Google Trusted Stores – A Potential Game Changer in eCommerce

As of last month, Google Trusted Stores is officially out of beta; the program helps increase consumer confidence while shopping online with participating merchants. When merchants meet the requirements, they are able to display the Google Trusted Stores badge on their eCommerce web site.

Google Trusted Stores: An Overview

These days, many shoppers are hesitant about security while shopping online. Google Trusted Stores can help customers identify eCommerce web sites that consistently offer a great online shopping experience. With Google Trusted Stores, consumers can count on reliable, on-time shipping, excellent customer service, and Google’s help resolving any issue that come up with their orders.

How it Works

eCommerce stores who meet certain criteria can participate in the free program. Merchants are able to display a Google Trusted Store badge on their eCommerce sites. Google highlights success stories of how the Google Trusted Stores program has increased conversions and revenue.

Metrics That Sellers are Judged On

eCommerce web sites that are accepted into the program must have a proven record of reliable shipping, as well as great customer service. By evaluating and monitoring eCommerce stores in the program, Google is able to ensure that merchants accepted into the Google Trusted Stores program continue to deliver excellent online shopping experiences.

Shipping Standards:

  • High rate of orders that are shipped on-time
  • Merchants must ship within the timeframe given to customers at the time of order
  • Quick shipping

Service Standards:

  • Participating eCommerce web sites must resolve issues quickly
  • Low rate of customers that have issues with orders and need assistance

How it Protects Consumers

When customers decide to opt into to the Google Trusted Stores program, if they can’t resolve any issues with a participating merchant, Google will help them resolve the issue. This can mean a full refund, or it can mean that the item is replaced.

Google Trusted Stores purchase protection covers the entire purchase amount, up to $1000 in lifetime claims, including both tax and shipping. After customers’ opt-in to the free program, they will receive an email confirming the protection. Customers must report an issue within 60 days of when they place the order.

Google Seal of Trustworthiness

One of the unique aspects of the Google Trusted Store program is the Google Trusted Store logo—a seal of trustworthiness. As a merchant, when you are accepted into the Google Trusted Store program, you will receive a badge to display on your eCommerce web site. As customers move their mouse over the badge, they will see some key performance metrics—including the reliability of shipping and customer service.

Google Trusted Stores vs. Amazon Prime

It is no secret Amazon has the corner on the online shopping market; many consumers turn to the popular site to start their shopping searches. Back in 2011, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google was developing a one-day shipping program to compete with Amazon Prime.

Here’s a brief comparison of the programs:

Cost

  • Amazon Prime costs $79 per year for shoppers, this includes unlimited two-day shipping
  • Google Trusted Stores is free for both merchants and consumers.

Shipping

  • Amazon Prime includes free two-day shipping
  • At this time, the Google Trusted Stores does not include a shipping service. It is likely they will add some sort of shipping service in the future.

Identification for Merchants

  • Amazon Prime does not have any badges for participating merchants.
  • Google Trusted Stores clearly highlights budget on participating merchant eCommerce sites.

While Google Trusted Sites is a bit different than the Wall Street Journal originally reported, the main similarity is the seller metrics:

Seller Metrics

  • Sellers participating in Amazon Prime must be working towards maintaining a level of service that meets the strict standards. Order defect rates must be less than 1 percent. Pre-fulfillment rate cancel rate must be less than 2.5 percent, and less than 4 percent of orders can be shipped late. If merchants fail to meet these targets, their selling privileges can be revoked.
  • Google Trusted Stores require that participating merchants must have on-time shipping more than 90 percent of the time. The cancellation rate must be less than 2.5 percent.

The Google Trusted Stores program will help increase customer confidence with participating merchants while shopping online–it will also help Google increase revenue from product searches. The program is currently open to merchants in the United States.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nii Ahene is COO of CPC Strategy, a shopping feed management agency and is responsible for day-to-day business operations and long-term financial, tactical and strategic planning for the company. He has been with CPC Strategy since January of 2007. Prior to working with CPC Strategy, Nii was a product manager at eBay working on algorithmic merchandising and reviews and guides.

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