Checkout Optimization: How Do Trust Seals Affect Security Perception? [Original Research]

Checkout Optimization: How Do Trust Seals Affect Security Perception? [Original Research]

This study, conducted through ConversionXL Institute, is the first of a two-part series exploring security perceptions on checkout pages. We compare the effectiveness of six popular trust badges on an actual checkout page.

Results summary

  • Eye-tracking showed that general patterns of viewing and information processing were the same among all trust badge variants on a credit card form page.
  • The Paypal badge attracted a larger percentage of users than any other badge, and was significantly more than the worst performing in this category, McAfee.
  • There were significant differences among badges in recall rates. Familiar brands (see Trust Seals (Part 1) – Security Vs. Familiarity) Google, Norton, & Paypal were more likely to be recalled as webpage elements that added to security.

How do I apply this research?

  • Survey your customers. This type of survey is easily executable for your own checkout page, especially without the eye-tracking which didn’t add very much to the takeaways accept for us now knowing that the PayPal badge is visually more attractive (in that it makes more people fixate).
  • If you’re to simply implement, well-recognized brands (Google Trusted Store, Paypal, Norton) are a good bet.
  • Norton would be a good choice if you didn’t want to allow payments via PayPal for some reason and you wanted actual site security practices implemented instead of just associative trust practices.

 

Background

This 2-part study looks at a similar issue as our previously published study on “trust symbol perceptions,” but in a specific part of the shopping experience: the checkout page. Since the checkout page is where people share sensitive credit card information, it’s an appropriate place to measure feelings of security and trust.

In part 1, we study how people view credit card form fields during the checkout process when different trust/security badges are used. In Part 2, we’ll share findings on security perceptions when credit card fields are visually emphasized.

Study Report

Data Collection Methods and Operations:

We used eye-tracking to examine and measure user perception of different trust badges.

Additionally, we asked participants survey questions:

The first question identified the number of people concerned with online security.

The next question identified how often, on average, our participants shop online.

The last question was open-ended and aimed to identify how many participants considered the trust badge they had seen as a contribution to their online safety.

Number of participants used for eye-tracking analysis.

Participants

340 participants were divided into six treatment variations, each displaying a different trust seal:

Eye-tracking allowed us to compare user behaviors when presented with the different trust seals.

Participants were prompted with this scenario before viewing the checkout page of the ecommerce company brooklinen.com

Your scenario: You are purchasing nice bed sheets for a friend and are on the checkout page about to fill out your credit card information.

Participants then viewed the checkout page with one of the six trust badges for eight seconds. Afterward, they answered the survey questions.

Survey Questions:

Do you ever have security concerns when purchasing online?

How often do you make online purchases?

Were there elements on the form you saw that provided you a sense of security?

Treatment variations:

brooklinen-bbb
For each treatment, one trust badge logo was displayed in this location.

Here’s a close up of all six variations:

Treatment variations of the checkout page
Treatment variations of the checkout page

Findings

Eye-tracking Results – First, the general pattern of observation on the checkout page:

Seen maps of all 6 variations
Seen maps of all 6 checkout page variations

These maps tell us that all trust badges were pretty noticeable.

To get more specific, we can look at the numbers behind these maps:

Eye-tracking summary stats for the various checkout page treatments
Eye-tracking summary stats for the various checkout page treatments

According to these numbers, it’s clear that there weren’t huge differences between trust seals. Using eye tracking, we confirmed that all trust seals are equally noticeable.

However, we did see some differences in the number of people who looked at the Paypal seal.  Compared to the McAfee logo which only 54% of participants looked at, the PayPal seal was noticed by 67% of participants. The PayPal seal received significantly more attention than the McAfee seal (comparing the two rates using an N-1 proportion test, p = 0.045).

Survey Results

The majority of respondents (62%) reported having security concerns when making online purchases (298 of 482 total respondents).

Here’s how often respondents report making online purchases:

Frequency of online purchases made by respondents.
Frequency of online purchases made by respondents.

When asked if there were any elements on the checkout page that provided a sense of security, a significant number of participants remembered the trust badge they had seen, though some badges were remembered more often than others:

recallpercentages2

These findings support our research on familiarity vs. security perceptions among trust badges in that well-known logos and brands are remembered more often than their lesser known counterparts.

Conclusion

While PayPal’s logo was the most visually attractive, there wasn’t much difference in information processing.

First, you should survey your own visitors and go with what is most trusted and recognized. But if you’re just looking to implement, well-recognized brands (Google Trusted Store, Paypal, Norton) are a probably good bet.

Norton would be a good choice if you didn’t want to allow payments via PayPal for some reason and you wanted actual site security practices implemented instead of just associative trust practices.

cxli-logo

Join the Conversation Add Your Comment

  1. Part of the summary is confusing.

    “The Paypal badge attracted a larger percentage of users than any other badge, and was significantly more than the worst performing in this category, McAfee.”

    What was the Paypal badge significantly more of?

    Reply
  2. So – is the goal only to look at the eyeballs? Which logo actually drove more purchases?

    Reply
    1. Ben Labay

      Hey Elise, there’s also the survey component which looks at the working memory part of the information processing, so which seals stood out as more important or not. This data is suggestive and could help test between smaller subsets of seals. What ends up working in some cases won’t in others, but experiments like this can help narrow down the list of possible tests to run. A single A/B test on 1 site between 2 seals is useful/non-useful in different ways.

      Ben

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *