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Establishing credibility with a trust badge increases conversion rate by 72.05%

Launched with the intention to revolutionise handbag shopping online, Bag Servant caters to the needs, interests, and affordability of all kinds of bag lovers. Working with both established brands as well as offering a platform for exposure to new and upcoming designers, this online retailer provides all that a bag lover could ever ask for, including features like interactive bag customization.

The Business Need

As the bottom line of the Bag Servant is directly related to affiliate revenue, the primary need of the company is to increase clickthrough to product sites from their website. And being a part of the conversion funnel, if they could persuade their visitors to not only complete the purchase successfully but also increase their average order value (AOV), there’s nothing better for them.

Background Research

To figure out what aspects of the website can be improved or at least be considered as subjects for viable hypotheses, the Bag Servant team read through several white papers and books. During this time, the book “Landing Page Optimization” by Tim Ash stood out and made them question the credibility and trust of their website, as this was mentioned to be one of the seven deadly sins of a landing page design.

Until now, the team was focused on testing the headline copy, button copy, button size and color, and others. The lack of credibility and trust on the website were seen as major sore points and gave an entirely new direction to the A/B testing endeavors of Bag Servant with Visual Website Optimizer.

Test Hypothesis

Considering the credibility aspect, the team started off by leveraging the power of social proof. Their twitter account boasts of 4000+ followers and they used this to convince visitors and improve their conversion rates. The test proved to be a successful one and the team knew they are headed in the right direction. Here’s also one case study that showed how trust badges improved conversion rate by 32%.

But there are so many ways you can boost the trust and credibility of the website, like 100% money back guarantee, Versign security badge, and many more. How can one know which one works best?

As it seemed almost obvious, the next step was to figure out which credibility signals get the best conversions. The current test was thereby tested against the Control page which already displayed the 4000+ Twitter count badge in the header.

Given below is the Control page on which the change was made:

Bag Servant Control

The variation replaced the Twitter Followers badge with the relatively rare WOW badge that was presented to Bag Servant by a renowned business woman. The hypothesis was that this WOW badge should convey higher trust and credibility than the huge Twitter follower count, as shown in the variation page below:

Bag Servant Variation

Goals Tracked

This clean A/B test was then put into action and there were three main goals that were tracked by the Bag Servant team:

Goal #1 – Visits to Affiliate Partners’ Sites

Goal #2 – Site Engagement

Goal #3 – Product Exploration


As time-tested practices say, credibility and trust do play a crucial role in influencing buying decisions of the visitors. And even though the website’s homepage formed a part of the persuasive-end of the conversion funnel, this practice did prove its magic yet again:

  1. Visits to affiliate partners’ websites marked a 72.05% of improvement with 98%  statistically confident results
  2. Site engagement saw a boost of 10.27% with 98% chance to beat the original
  3. Product exploration saw an increase of 60.42% on the homepage, however the statistical confidence reached for this goal is 93% until now

Below you can see the comparison image of the Control and the Variation page:

[pinit url=” ” image_url=”” description=”Bag Servant tested their trust badge to boost their conversions by 72.05%” float=”left”]

Bag Servant Comparison Image

Further Analysis

Although all of this sounds so simple that you read through best practices and implement them on your site. But it actually isn’t as simple as it sounds. The context of the page can also make a huge difference in your test results and actually invalidate the effectiveness of a proven practice if you do not use it in the right context or on the right page.

For example, the Bag Servant tried to increase their trust with their customers by adding the Versign Seal and the Twitter Follow badge in two different variation pages, for their Bag Servant search page. But both of these variation pages got them negative results for all the three goals that are mentioned above. This makes it clear that you should take advice by experts only for your hypotheses. Relying on advice to make permanent changes on your website without tracking their impact on your goals is only what a naïve would prefer.

The badges added to increase the trust and credibility on the page probably served as nothing more than a ­mere distraction on the search page. Perhaps adding the Versign Seal on the checkout page would have made more sense and got them better conversions.

Tests that Bag Servant Can Try

Adding 1-2 testimonials about the site or the products purchased (preferably with pictures of customers donning those bags, if possible) can probably increase the trust of the visitors and make them buy the products more.

Another interesting test can be adding a 3-4 word punch line right below the WOW badge to emphasize its importance more.

Also, if a lot many customers talk about Bag Servant, maybe adding the live Tweet feed on the homepage can also help increase the trust and conversion goals.

What do you think? Do you have any suggestions that Bag Servant can use to increase their conversion rates? Share them all with us in the comments section.

Comments (4)

Leave a Comment
  1. Initially felt creeped out about the Verisign badge and twitter followers badge on the search page producing worse results. Can see the hypothesis about distraction. I’d question where these were placed. Still, if someone is searching, badges inhibit that goal. It’s a nice, clear, simple site.

    Even at present, the WoW badge in my opinion should be linked to a custom page explaining the award (along with briefs of others) and a call-to-action – not a Twitter account.

    And that tagline of discover, love, shop? Sounds like something by a CEO. With such a targeted market, can do a lot better.

  2. @Joshua, I totally agree with you. Adding something that explains the badge better should help in higher conversions in future. Still, I’m not sure if adding a link to another site is a good idea as it might distract visitors.

    What do you think?

  3. Hi both. I am co-owner of the site. Thanks for the feedback.

    The badges on the search page were in exactly the same spot in the header. I was also extremely surprised to find they tested badly.

    I would have liked to link the badge to an explanation but the rules for WoW winner badges are very strict and mandate the exact linkage to be as it is.

  4. I would see the need for the punchline below the button, it would look better and seem more trustworthy. Same goes for testimonials, things almost essential for e-commerce websites (and I agree – ideally with bags).

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