Trusted Shops, EHI, Geprüfter Webshop, etc.: The Trust Seals for Your Online Shop in Germany05. 12. 2023 Autor Makenna Pierson
Is your online shop even trustworthy? In this article, you will find out what trust seals actually are, how certificates can help your online shop and how trust signals relate to a company’s performance.
What is meant by “trust seals” or certificates for online shop?
To confirm that an online shop or website is credible, customers most often look at the trust signals, those are for example reviews, recommendations and trust seals. Online stores with a certificate guarantee: security, availability and assurance that ordered parcels will arrive without any problems.
How do the certificates work and what guarantee do they offer?
There are many providers on the Internet who put their certificates online even without checking them. But how can the ordinary customer know which certificates are really credible? To answer this question, let’s take a look at the meaning and guarantee of the trust seals.
Acquiring the certificate
Basically, trust seals are signs, in the form of a visible logo, that signal to the website visitor that this online store meets certain quality and security standards. They are awarded by an institution following a verification as part of a certification process and are only given to companies that meet all of the transparent criteria. In Germany, the test criteria include for example: service quality, data and consumer protection, user-friendliness, transparency and security of the ordering as well as the payment process. The certificate then indicates a general number of trust points that characterize a website’s security.
Guarantee of the certificate
In order to check the guarantee of the trust seal, you should take appropriate measures. To check if it is a real trust seal, simply click on the image of the seal in the online shop. Then click either on the first link that leads to the official page of the trust seal or on the ratings of the online shop. In both cases, it should be possible to land at the page of the trust seal provider. This way you can easily recognize that it is a valid seal.
An example of warranty testing of the trust seal – Source: jolynclothing.de
If you are not redirected to another page or if the trust seal appears to be “blocked”, it is most likely a fake or self-created seal. Although this can usually also be recognized by the general appearance of the e-shop.
Which trust seals do we recommend?
Nowadays, there are many providers who can issue you with a certificate. Some specialize in a specific area, some are more popular than others. However, it is important to note that an online store with too many certificates looks rather suspicious. Therefore, the average number of certificates should be 2-3 certificates per e-shop. Which certificates are applicable for most websites and which ones would we recommend? Read on to find out.
The recommended trust seals
The best-known certificates in Germany (and their criteria, validity and costs) are listed below.
One of the best-known certificates is the “EHI geprüfter Online-Shop” (eng: “EHI-certified online store”). It contains many criteria (over 200 evaluation criteria) that online store operators must fulfill. As EHI has certified over 650 e-shops, this widespread trust seal is one of the most popular ones in Germany.
- The application for the EHI trust seal is divided into five steps – application, store check, EHI final check, optimization and granting of the seal.
The “Trusted Shops” trust seal is the best-known certificate for websites, as there were around 25,000 certified stores with this provider in 2019. In addition to the quality seal, Trusted Shops also offers special buyer protection, where customers’ purchases are insured up to €100. Many shoppers find this helpful as they are insured against fraud.
- During the inspection, the certification expert uses a catalog of criteria to check whether the e-shop is customer-friendly and trustworthy and therefore deserves the Trusted Shops trust seal.
- Other than that, Trusted Shops also offers a seal of trust, a money-back guarantee procedure and a system of customer reviews.
- A monthly membership varies depending on the size of the online turnover (gross) and the package. It is calculated from the combination of the online shop’s turnover and the product selection. For example: With an annual turnover of €100,000, Trusted Shops START membership costs €119 per month. You can choose from three types of package, depending on the expected extra conditions.
One of the trust seals that are important for online stores is “Geprüfter Webshop”. This seal also helps to give customers a secure feeling during online shopping.
- Above all, this certificate is very well known in Germany. The online store is legally checked and only then certified. If your online shop doesn’t pass the legal check, no costs are charged.
- The costs per trust seal are divided into four price categories – Trust Seal Start, Basic, Premium and Gold. You will pay €9.90 per month for the Start Package (€118.80 per year), which includes an advantageous evaluation tool, consent tool and notifications of all important changes to the law.
Datenschutz ips Gütesiegel
The ips trust seal, abbreviation for Internet Privacy Standards, mainly relates to data protection standards and data security. Your website is checked according to the criteria catalog regarding data protection law and information security of the system environment.
- The website inspection is conducted in 4 phases – auditing of the web portal, removal of the errors found, data protection inspection and following granting of the ips trust seal – together with an inspection report.
- This certificate is valid for 2 years, but after the expiration of the seal’s validity, a simple test can be carried out again to extend the validity again.
This seal is particularly suitable for large companies, such as hornbach.de or saturn.de. As the trust seal has a major impact on your e-shop, it is important to first confirm the size of your company.
- The TÜV SÜD – S@fer Shopping Trust Seal was discontinued in 2021 and has not been actively distributed ever since. However, there are other certification options that you can apply for.
- To maintain the quality of the online store, the seal holders are checked annually based on the on-site audit, the qualitative expert evaluations and their service documents (along with the social networks). The customer survey is also reviewed every two years.
- TÜV SÜD also provides a test mark catalog to check the validity of your online shop.
- Regarding the question “How much does TÜV SÜD cost”, we have already mentioned that this depends on the size of your company and your turnover. The annual cost per trust seal is around €5,950, although the price is calculated individually for each company and can vary greatly.
Other trust seals
Another practical trust seal is Proven Expert. Since more than 705,600 companies have this certificate, it is clearly a legitimate seal provider. This provider offers a very good option – a free ProvenExpert seal with the following features:
- You can publish a maximum of 10 visible reviews and have 5 surveys active at the same time. But you can also receive other functions with a free package, which are improved depending on the size and price of the package (bigger and more expensive package = more features). You can choose between the Free, Basic, Plus and Premium packages. The Basic package is priced at €30/year, whereby you can test a 30-day PREMIUM tariff – free of charge – before purchasing the package.
Next on our list is the eKomi seal, which is used in more than 15,000 online shops. The benefits of using eKomi are not only more satisfied customers, but also protection against the spread of artificially generated reviews, which are currently often the cause of customer mistrust
- The eKomi evaluation check is carried out in five steps, namely: Transaction (purchase of the product), sending the evaluation request, submitting the customer evaluation, reviewing the evaluations by Evaluation Management and the following social recommendations, where the potential customers read these exact evaluations.
- In addition, eKomi offers a free demo (“free 15 minutes long strategy consultation”), in which you can obtain useful information about the path to “more trustworthy customer recommendations”.
- The eKomi costs are not published on the website. The offer is therefore only sent directly to the potential customer after the e-mail address is entered.
This certificate is one of the most affordable trust seals. However, it is not particularly well known and can therefore be overlooked by many companies.
- The certificate is available for approx. €39 (and since the information on the trust seal is rather difficult to find, we recommend contacting the provider directly).
The Internetsiegel is given to an online store based on the 100 test criteria. It promises the security and data protection of customers, which can also lead to higher sales.
- The Internet seal offers free features, such as an arbitration board and debt collection service for members of the association. Otherwise, membership costs €15/month and the store trust seal costs €69 per year. The costs for a store trust seal differ for non-members and are €359/year.
Each sector of online shops also has specific certificates that differ depending on the product. For example our client bread.cz, who sells food and therefore has to have the food standard certificates.
Conclusion – One more trust seal to success
There are many other certificates and trust seals that you can use to complete your online shop. Which seal you choose in the end is now in your hands.
Since customers trust more websites with trust seals or reviews, certificates are a good way to increase sales. And if you want to achieve quick success, it would certainly be the best to rely on Trusted Shops.
But also bear in mind that small companies may not be able to pay the fees and therefore may not have a certificate. A small company without a trust seal is not automatically unsafe. In any case, it is always best to check the website before purchasing. Regardless of whether you are buying a trust seal or a product.