Higher Security Equals Higher Conversions

Higher Security Equals Higher Conversions

What does it feel like to pass your credit card details over to an automated online shop?

Or better still, how does it feel  to pass over your financial details to a total stranger whom you haven’t even spoken to?

In an ever changing and often times unpredictable internet environment, shoppers are now looking for more secure sites to take their business to.

According to McAfee’s results from a study released on their website, it shows that sales conversions were 11% higher for online window shoppers who were shown security icons or cues, like the McAfee SECURE trustmark. Customers who took longer to complete a sale were found to be more responsive to security cues.

Other findings included:

  • 65% of all shoppers wait a day more to complete a purchase, with an average delay of 33 hours and 54 minutes and;
  • According to a recent Harris interactive study, 63% of consumers said that in spite of looking for a good deal, they would not purchase from a website or online store that didn’t display a trustmark or security policy.
  • According to Javelin Strategy Research, every year online retailers lose billions of dollars from consumers who do not purchase due to security fears as opposed to price. In 2008, it was estimated that online retailers lost $21 billion in online sales due to online shopping fears and identity theft.

McAfee offer 4 tips for tweaking shopping carts for retailers to succeed in this hyper-competitive market; McAfee recommends the following strategies:

1) Consumers need to feel safe on every page.
Transparent privacy policies and security seals throughout the entire shopping experience to reassure consumers that their personal information will be safe when shopping on the site. Further to this, customers need to be given an option to contact customer support because according to writer Doug Caverly, “One cause of abandonment is ‘couldn’t find preferred pay option.’ Another one is ‘item unavailable at checkout.’ Then ‘couldn’t find customer support’ and ‘security concerns’ kick in.”

2) Be Patient. Don’t Panic.
When re-marketing to shopping cart “abandoners”, there is a great risk in approaching them too soon. Likewise, when evaluating the effectiveness of a paid campaign, merchants should factor in realistic timetables for shoppers to complete their transaction. Otherwise, the retailer could annoy the customer who is window shopping or under-represent the campaign ROI. On the flip side, if the checkout process takes too long due to many unnecessary steps to get to a “Thank you” page, customers may also abandon.

3) Optimize the Entire Site.
Focusing purely on shopping cart abandonment can blind retailers to the larger issue of site abandonment. Optimizing check-out is a vital exercise, but retailers should not neglect the rest of the site. Many consumers fail to buy because the entire site experience does not feel secure. For well optimised pages both for the user and search engines, E-web recommends checking out some tips from Tim Ash’s ‘Landing Page Optimization‘.

4) Choose the Right Security Cues.
Online retailers should know not all trustmarks are created equal. A recent Yankee Group white-paper, Trust Marks: What’s Behind the Label Counts, found trustmarks that indicate daily vulnerability scanning, like McAfee SECURE, deliver the highest level of protection, compared to reputation, privacy and SSL trustmarks.

Handing over a credit card an unsecured site can be scary to many consumers. That’s why by taking some simple steps outlined above, you will begin to see conversion improvements.

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We’ve been in the digital marketing field for over 18 years and worked with hundreds of Australian (and international) businesses to grow their web presence. Specialising in SEO, search ads (PPC), social media, content marketing, email marketing and conversion rate optimisation.

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