The influence of trust signals in advertising

Trust is the lifeblood of all businesses; without it, it can be almost impossible to generate sales, especially from consumers who have never used your service before. However, trust is hard to earn and easy to lose. No one wants to get ripped off or receive poor service.

What are trust signals and why are they so important?

Trust signals are anything that makes consumers feel more confident about making a purchase. They help to prove the business is authentic, reliable and capable of delivering the product or service required. They’ve even been proven to increase conversions, lower cart abandonment and boost average spend.

From logos and badges, like the Trusted Service Awards, to verified reviews and testimonials, there are a wide variety of trust signals businesses can utilise to increase consumer confidence. Even something as simple as having your contact details and links to your social channels in plain sight can be enough to convince consumers to click the buy button.

Almost three-quarters of consumers (73%) say that seeing the Feefo badge on adverts makes them more likely to buy, according to independent research. 

Pay attention... Here comes the science bit! Trust signals play into our cognitive biases, which is why they’re so effective. Cognitive biases are the shortcuts that our brains create to help us make decisions when processing and interpreting information, or during those times when there is simply too much detail to wade through.

There are several types of cognitive bias, and they all affect the decisions we make. For example, when we’re looking to buy a new car or another high-ticket item, our confirmation bias kicks in. We’ll look for any information that confirms our preconception that the purchase is a good decision and at that point, trust signals can give the justification that we need by ‘confirming that the product is highly-rated, award-winning, or popular.

How to use trust signals in advertising

Most businesses are already using trust signals online, whether they realise it or not. Feefo clients, for example, often display their Feefo rating on their homepage, which links to their reviews page. Some even add the Feefo logo to the checkout page, next to the ‘buy’ button, to help reduce cart abandonment rates.

Trust signals also work in offline advertising. Billboards, magazine adverts, TV ads and flyers must capture an audience’s attention quickly, so they are often scanned for images and key messaging.

An award logo, star rating or customer testimonial simply and effectively demonstrates trust to consumers, especially if a recognisable brand logo is used. Having your brand associated with another trusted brand can help secure customers and foster loyalty.

If your goal is to push people to your website, you should continue to reinforce that message of trust once they arrive. When the online estate agent PurpleBricks, won a Feefo Trusted Service Award, they made the most of the opportunity by including awards branding in their marketing campaigns.

Make sure that you stay consistent and display any logos that you’ve used in your advertising clearly on your website or in your store’s window display and relevant point-of-sale collateral.

How do trust signals combat fake reviews?

Customer reviews remain one of the biggest and most powerful trust indicators at a company’s disposal. They help build confidence in your brand by displaying real opinions from real people, each offering genuine insight into the quality of your product or service. There are, however, growing concerns about the validity of customer feedback.

The concept of fake reviews is nothing new, but are they illegal? Read our blog to learn more.

Fake reviews continue to be a cause of doubt amongst consumers. In fact, not being able to prove the quality of your feedback can actually end up doing more harm than good to your business.

That’s why Feefo exists: to help you establish and nurture strong relationships with your customers based on trust. As the world's leading verified reviews platform, we only allow genuine customers to leave feedback, so you and your customers can rest safe in the knowledge that all reviews are authentic.

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