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New Study Supports Effectiveness of Secure Seal Marks

26 February 2010 - 16:08 by Graham Miller

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Secure Seals have been used on retail websites for a number of years now, with the intention being to reassure potential customers that the sites in question feature secure, verified and safe checkout systems. When shopping online, customers know that they can make purchases on sites displaying the seals without their details falling into the wrong hands. Whilst there may have been some debate in the past as to the long term effectiveness of secure seals, a new study published this Monday seems to confirm their status as a useful tool for consumers looking for a safe shopping online experience.

According to the study (published by VeriSign Inc), ecommerce merchants who display the VeriSign Secured Seal on their shop-fronts typically receive a click-through rate that is around 18.5% higher than their competitors. Other secure seals, such as the Shopsafe logo or GlobalSign certificate are believed to similarly reinforce the reputation of online shops. Interestingly, the report revealed that displaying a generic SSL certificate did little to improve shops' click-through rates. Based upon the evidence, it would seem that consumers now associate online trustworthiness with the branded secure seals of certain companies when shopping online, whilst remaining indifferent to shops that choose not to display such certification.

Tim Callan, vice president of product marketing at the firm that published the report, noted that displaying recognised certification "delivers a true advantage for all merchants, but the benefits are greatest for smaller stores that are always in search of ways to elevate their brand to compete with ecommerce leaders." For this reason, smaller retail shops that are beginning to build a web presence are encouraged to display a secure seal, to help level the playing field between them and their larger competitors.