Introducing Google Trusted StoresGoogle Trusted Stores

Earlier this month Google announced the launch of their latest commerce innovation which they have aptly named Google Trusted Stores.  According to Google, Trusted Stores is “a new pilot program that helps shoppers identify online merchants that offer a great shopping experience.”  Sites that meet certain Google criteria can receive a Google Trusted Store badge to be added to their site.  So, how does this affect online shoppers and advertisers?

We all know that the amount of purchases being made online increases year after year, but research has shown that online shoppers are wary about purchasing from sites that they are unfamiliar with.  With identity theft and phishing attempts on the rise, shoppers want to know whether or not the site they wish to purchase from is safe and trustworthy.  They want to know that their payment information is secure and will not be compromised during the transaction process.  They want to know that when they pay for their goods, that they will receive them in a timely manner in the condition they expect.  Trusted Stores is Google’s answer to help alleviate these fears without customers having to do their own detective work on the store they wish to purchase from.

A huge benefit to this program is that when a customer makes a purchase from a Google Trusted Store, they are asked whether or not they would like FREE purchase protection from Google.  This purchase protection is optional, but a powerful reassurance to online shoppers.  It is basically free insurance for shoppers that the product that they ordered will arrive in a timely manner, in the promised condition and that they will be billed the agreed upon amount.  If these conditions are not met, Google’s purchase protection will cover the entire purchase amount, including tax and shipping.  It is good to note, however, that shoppers must report any issues either 30 days after delivery or 60 days after order placement, whichever is earlier.

Not only is this innovation beneficial and helpful for purchasers, but it’s great for merchants as well.  As a merchant, it is extremely important to have FAQ, About Us and Review/Testimonial pages on your site, but are potential customers supposed to blindly believe everything they read on the internet?  Shoppers are wary, especially since unscrupulous businesses have been known to do or say anything to close the deal.  Google Trusted Sites offers shoppers an objective, third party recommendation that should help allay their fears.  When a shopper hovers over the badge that is placed on the site, they see Google’s grades for the shipping and service of the particular store.  The higher the grade, the more trusted and secure the shopping experience should be.

If you are a merchant, you are probably wondering how you become a Google Trusted Store.  While the pilot program is currently limited, Google assures us that they will be expanding the Trusted Store program in the coming months.  You can find out more information from Google here.  It definitely can’t hurt to fill out the application and keep your fingers crossed that when the program opens up, your company site will be chosen.  So, why not apply for the opportunity to show potential customers that your store is a great place to shop?