Trust mark launch offers a new opportunity for cross-border e-tailers

22 November, 2017

In the world of online sales, success is all about trust.

With scare stories about online fraud, identity theft, and stolen data appearing regularly in the press, it’s more important than ever that customers have confidence that ordering from an online retail business will be safe and secure – even if they are ordering from across the world. That’s where a new scheme from the E-commerce Foundation can come in, as managing director Jorij Abraham outlined in a recent Q&A with Asendia.

Asendia: What is the current environment for online shoppers and trust in e-tailers?

Jorij Abraham: Our most recent research shows that cross-border e-commerce is growing – up 17 per cent in 2017 – and is firmly set to continue to grow, but trust is still a big issue for both consumers and merchants. A recent study by the UN revealed that 49 per cent of all consumers who have not yet shopped online are hesitating because of a lack of trust*. And when it comes to cross-border transactions, the level of consumer trust in e-commerce nearly halves.

49% of all consumers who have not yet shopped online point to trust as the main barrier

Asendia: What concerns are holding back customers, in your experience?

JA: Common concerns include: “Will the product arrive? Will I receive an authentic product (not a fake)? Can I return a product? If I do, will I get my money back?” And, the farther the product source is from the consumer geographically, the greater the lack of trust. Language and distance start to play a role – and also uncertainty about which consumer laws apply. Does a Chinese webshop accept returns, for example, and which product guarantees still apply?

Asendia: What have businesses traditionally done to reassure online customers that they are worthy of their trust?

JA: For payments, traditional options have included displaying a ‘padlock’ sign and incorporating Secure Socket Layer protection (which consumers see as the prefix https:// on a web address) or displaying the logo of and using a domain name and internet security provider. Consumers are looking at peer review sites such as TrustPilot, so having a presence there and responding promptly and professionally to any customer complaints or issues could be a good investment for the future.

Of course, working with a reliable delivery partner like Asendia is important. It means that customers will receive their order on time and to expectations – they can track their delivery, return items easily, and won’t get any surprises like additional customs fees to pay or related delays.

Asendia: You’ve recently launched a new trust tool – what is it and how can it help?

JA: The E-commerce Foundation has just launched Safe.Shop, a global trust mark. We’ve created it in co-operation with 14 national e-commerce and retail associations, and it has already launched in 12 countries, including Germany, Japan and Brazil. Our goal is that it will be in use in 30 countries next year, to provide a global ‘umbrella’ brand built on local trust. Safe.Shop-certified businesses will adhere to a Global E-commerce Code of Conduct that incorporates guarantees on 11 criteria.

Asendia: Why is it important that Safe.Shop is a global mark? Aren’t there other schemes?

JA: There are about 300 e-commerce trust marks in use worldwide, and apart from a few, they are all national initiatives – like Belgium’s Be-commerce, bevh in Germany or Webwinkelkeur in The Netherlands. Some of them focus on legal compliance, others on financial reliability, security, reviews or anti-counterfeiting. Others try to cover all or most of these aspects. While they can increase trust nationally, they may not convince consumers from outside those national boundaries to make a purchase.

Also, companies that want to enter multiple markets need to be certified in each country individually, and achieving certification by so many different trust mark schemes takes a lot of time and effort.

Asendia: What do you expects the benefits for businesses to be?

JA: Benefits could include an increase in conversion of up to 20 per cent, reduced legal costs and growth in cross-border sales.

Asendia: What are your hopes for Safe.Shop in the future?

JA: By 2020 I hope we can truly claim to be a global brand for online shopping, allowing consumers and merchants to shop and sell worldwide with confidence.

To find out more or apply for Safe.Shop certification visit

*Source: 2017 CIGI-IPSOS Global Survey on Internet Security & Trust

Consumer confidence: the Asendia advantage

An important part of the trust equation is providing a seamless transaction and delivery that is on-time and to expectations. This is where our partnership with eShopWorld can help, providing:

  • An integrated, one-stop-shop solution
  • Local returns solutions worldwide
  • International methods of payment that account for exchange rates, data protection and custom clearance
  • Fully-landed cost calculations.
Learn more about how we can

help your business cross borders with confidence at