Nearly One-Fifth of Consumers Don’t Trust Ecommerce Sites with CC Info

Add another headache to the list of cart abandonment issues hindering ecommerce brands.

A new Baymard Institute study shows 18% of shoppers have abandoned a checkout in the last three months because they didn’t trust ecommerce sites with their credit card information.

Payment information trust ranked fifth out of the top nine reasons for abandonment during checkout in the study. “The site wanted me to create an account” was the top cause of abandonment at 35%, followed by the checkout process being too long or complicated (27%), being unable to see the total order cost upfront (24%) and website errors (22%).

Delivery being too slow (16%), a returns policy that wasn’t satisfactory (10%), too few payment options (8%) and a credit card being declined (5%) rounded out the top nine abandonment concerns.

Payment trust abandonment is largely based on the gut feeling of shoppers, the study found, and it stems largely from how visually secure a page looks. Page design prompts shoppers to instinctively feel some parts of a page are less secure than others, the study found.

“What we consistently observe is that any parts of a checkout page with trust badges, reassuring microcopy and a general visual ‘robustness’ are often perceived as being more secure, while parts without these visual clues inspire less confidence – despite the fact that these fields are all part of the same form on the same page,” Baymard said in a blog post about the report. The new study reaffirmed results from studies in 2009 and 2012.

Noting that all sections of the checkout process are equally secure, and abandonment issues are related to perception, Baymard said shoppers don’t show security concerns during checkout steps asking for their address, shipping method and similar information. The concerns kick in when users hit the credit card interface, especially for brands that aren’t well-known household names like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Walmart.

“By contrast, when testing (ecommerce sites) that are newer, less well-known or more niche than these major brands, we have observed users raise security concerns very easily if there are no visual clues. Hence, the more well-known a site or brand is, the less ‘visual security emphasis’ clues are needed,” Baymard said.

The 1,044 respondents in the Baymard Institute study, representing the average U.S. adult internet population, “generally had less confidence in the security of their credit card details on pages where the credit card form didn’t ‘look’ or ‘feel’ more secure than the rest of the form fields used for less sensitive information.” An example noted how the credit card fields and address fields look the same on a Macy’s checkout page.

The trust issue can be remedied through several measures, including simple visual upgrades to ecommerce sites that underscore a perception of security, such as using borders, background colors and shading for the credit card field. Layout quirks and technical bugs are other easily addressed factors that erode consumer confidence.

“Another visual clue that during testing also proved effective at increasing the perceived level of security (and adding robustness to the encapsulation) is the use of ‘site seals,’ such as trust badges, SSL seals and similar symbols suggesting trustworthiness,” the study found.

The Norton SSL seal establishes the best sense of trust, Baymard Institute found, followed by the Google Trusted Store and McAfee Secure badges.