SSL Certificates facilitate an encrypted connection between a browser and a web server while also authenticating the identity of the website that owns the cert. With an SSL/TLS certificate, it's important to remember that the end user is the one visiting the website, but they are not the one who owns the certificate itself–that belongs to the company operating the website.
There are three kinds of certificates, DV, OV and EV. They offer varying levels of authentication but the same form of industry-standard encryption. The key to selecting the right SSL/TLS certificate is deciding what level of authentication you need. Smaller websites that do not collect user information may be better off saving money on a DV certificate. Business websites and E-Commerce sites should spring for an OV or EV certificate depending on their size and need for authentication.