The Power of Trust Logos : The Proof is in the Numbers

Recently at Booktopia we performed an A/B test in order to ascertain whether our trust logos at the top of our site were still necessary. The following is a discussion of the testing process and the subsequent results. My hope is that by sharing these results you can understand the importance of trust logos on your site.

The Hypothesis
At Booktopia we don’t just A/B test things because we can, there is always some reasoning to justify the effort. This particular test was driven with the thought that removing our awards from our header would make it look cleaner and less cluttered. (Ask most graphic designers their opinion of our header and that’s the first thing they say).

A less cluttered header would make our search easier to find meaning more people would be inclined to search our site to find what they are looking for. With Booktopia fast becoming a well known name online our thought was that such visible trust icons were no longer necessary to convert customers.

The Variations
For this test we had the original page (the control) and a single variation with the trust logos removed. We setup the test to run for all users who visited our site, excluding crawlers (eg GoogleBot) splitting users 50/50 between the variations.

Original. With Trust Icons
Original Header

Variation
Variation. Without Trust Logos.

The Measurements
In this test, as with all our other testing, we measured a range of “Goals” however the most important for us in order to reach a conclusion were conversion rate, revenue per visitor and the percentage of customers who found and used the search bar.

The Sample Group
Our test ran across 194 817 unique visitors meaning approximately 97 000 people viewed each variation, which we believe was a big enough sample group to reach a conclusion.

The Tool
For those of you with your own sites who are interested in what tool we used to perform this test read on, for those who couldn’t care click here to skip to the results.

For all our A/B testing at Booktopia we use Optimizely. Optimizely is a dedicated A/B testing platform with a range of plans for the biggest sites right down to one man operations looking to have a bit of fun with their site. The most impressive thing about Optimizely is that once initially setup, you do not have to have any technical know-how to perform a test with the majority of testing requiring zero input from your web developers. To setup a test it’s all point a click including the moving, removal and adding of objects to a page. While this is no advert for Optimizely, I highly recommend them!

The Results!
The results were that our conversion rate decreased by 2% when the trust logos were removed and our revenue per order also decreased by 6% without the trust logos. Search use increased by 0.5%.

Conclusion
Our conclusion was to leave the trust logos in place. The fact that search did increase was actually irrelevant as conversion rate is the number metric I use to track our sites performance. Since conversion rate was impacted upon negatively there is no use even thinking about the removal of the logos.

We were actually quite intrigued that even though we are now a well known name in the online space, people still get a sense of comfort from seeing other more trusted brands like Telstra and BRW on our site. This just shows you that all trust logos including awards can have a dramatic effect on your website’s performance. So while they may not always look good they are definitely serving a purpose being there.

Future follow up for us here at Booktopia is to look to see if we can move our awards to another prominent place without effecting conversion rate. This would allow us to benefit from an increase in search while still maintaining our sales.

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The Power of Trust Logos : The Proof is in the Numbers

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