For a majority of shoppers buying online is still a strange new experience. When I walk into Best Buy I don’t have to worry about the company’s credibility which helps focus on the buying process. But when I click on a Google result and visit a site for the first time there is no way to know if they offer good service, what other shoppers think about them or how they back promises. Some companies have reviews and other virus-free security seals, but there is no real standard, which leaves the shopper to assume the retailer is cherry-picking. I personally like using bbb.org but unless the etailer has a BBB link on their homepage looking up info is a multi-step process (translation: people will not use it).
BBB should develop a browser plug-in which shows company ratings when I land on a site (or reveal if the company is not listed). The reason BBB is my recommended solution is because it is a trusted source most consumers already know about. The other benefit is that BBB is two sided, customers can complain and companies can respond: