Google’s Trusted Stores Seeking to Regulate E-Commerce?

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:

Shipping

  • 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.

Service

  • 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.coWayfairBabyAge.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?

5 thoughts on “Google’s Trusted Stores Seeking to Regulate E-Commerce?

  1. Hosting Guru Comments: Google going for another data grab. I’m not sure we need, want, or will even trust google to safely collect user purchasing data. Another nice data set for the e-tailers marketeers to crunch no doubt, but I’d rather get a standard around the banking merchants to endorse the “Trusted Stores” than Google. I guess there’s almost no stopping the Google Juggernaught now, though one slip up from Google in the privacy banking space could do them a lot of harm. Just look at the backlash against Facebook in the last week about their cloak and dagger spying through cookies. Just how much privacy, purchasing and websurfing behaviours are we prepared to give up to these giants of the web???

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  2. This model is not going to work. Only 2-5% of all merchants will provide shipment data to Google. (there are many reasons, technical, etc.) It’s impossible to be perfect for all customers and complains are inevitable. Those stores, who will not receive “trusted store” label, may pull out of the program.

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  3. This concept is by no means new and there have been a number of services that have offered trust certificates like http://www.trustedshops.com/ I think the biggest in Europe. But you have to ask why? Some of the most recent and major hacking and information thefts have occurred in what you would probably called “trusted sites” like Sony. Bricks and mortar retail has been running for decades without formal “trusted shops” and the recent issues with companies like Borders would also tell us that what we consider “trusted” might be very wrong. So in reality what is the point and as Hilton has pointed out is it just Google grabbing more information about your business. I believe that Google has the right intentions and are trying to make online retail safer for the vast majority. But I an not really sure that it should be Google formulas making a trust decision.

    In my opinion rely on your instincts. If an offer too good to be true then it probable needs to be checked out before handing over your hard earned cash. If the online store you find looks “dodgy” then it probably is “dodgy”. Look for all the tell tale signed of trust, a recognised payment provider, valid SSL certificate, contact details with an address and a phone number and not just an email and mobile. Check the shop out by doing some searched on the web and in forums. Ask for references and use personal referrals.

    if you are concerned about privacy and security of your data then find out where the online store is hosting that data and if not in Australia then make a decision on your own safety. If you use Firefox you can add a simple gadget called Flagfox to tell you where a site is hosted. Remember not all countries have privacy and security laws like Australia.

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  4. We support any serious proposals to make the internet a safer place, but it would seem that this isn’t going to do it. Rather like so many logo schemes out there, its just another example of a logo that gives customers a sense of comfort (if they notice it at all) without actually delivering any real benefit. And what does a start up do? They have no proven track record to fall back on.

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  5. Why can’t i find any store store with this badge to see how it look like? I’ve tried to find it on o.com, waifair, babyage, but there are no badges from google 🙁

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