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Forum Moderators: buckworks
joined:Oct 25, 2005
I am just curious to see if the online seal is worth it and if anyone currently has it and how its impacted their online business sales. We are hoping the online seal will result in increased sales to offset the cost.
I think the BBB and trust-e where a pre-2000 thing when websites where trying to gain customer confidence. That confidence exists now, for most people, and I think that there's better things you could invest in to sale more online.
Any time I'm buying from a new site I do a couple things. First off, I usually won't buy from a site with a poor design. A poor design in the sense that it's a 'cookie cutter' design and easy to quickly shut down and replicate as an identical site with a different name. Usually those sites buy Pay-Per-Click and come and go pretty quickly. They don't exist long enough to rank well for much in Google (not Froogle mind you). Additionally, their prices are substantially lower than anyone else's.
I also do searches on Google to see how customers have rated the site and the company. This often tells you if it's a scam or not. If I don't find good reviews (or any reviews) I just won't buy from that site.
So, to answer your question.... I'd spend the money on SEO, upgrading your systems to 'up-sale' customers or spend it on Pay-Per-Click, newsletters and such things. $7,000 could probably be invested in a much better way than buying a seal in my opinion.
The BBB does not give you credibility...the quality of your product, timely delivery and excellent customer service will in short time accomplish this for you.
To me when shopping online it denotes a small time operation.Absolutely. BBB is important--even vital--if you're a sleazy roofing company... in business "Since Last November." Otherwise it's not worth the money.
Can you cite a NYSE firm that displays the BBB seal on their website? Wal-mart? K-Mart? Sears?
joined:Dec 10, 2005
We looked into the program several years ago. Before looking into it, I would have placed a lot of value in having it. But once I found out the price, and the fact that pretty much anyone who pays gets to put up the seal (unless they already have lots of complaints), it greatly diminished the value for us.
For us, especially since we have a lot of international customers who don't know what the BBB is, it certainly wasn't worth it.
I do think it would help due to the fact. maybe for USA based customers only.
have you ever had to file a complaint. I did several times actually my wife did and we got it resolved. But before we filed I couldn't even get a response, but after we did the complaint the company woke up.
I will look anytime i see the seal on a site to see how or if there are any outstanding complaints.
Yet you see the seal used online in many ways that I believe violate BBB policies. Local chapters have different rules and standards. Then there is the Online BBB which I guess is something different.
In all my years in business, I've never had a customer ask whether we were a BBB member (we actually were until about 15 years ago). Of course we aren't in the home repair field or any high consumer risk business.
BBB had fallen on hard times in the 80s and 90s. Chapters were closing. I believe the WSJ called it a relic of 19th century small town America.... no match for modern mega-corp fraud on a grand scale.
About a month later we started getting mail solicitations from the BBB to join...that was followed up with BBB telemarketers calling.
I wonder if at the time we had been a member of the BBB when that lady that wasn't playing with a full deck of cards filed the complaint...that the BBB would have rightly decided in our favor?
I am just curious to see if anyone is a member and if they have displayed the seal on their site and how it impacted their sales. Our typical sales is between $1000-$100000, so we are not selling cheap items. Anything to help boost confidence helps. A good example is google check out, we recently added that to our ecommerce sites and sales increased by 15%. It built "trust" in some customers because the know that google is a huge company and does consumers right. Now as far as the "hacker safe" seal, customers really do not care about that. They do look for "secured sites" certificates though which we have and display.
Even if we increase sales by 1-2% it will be worth it. Anyone have any real experience or data?
joined:Oct 25, 2005
So it seems as if everyone is speculating on the seal and no one has it? I really did not start this thread to slam the bbb or talk about customers and experiences with the bbb.
I started this thread to find out if sales increased! Anyone?
joined:Oct 25, 2005
In one of your posts you say it's going to cost $7,000. In another post someone else says it's $200. I'm assuming you want to use it on about 35 businesses then correct? I think the $7,000 figure was throwing people off a bit.
