How trustworthy are quality seals?

How trustworthy are quality seals?

Article by Juliane Mischer

It only takes a few clicks and the new sweater, smartphone or watch are on their way to us. Online shopping is convenient and part of everyday life for the majority of Germans. Trust in the retailer is a key factor in ensuring that we fill the shopping cart. Many online stores therefore rely on seals of approval to signal their trustworthiness. Karlotta Sofie Kneschke investigated the effect these seals have on consumers as part of her final thesis in the Media and Communication Management (B.A.) program at the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg. With the support of the online portal statista, she conducted a representative online survey of more than 1,000 consumers.


Quality seals act as a trustworthy third party and are checked and awarded by provider-independent bodies that charge money in return for their use. When shopping in an online store they know, 58 percent of respondents pay attention to whether the store has a seal of approval – in the case of online retailers they don’t yet know, the seals are even important to 66 percent of respondents. Only 14 percent of those surveyed said they did not consider seals of approval to be trustworthy in principle.

“For new or smaller and unknown online retailers in particular, seals of approval therefore play an important role in convincing consumers of their worth,” explains Prof. Dr. Sascha Hoffmann, Professor of Online Management, who supervised the thesis.



From the consumer’s point of view, seals of approval exude trust above all when the seal or the organization awarding it seems familiar to them. The seals from Trusted Shops, TÜV Süd and TÜV Saarland were particularly recognizable. […]


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