is protected, and those that assure customers that certain areas (such as checkout) are safe.
1. SSL Certificate Badge
What it is: One of the most important security measures for your site is its SSL certificate. SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer and has little to do with your socks and everything to do with protecting data going in and out of your site. You can easily see if a site has an SSL protocol by checking if the browser’s URL bar shows up green, reads ‘https’ at the start, or sports a padlock icon (and some browsers do warn you when this is not the case), but not everybody knows this little trick.
If you’re running your website through platforms like WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, or hosting on Bluehost, the good news is that a free SSL certificate is already included to protect your website. However, you still want to showcase a recognizable badge to communicate this to your customers.
The two most well-known (and most effective) SSL badges are TrustedSite (formerly McAfee SECURE), which is free up to 500 monthly website visits, and $29+/ month thereafter, and Norton Shopping Guarantee – both of which include extensive safety protocols to protect your site.
Alternatively, If you know your site is protected by an SSL certificate already (e.g. because you’re running your it through one of the aforementioned providers), you can also create your own badge or simply download one of the many free versions available online too add to your website (e.g. from Freepik).
Why it’s necessary: It’s the most important aspect of data security for your customers and therefore pivotal for building trust
2. Payment Badges
What it is: Payment badges show the customers which forms of payments they can use during checkout at your store.
This has two benefits: 1. They know that their preferred payment method (e.g. Visa, Mastercard, Klarna) will be available to them here (which provides an element of familiarity to an unknown store) and 2. Well-known checkout services like Paypal, Google and Apple pay have their own security measures, which means the customer is safe in the knowledge that their payment data will be safe.
Payment badges are customarily displayed in the footer, but should also feature in your checkout pages.
Where to get the badge: The badges are essentially the icons/logos of the payment services in question, and you can easily find these for free online. Services such as Shop Pay, Google Pay, Apple Pay and Paypal usually integrate with your shop and then automatically appear in the checkout flow. Check your respective shop builder (e.g. Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix etc.) for more details.
Why it’s necessary: Familiar payment methods lend security to an unknown online shop, so you can piggyback off the feeling of trust created by recognizable brands such as PayPal.
Have you ever been enticed by money-back or satisfaction guarantees? It’s pretty reassuring if a brand is so confident in the quality of their product that they grant you the option of returning it, no questions asked. And having easy returns guaranteed? – ideal when you’re shopping online and can’t be 100% sure the product looks exactly like the pictures.
In terms of marketing strategies, it’s always better to make that sale and gain a customer. And even if you have to refund a few people, the strategy will still gain you more customers in the long run.
And to really make the most of these policies, be sure to advertise them with a visually captivating eCommerce trust badges.
3. Money Back / Satisfaction Guarantee Badge
What it is: The great thing about Money Back or Satisfaction Guarantee Badges is that you don't have to pay anyone to be able to display them. All you need to make sure is that they reflect your actual policies, otherwise using them will end up backfiring and make you look unprofessional. These types of badges are best displayed around product and checkout pages, plus your FAQ page, if you have one.
Where to get the badge: You can design your own or use any of the freely available badge packs that abound online. A quick Google will offer many options. One thing to keep in mind is to make your badges look consistent across categories, otherwise the overall picture can end up looking spammy.
Why it’s necessary: If people are hesitant about a product, these badges will reassure them that they still have the option of getting their money back. In reality, few people will actually make that return.
Successful examples: Mattress brand Eight Sleep convinces buyers with their 100 night free trial guarantee, free returns and a 2-year warranty.
4. Easy Returns Badge
What it is: Easy Returns, 30-Day Returns, 60-Day Returns – they’re all part and parcel of the same point we spoke about before. ‘What happens if I don’t like this product?’. Shopping online can be risky just because photos don’t always give you a realistic idea of what something looks like. And nobody wants to be stuck with a product they don’t like as well as lengthy and painful returns processes to wade through. Best not to buy it in the first place. Alleviate your shopper’s anxieties with a well-placed Returns Badge on your product and checkout pages.
Where to get the badge: As mentioned before, these badges don’t need to be ‘official’, so as long as they’re in line with your website’s design aestethic and all your badges look consistent, you’re free to choose design your own or choose some from freely available badge packs (or dedicated trust badge apps, more on that later).
Why it’s necessary: People may choose not to buy at all if they don’t know they can easily return the product again.
Successful examples: Outdoor brand Camelbak displays a Returns badge on every product page.
5. Free Shipping/ Fast Shipping Badge
What it is: The next contender in the anxiety-inducing concerns for customers line-up is Shipping. Is it going to cost a lot? Is it going to take a long time? Is the carrier secure? Will there be tracking? Customers don’t want to spend all that time poring over what product to choose, only to be disappointed with shipping costs and conditions at the very last moment.
The solution? Display a free and/or fast shipping badge. This type of eCommerce trust badges should be placed on product pages, but could also feature on your website. After all, the earlier you can earn your customers’ trust, the better. You may also consider displaying your free shipping threshold (i.e. free Shipping on orders over $100) as a badge, an interesting alternative or addition to the free shipping bar.
Where to get the badge: Grab these handy badges from any of your free badge packs, design your own, or get them integrated with an app (e.g. Shopify app store)
Why it’s necessary: Shipping costs and concerns are one of the top reasons for cart abandonment. Alleviating these will significantly increase conversions.
