How security indicators on a donation form affect donor conversion

Experiment ID: #5991


CaringBridge offers free personal, protected websites for people to easily share updates and receive support and encouragement from their community during a health journey. Every 7 minutes, a CaringBridge website is created for someone experiencing a health event.

Experiment Summary

Timeframe: 12/21/2016 - 01/12/2017

CaringBridge had run a series of tests on their donation forms to significantly increase conversion over a period of three years. However, they proposed a new test, after reading a research study that showed that the most common reason web visitors didn’t complete transactions online was a perceived lack of security.

They wondered if their donation form was losing potential donors because it didn’t visually represent how secure it was. So, they created a special security box around the credit card section of form and added a padlock into the shaded box to represent that the form was secure. This didn’t make the form more secure—it was already PCI compliant and had the highest levels of security. All these design tweaks did was increase perception of security with the end user. They launched an A/B test to see if it increased donor conversion as they hypothesized.

Research Question

Will adding visual elements increase the perception of form security increase donor conversion?


C: Control
T1: Increased Security Indicators


 Treatment NameConv. RateRelative DifferenceConfidence
C: Control 29.2%
T1: Increased Security Indicators 33.4%14.4% 95.4%

This experiment has a required sample size of 935 in order to be valid. Since the experiment had a total sample size of 1,937, and the level of confidence is above 95% the experiment results are valid.

Flux Metrics Affected

The Flux Metrics analyze the three primary metrics that affect revenue (traffic, conversion rate, and average gift). This experiment produced the following results:

    0% increase in traffic
× 14.4% increase in conversion rate
× 0% increase in average gift

Key Learnings

The treatment with the additional visual indicators of security produced a 14.4% lift in donor conversion, which showed that there was a segment of donors who were convinced to complete their transaction with the extra reassurance that their transaction was secure.

What’s interesting is that the design of the CaringBridge form puts this test far below the “fold” of the page, which indicates that some visitors might have actually started the donation process and “bailed out” because they didn’t feel that their transaction would be secure. This suggests further testing to increase the perception of security earlier in the process.

Experiment Documented by Jeff Giddens
Jeff Giddens is President of NextAfter.

Question about experiment #5991

If you have any questions about this experiment or would like additional details not discussed above, please feel free to contact them directly.