Headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, Anna’s Linens is the 14th largest retailer of home textiles and home decor items in the U.S. Anna’s Linens currently operates more than 300 stores throughout 20 states and Puerto Rico. Founded in 1987, the family-run business launched its e-commerce business, www.annaslinens.com, in 2006. Anna’s Linens’ brick-and-mortar stores and online business both focus on providing a wide variety low-cost, high-value home goods.
“Anna’s Linens entered the e-commerce scene rather late in the game,” says Lance Stern, the company’s director of e-commerce. “Initially the Internet business was more of a side project, but as it grew, the company recognized its immense potential and it became a key strategic priority.” Consequently, Anna’s Linens hired Stern and set out to lay the foundations for its e-commerce business to become a significant contributor to the company’s bottom line. “Our customer base is a high growth market segment but its consumers are not entirely comfortable purchasing goods over the Internet and they worry about safety and security,” notes Stern. “To keep them on our site and prevent shopping cart abandonment, we knew we needed to increase their confidence level. Gaining their trust became a top priority.”
“Our testing showed an increase in sales conversions near 20 percent—and over 30 percent for tablet users—thanks to the McAfee SECURE service. If displaying the McAfee symbol is increasing sales by even half those figures, the impact on revenue is huge.”Lance Stern
Director of E-Commerce, Anna's Linens
When Stern learned about the McAfee SECURE ™ trustmark program, he decided to see for himself the impact the McAfee SECURE trustmark made on sales conversions at www.annaslinens.com. Websites that use the McAfee SECURE service are tested daily by McAfee to help protect consumers from identity theft, viruses, spyware, and other online threats. If a site passes the McAfee SECURE security tests, then the McAfee SECURE trustmark is automatically displayed on the site along with the current date, thereby helping to set potential customers at ease so they can purchase from the site with confidence.
To test the effect of displaying the McAfee SECURE trustmark, Anna’s Linens hired ConversionIQ , a company that specializes in conversion rate optimization for e-commerce and lead generation websites. ConversionIQ conducted testing of six scenarios— no McAfee SECURE trustmark (the control scenario); trustmark on the footer only; trustmark on footer and product pages; trustmark on footer, product, and category pages; trustmark on footer, cart, and checkout pages; and trustmark in all the locations mentioned—for 13 days, until a statistical confidence level of greater than 96 percent was achieved. The result: displaying the McAfee SECURE trustmark throughout the site increased sales conversions 18.7 percent. For each of the other four scenarios, displaying the McAfee SECURE symbol increased sales conversions as well, but not as dramatically as in the “all locations” scenario.
Based on the results of ConversionIQ’s testing, Anna’s Linens decided to place the McAfee SECURE trustmark on all of its web pages. Stern, like many of ConversionIQ’s clients, had initially been apprehensive about testing placement of the McAfee symbol in so many places, afraid that doing so was overkill and would clutter the site’s web pages too much. He consented to the suggestion, however, and was glad he did.
ConversionIQ Co-Founder Mike Belasco explains why placing the symbol in all locations makes sense: “The McAfee SECURE trustmark on the banner at the top of the page tells the consumer right away that the site can be trusted. After browsing a few pages, however, ‘banner blindness’ results, so it helps to reinforce the trust message again by displaying the McAfee symbol on product pages. And you definitely want to display the symbol near action buttons and on the shopping cart pages because that’s when the customer needs the most confidence. As for the footer, only 20 percent of viewers ever view it, but those who do are the methodical consumers who need to see the symbol there. In short, there is a strategic reason for every placement of the McAfee SECURE symbol, and displaying it on every page is not too much.”
Results and ROI
In addition to causing an 18.7 percent rise in overall sales conversions, the McAfee SECURE trustmark had significant impact on tablet users. According to ConversionIQ’s tests, which were integrated with Google Analytics, the presence of the McAfee SECURE trustmark increased sales conversions for tablet users by 35 percent. “Purchasing using a tablet is still a relatively new trend,” says Belasco, “so seeing the McAfee trustmark really helps reassure the user that doing so is an acceptable practice.”
Although mobile commerce is still just emerging in the U.S., industry research shows that it is growing rapidly, particularly for tablets because of their larger screens. According to one study, tablets will account for 16.9 percent of all retail e-commerce purchases by 2016, up from 6.7 percent in 2012. (eMarketer, January 2013)
Although increased sales conversions was the main driver in Anna’s Linens purchase of the McAfee SECURE service, Stern also notes that the strong reputation and widespread recognition of the McAfee brand definitely influenced the decision as well. The company’s experience working with McAfee during the testing and afterward has also been very positive. In addition, the McAfee SECURE service helps keep Anna’s Linens e-commerce business secure by comprehensively scanning its website daily for more than 50,000 vulnerabilities.
“We are excited to have the McAfee brand working for us, instilling confidence in our customers so they will follow through on their purchases,” says Stern. “Our testing showed an increase in sales conversion near 20 percent—and over 30 percent for tablet users—thanks to the McAfee SECURE service. If displaying the McAfee symbol is increasing sales by even half those figures, the impact on revenue is huge.”