SSL Blog readers will know that I believe the presence of the VeriSign Secured Seal causes site visitors to be more likely to complete transactions. The idea appeals to my reason. Extensive research indicates that consumers are afraid of online security and that they opt out of transactions in response. The VeriSign Secured Seal is widely recognized as an indicator of premium security on a site. Therefore it follows that site visitors will be less reluctant to proceed when the VeriSign Secured Seal is present.
It's also supported by anecdotal evidence. I can't count the number of people who have told me that they like to see the seal on a site before they put in confidential information. Nor the number of site owners who have told me that they believe their own customers expect to see the seal and reward them for including it.
However, in terms of hard measured results, I have only had a single data point to go in. As you may know, European online travel giant Opodo compared sales with and without the VeriSign Secured Seal present and found a 10% uplift in sales. 10% is a lot of sales, and that's an eye-opening statistic. It's also the only statistic we had.
We recently discovered that online retailer VirtualSheetMusic.com has measured the results of both the VeriSign Secured Seal and Extended Validation SSL on its site traffic. The results are astounding. VirtualSheetMusic.com does exactly what its name implies. It is an online store that allows you to select and download classical sheet music. In an A/B split test, VirtualSheetMusic compared purchasing behaviors among its customer base where the only difference was that one set of customers saw the VeriSign Secured Seal and the other set did not. The online retailer saw a 31% increase in sales where the seal was displayed over where it was not. VirtualSheetMusic then went on to measure the effect of EV on site visitors using compatible browsers, and the company found a 13% increase due to that improvement as well.
Said president and founder Fabrizio Ferrari, "VeriSign is the leader, the best known name in transaction security and Web site authenticity. I don't know why everyone doesn't use VeriSign."