Successful examples: Alo assures customers of free shipping and easy returns on every product page.
Our final category of trust badges is all about those accreditations you can earn by being an awesome, customer-focused brand. These aren’t badges you can add to a new and fledgling store, as you’ll need to earn your laurels before you can display them. However, once you have some experience and time under your belt, these third-party eCommerce trust badges can be an incredibly powerful addition to your store that will really skyrocket conversions. Think social AND expert proof.
6. BBB Accreditation Seal
What it is: The Better Business Bureau has been accrediting businesses for good and honest business practices since 1912. Despite having been criticized in recent years for declining standards and lack of neutrality, it’s still an extremely widely recognized badge that lends credibility to any new brand. Brands are judged on their transparency, communication, privacy and integrity.
Where to get the badge: To get accredited you have to go through a multi-step process and pay a certain amount of annual fees, which scale up depending on the size of your business.
Why it’s necessary: Being a new brand that people have never heard of, any endorsement from trusted and neutral third parties will be a boon to your business growth.
7. Google Customer Ratings badge
What it is: The power of the Google brand is no secret and the company has been infiltrating most aspects of online life over the past few decades, online shopping being no exception. There are actually a couple of eCommerce trust badges you can get from Google, however, the coveted Google Trusted Store badge is significantly harder to earn. The Google Ratings badge is much more achievable and will be extremely valuable to any brand with a good Google rating.
Where to get the badge: You can embed the Google ratings badge using a bit of code and a few code adjustments. Alternatively, there are third-party providers who let you add this as a widget (e.g. EmbedSocial or Elfsight)
Why it’s necessary: If you’re working hard to collect great Google reviews, you should leverage this for your website too. It’s a recognized and trusted vehicle for reviews and is exactly the sort of social proof that will attract new customers.
Successful examples: Adagio Teas showcases its 4.9-star rating right as people enter the door: on the homepage.
8. Trustpilot TrustBox widget
What it is: TrustPilot is one of the most well-known and reputable consumer review sites for businesses out there The Danish company has been operating since 2007, hosts reviews for businesses worldwide, and collects over 1 million reviews each day. Each company has a profile page on the site that collects all its reviews. In order to display these reviews on one’s own website, there are several widgets of different shapes and sizes available. However, only a couple of these are free.
Where to get the badge: Once you’ve set up your free business profile, you can start collecting reviews and add the free ‘Review us on Trustpilot’ button to your site. A free ‘See our reviews on Trustpilot’ widget is also available. However, to display the actual rating, you need to pay for at least the ‘Standard plan’ which costs $225/month.
Why it’s necessary: A good TrustPilot rating communicates to your customers that you’re a trusted brand that they can safely shop with. The reputation of the TrustPilot brand will work in your favor once you’ve collected a good number of reviews.
Successful examples: LensDirect showcases its rating and rating count at the bottom of its footer.
9. B Corp Certification
What it is: Finally, we couldn’t finish this list without talking about sustainability. Eco-consciousness and climate responsibility are becoming more and more prevalent in consumer behavior. This is why it pays to be certified by a not-for-profit like B Corp which ‘measures a company’s entire environmental and social impact’. The certification process is extensive and accrues an annual fee, however, small businesses can start by applying for a ‘pending certification’ which sets them on the path to proper certification down the line.
Where to get the badge: B Corp operates slightly differently in different parts of the world, so check the one that applies to you. While the process is said to be very rigorous, it’s also meant to be very rewarding. Your first step will be to read through their starter pack online and take it from there.
Why it’s necessary: If your brand is targeted at a demographic that cares about sustainable and ethical practices, this badge will position you perfectly for that audience.
Successful examples: Allbirds, a sustainable shoe brand from New Zealand, proudly sports the B Corp badge in its website footer. Notable here is that this is the only badge in their footer, putting particular focus on it – A smart move from the brand considering its value propositions.
How to Implement the Badges
We’ve spoken at length about the type of badges you should be displaying as part of your online store to boost conversions. As previously mentioned, the most important thing is that the badges you choose are relevant to your brand and your audience. Displaying multiple badges is not a problem (in fact, you probably want to use a few across your site!), but stick to no more than 2-3 for each category and don’t overenthusiastically use a truckload in one position. This will almost certainly make you look unprofessional and lose credibility with customers.
Finally, we’d like to address the question: should you use an app to implement trust badges or do it manually? If you’re not particularly tech-savvy and you want to implement your badges quickly and easily, apps can be a great solution – especially if your store is set up through Shopify (which has arguably the best and most extensive library of supporting apps).
However, these apps are likely to charge you for their premium services, so going down the manual route may save you some of your hard-won cash. As a fledgling business, every penny counts, so you may well find you’d prefer to use that budget in a different place.
This concludes our little foray into the world of the best eCommerce trust badges, and we hope we’ve been able to show you how much of a boon they can be for conversions in your store.
So, keep things consistent and aligned with your brand, and soon you should be seeing an uptick new customers. In the meantime, if you need any more help with finding winning products or suppliers, why not check out SaleHoo Directory? With 8000+ vetter suppliers and more than 1 million products, it has helped many an ambitious eCommerce entrepreneur to achieve their dreams. Feel free to reach out to our dedicated team of eCommerce pros if you have any questions about any of the above.