Google ID’s Trusted Websites
Google last year quietly began piloting a Google Trusted Stores program whereby Google awards a badge to websites with a strong history of reliable shipping and top-notch customer service. Now, it’s reportedly exploring whether Trusted Stores endorsements work within paid search ads.
Under the Trusted Stores program, e-tailers participating in the program voluntarily share data about shipments and enable Google to collect customer service metrics when shoppers seek Google’s help with a problem.
Participating e-retailers can include Google’s grades as endorsements on their web pages. Visitors hovering over the Google Trusted Store badge see metrics on the store’s shipping and customer service performance.
A unique feature is that consumers can select free purchase protection from Google when shopping at a Google Trusted Store. If a problem arises, they can ask Google to work with the merchant and customer to resolve the issue.
In launching the pilot last October, Google said the service is designed to overcome concerns about purchasing from unfamiliar online stores. Google stated, "Is this store trustworthy? How reliable is their shipping? Do they have good customer service? What happens if something goes wrong?"
In an interview with Internet Retailer, Tom Fallows, group product manager on Google’s commerce team, said a couple of hundred retailers take part in Trusted Stores. They include Overstock.com, Wayfair.com and many smaller websites. Some retailers aren’t featuring the badge as part of a pilot test.
Overall, Mr. Fallows gave little information around the larger rollout potential and learnings from the test although he added, "It’s been well received in terms of the key metrics we look at — conversion rates, for instance."
The next test will extend Trusted Stores to web searches. Mr. Fallows tells Internet Retailer that ‘Google Trusted Stores’ branding might appear below the main link for a retailer or a key metric from a Trusted Stores badge ("99 percent of issues resolved in under two days") might appear.
- Shop with confidence across the web – Google
- Google Trusted Stores – Google
- Become a Trusted Store – Google
- Google Trusted Stores Video – YouTube
- Google might include customer service endorsements inside paid search ads – Internet Retailer
- Google Trusted Stores Launches with Etailer Grades, Free Purchase – Information Week
Discussion Questions: Do you think Google’s Trusted Stores program will help it gain competitive ground against the likes of Amazon? How effective do you you think the program will be in influencing consumer decisions during web searches and once on the Trusted Store site?