Online contact lens supplier AC Lens switched to VeriSign Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates and saw gigantic increases in both conversion rates and revenue per transaction for users who could then see EV’s green address bar: 41% and 58% respectively. These two increases combine for an outstanding per-customer revenue difference of 123% between visitors using EV-compatible and non EV-compatible browsers. With all the extra growth in sales, AC Lens is now encroaching on the industry’s long-entrenched leader.

AC Lens is a full-service, direct delivery supplier of contact lenses and vision care items over the Internet. The company combines low prices with dedicated, personalized customer service. Currently, AC Lens ships to all 50 U.S. states as well as Europe, South America, and the Far East.

Moving to the Number One Vendor in SSL Name Recognition

Even though it faces intense competition, AC Lens is one of the fastest growing optical suppliers in the world. In fact, the company is enjoying record sales despite the difficult economy, further reinforced by its recent emergence into the Inc. 5000. One of the reasons for its success, according to Marketing Manager Bob Drumm, is its reliance on VeriSign for SSL Certificates. “Several years ago we switched to VeriSign from another supplier to take advantage of VeriSign’s 100% brand recognition,” Drumm said. “We’re sure that our move to VeriSign contributed to the increase in sales we’ve seen, and we’re definitely happy that we made that call.”

More recently, to take further advantage of the partnership, AC Lens took the next step by implementing VeriSign Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates. “The press was making a compelling case for EV Certificates, and after all our success with VeriSign there wasn’t any doubt where we should go to get them,” explained Drumm. “The whole point of EV is to instill an extra level of comfort in users that the personal information they enter online is safe, which makes it doubly important that they recognize and trust the EV Certificates’ supplier. VeriSign means security in people’s minds.”

More recently, to take further advantage of the partnership, AC Lens took the next step by implementing VeriSign® Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates. “The press was making a compelling case for EV Certificates, and after all our success with VeriSign there wasn’t any doubt where we should go to get them,”explained Drumm. “The whole point of EV is to instill an extra level of comfort in users that the personal information they enter online is safe, which makes it doubly important that they recognize and trust the EV Certificates’ supplier. VeriSign means security in people’s minds.”

Converting Users to Sales 41% More Often, and Enjoying 58% More Revenues per Transaction

To measure the impact of moving to EV, AC Lens conducted a set of tests shortly after the implementation. For a period of two months the firm tracked conversions to sales and revenues per transaction, segmenting the results by browser version employed. Users of EV-enabled versions such as Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 3 delivered far better results in both areas than did users of older versions that are incapable of displaying the EV green bar. Conversions to sales were 41% higher, and revenues per sale were an even more stunning 58% higher. With more visitors converting to purchase and buying more when they do, the net effect is that on a per-customer basis those who saw the green bar delivered 123% more to AC Lens’ revenue stream than those who did not.

“The results made it crystal clear that EV provides an extra measure of confidence that pushes people to proceed all the way to a purchase and not abandon their carts, but the vast difference in revenue per sale says something more,” reported Drumm. “It tells us that people who don’t see the bar turn green tend to buy only the things they absolutely need, if they buy anything at all, while those who do see the green bar are much more inclined to dabble and add discretionary items. It’s because of the extra confidence that EV instills.”

AC Lens’s IT team performed installation of both standard and EV SSL Certificates expeditiously and therefore has not been in touch with VeriSign technical support. VeriSign’s sales support team, however, stays in regular contact with the company. “They always do a fine job of keeping us up to date on developments,” reported Drumm. “It was they who first alerted us to the availability of EV, which we really appreciated. Because of them we started seeing the increase in sales a lot earlier.”

In addition to its vision care site, AC Lens publishes other e-commerce Web sites that provide other kinds of products. All of them use VeriSign SSL Certificates, and the firm plans to move them all to VeriSign EV SSL shortly to achieve similar boosts in sales.

Closing the Gap on the Industry Leader

The online vision care industry remains highly competitive. One especially large company has historically dominated the market, but AC Lens is now encroaching on that firm’s number one position. “Our sales are rising fast while theirs are flat,” concludes Drumm. “I think it’s no coincidence that we use VeriSign and they don’t.”

 

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