Yahoo announced a new Live Store badge program on May 28, 2014, aimed at helping ecommerce merchants “showcase their achievements, inspire shopper confidence, and promote their most popular products with dynamic badges they can post to their website.”
The new and free program is similar to other trust-boosting services, and may be meant to introduce online retailers to Yahoo’s recently-rebranded Live Web Insights ecommerce analytics service. Live Web Insights is a renamed and updated version of the Lexity Web Insights application that Yahoo acquired in July 2013.
How Live Store Badges Work
Data from Yahoo Live Web Insights, including information about site traffic and customer behavior, drives the new Live Store badge program. The analytics data is used to define top performing sites, and award those sites with dynamically generated badges.
“Using this data,” wrote Yahoo Small Business Head of Ecommerce Rajat Mukherjee, in a blog post. “We’ve created a set of awards that merchants — both large and small — can highlight to potential customers. The current awards include: Engaged Visitors, Loyal Following, Top Destination, Pro Seller, Easy Shopping, and Secure Checkout (available to all Yahoo stores).”
Because only top rated or performing sites are given awards, it is possible that a merchant could participate in the Live Store badge program without actually having any awards show up on site, although they will still have the trust badge, and any qualified retailers also using Yahoo’s ecommerce platform get an award automatically because of their use of Yahoo’s checkout encryption.
Yahoo also said that the criteria for earning awards and qualifying for a badge will evolve over time.
When it does appear the badge show up at the bottom of a participating seller’s site, and it can be expanded to explain more about the seller’s awards and show off some of the retailer’s best performing products.
The Engaged Visitors badge will go to merchants, large and small, whose sites encourage shoppers to stick around longer than do visitors to other similar stores.
The Loyal Following award is for online stores whose visitors come back relatively more often that visitors to other similar online stores.
The Top Destination award is for sites that get relatively more visitors than similar competitive sites.
The Easy Shopping award is for online shops with customers that convert more readily than similar competitive stores.
The Pro Seller award is for stores with relatively more actual orders than other similar stores.
The Secure Checkout award is something of a “homer” for qualified merchants using Yahoo’s ecommerce platform. It is not available to sellers using other platforms.
Live Store Supported on Many Leading Ecommerce Platforms
Thanks, in part, to Lexity’s relative success for the four years leading up to its acquisition, Yahoo Live Insights is already integrated with many important ecommerce platforms. Some of these include the following.
- Amazon Webstore
- Zen Cart
- Yahoo Stores
Perhaps conspicuous by absence from the list of integrations are WooCommerce (although there is a WordPress integration), Mozu, and LemonStand. Yahoo Live Insights can be integrated into other platforms too.
One of Yahoo Live Insights best features, its mobile application, is currently limited to iPhones.
The Importance of Building Trust
The Yahoo Live Store badge program at its core addresses a very important marketing task for ecommerce businesses: building trust with potential customers.
“While consumers are familiar with the big name stores,” wrote Yahoo’s Mukherjee in an email to Practical Ecommerce, “building trust can be more difficult for the small and medium-sized business that is operating online, and is a crucial step in creating customer engagement and willingness to purchase. Yahoo’s Live Store badges program gives online merchants a valuable tool to establish and build trust based on real-time data.”
Similar to Google Trusted Site and Other Services
The focus on trust makes the Yahoo Live Store badge program similar to Google’s Trusted Stores program at least in its aim if not in how it is awarded.
The Google Trusted Stores program has been shown to impact both conversion rates and average order size in a positive way. As an example, Beau-coup — which sells wedding and party favors, supplies, and gifts — has reported a 3.1 percent increase in conversions and a 5.5 percent boost in average order size since implementing Trusted Stores.
“It’s a win-win situation: consumers get the assurance of seeing our performance grades based on the actual experience of customers, while Beau-coup enjoys the higher sales that come with that buyer confidence,” said Beau-coup CEO Tom Cole on the Google Trusted Stores website.
Finally, Truste’s privacy badge is also known to help merchants build trust.
Yahoo’s new Live Store badge program adds to the mix of possible trust builders. Since these badge programs are not exclusive, merchants can work with one or more of them.