Google’s newly launched Trusted Stores provides an added layer of trust for consumers and promotes e-commerce. But is this a double-edged sword for retailers?
Google is leveraging its trust with consumers and cleverly inserting itself into the e-commerce process through its newly launched Trusted Stores pilot program.
The program aims to help shoppers feel confident in their purchases across the web, as well as highlight those retailers who get the Google stamp of approval (a Google Trusted Store badge) in terms of their shipping and customer service metrics, which include:
- High percentage of orders with on-time shipping.
- Participating merchants must ship the order within the timeframe specified at purchase.
- Low average days for product to ship.
- Participating merchants must ship quickly.
- High percentage of issues resolved quickly.
- Participating merchants must resolve any customer issues quickly.
- Low number of customers needing assistance with an issue.
- Participating merchants must maintain a low number of customers who experience order issues and need assistance.
The Google Trusted Store badge will show customers key statistics relating to the retailer’s shipping reliability and customer service, as well as the number of transactions the data is based on. According to the Google Commerce Blog, ‘to participate in the program, merchants voluntarily share data about shipments, and Google collects customer service metrics when shoppers seek Google’s help with a problem’.
InformationWeek reports that ‘in order to continue displaying the badge, merchants must ship a high percentage of orders within the delay period specified at purchase and must maintain a low average for shipping time.’
The search giant goes one step further, also allowing customers to opt in for purchase protection through the program, meaning that if there is an eligible issue with their purchased item that cannot be resolved directly with the retailer, they can request Google’s help.
Google is currently running the program as a pilot with a number of retailers in the US ( O.co, Wayfair, BabyAge.com, and Beach Audio) and expects to admit more retailers to the program in the coming months.
However, is this program a double-edged sword? On one hand, for the customer this is a great proposition, promoting reliability, trust and assurance of their online purchases through Google and it aims to promote the proliferation of e-commerce. For the retailer it adds another layer to the e-commerce process and raises questions as to the ranking implications for those not participating in the Trusted Stores program. What is your opinion?