You then go on to mention you have a business where customers regularly spend $10K - $100K annually and the average purchase price is significantly larger than most e-commerce stores. I would definitely at least get it for that store.
I'm sure many of us have stores where the average ticket sale is $30-80 and for us it's not really worth it. It would have to bring in an extra 5-10 sales per month for us to get the cost back. When someone is shopping for my items they could care less about a BBB seal. When someone is going to spend $1,000 - $100,000 with you I'm sure seeing a BBB seal will give them some re-assurance.
The cost depends on business size, dollar amount and amount of websites and if your a publically traded company or not. The costs are listed out on the bbb website.
It is indeed an investment and I am sure there are people on webmaster world who have purchased the seal. Even if they are a smaller company that does $60-$80 transactions and the seal only cost them $200 I am curious to see if it improved sales.
IMO most people who are members of this forum don't need a BBB seal on their websites because they know much better techniques to bring in sales. This is why you are getting no feedback with regard to your original question.
We do not really have any issues with sales what so ever and our advertising budget is in the hundreds of thousands a year.
I guess no one really has experimented around with this who is actively posting to the forum.
We are looking to get any edge possible on our competitors, so I guess we will try it out and see how it works.
Any official looking membership logo is going to have a certain level of subconcious impact on your visitors. I always recommend that my clients promote their memberships whenever possible.
Consumers should be aware that the presence of these logos does not mean that they are safe from the many things that could happen while doing business in today's environment.
There was a company once in the SEO Industry that used their BBB membership as a means to defraud hundreds of clients out of millions of dollars. In this instance, the BBB logo provided a "sense of security" for the consumers. Sometimes our "senses" are off. ;)
Personally, I feel if they are professionally presented and I am familiar with them from my everyday business activities, they do lend a "sense" of credibility. The more, the merrier.
And, those Hacker Safe logos? I've always felt they provide an "invitation" for miscreants.
BBBOnLine Reliability Seal Program
BBBOnLine Privacy Seal Program
I haven't had occasion to obtain it for a client as yet, but will be doing so soon after we've completed updating a particular client's ecommerce site. I've been reading around, talking to clients, and talking to client's clients, and have come to the conclusion that the worth of paying for the seal probably is to a large degree determined by the demographic you're trying to attract. The client for whom we will be purchasing the seal deals mostly with businesses, financial institutions such as banks and CUs; they also do a lot of government (municipal, state, federal and military) business, and they rely on upon building customer relationships and repeat business - they believe that seal will mean something to those groups. Even if it never directly translates to more sales, it's important to the image of trust and reliability that they want to convey.
I have other clients in other fields who deal with entirely different types of customers, and it would probably not be worth spending the money on for them.
Heck, when all else fails, poll some of your customers and ask what types of things are important to them when choosing an online presence with which to do business. That's what we did (and are always doing)
The posters who point out that Sears, Amazon , (insert other old, established name here) don't have it are missing the whole point. If you are trying to make a name for your site, and your main target audience is in the US then that's what its good for. I'd say that most of us here are not Sears or Amazon, but smaller shops. Also I think if your target audience are 40+ years old this would also make a difference. I think the BBB is one organization that helps bridge baby boomers from a b & m mentality to the net.
Our experience with the BBB has been positive - we just won an award for Website Marketing Excellence this past year and went to the awards banquet - which was surprising big(for a rather small state) and fancy. Now we have a BBB plaque and something to brag about too. Not to mention some networking that might pay off later on.
A suggestion to the OP - can you see if you can get a bulk deal since you are doing it for so many sites? It seems like you can get a deal for that amount.
PPC "a sponsored listing instills more trust than anything else."
Most people don't know what a sponsered listing is. I'm really suprised at how many common surfers I've seen actually avoid the sponsered listings because "it's usually not what I want"
Incidentally, we have a local storefront in the community and an online presence.
[edited by: LostOne at 6:51 pm (utc) on Mar. 4, 2007]