The power of independent trust marks for ecommerce

Edinburgh Assay Office chief executive officer and Assay Master, Scott Walter, has described the power of independent trust marks, like Assay Assured, in an interview with Professional Jeweller.

The scheme was launched as a business-to-consumer tactic designed to support quality and legitimate businesses. Consumers can also send product they’ve bought to be checked by the Assay Office if they are concerned about the legitimacy of a piece.

The Assay Assured trust mark is projected onto brand and retailer websites, meaning it is hosted by the Edinburgh Assay Office and is therefore independent.

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As Walter explains: “All consumers now intuitively assess an ecommerce site and experienced e-shoppers do it almost without thinking. They are looking for signs that it is a legitimate site and independent trust marks that are specific to your industry can have a huge impact on how consumers shop.”

He continues: “A significant chunk of the public aren’t buying jewellery online yet. They might be thinking about it and have read all sorts of horror stories. However, the take-up we have had from retailers [for the Assay Assured scheme] has been especially strong at the top-end with diamond jewellery retailers, who understand how important it is to gain trust and confidence when the ticket price is high. We also have bigger retailers like Beaverbrooks, SWAG and F. Hinds who are using it as well.”

Assay Assured is also a method of differentiation, says Walter, with retailers who opt in to the scheme showcasing their willingness to be transparent and independently audited.

An in-depth interview with Scott Walter will be available to read in the June 2015 issue of Professional Jeweller.