Google announced on its blog the launch of its Trusted Stores Program in the U.S., says Tom Fallows, group product manager of Google Shopping. The program aims to reassure consumers, who are often uneasy about the safety of using e-commerce websites, he says.
Trusted Stores gives venders the opportunity to receive a “grade” from Google to boost overall sales and performance, while consumers are reassured of the dependability of the website. According to Google’s blog, merchants who take part in the program will be graded in different categories, including shipping and service. A check mark will appear at the bottom of any Google Trusted Store verifying it’s authenticity.
“We created Google Trusted Stores because e-commerce shoppers often say that while they love the selection, information and prices that are available, they’re nervous about purchasing from a store they don’t know well,” Fallows says. “Our goal is to give reassurance to customers who make purchases from unfamiliar stores.”
Stores were able to take part in a beta period of the program beginning last fall, during which times Fallows says thousands of merchants expressed interest in participating. “We tested a variety of layouts during the beta period, and what we launched today [June 7] is a version that simply communicates with any store’s customer service process.”
Though its 5-star rating system is still in use, Fallows says Google felt the need to create a new system for Trusted Stores.
“Five stars is great but it doesn’t cover everything that Google Trusted Stores does,” Fallows says. “For example, fast shipping is something consumers really care about, but it can’t be seen in the rating system.”
The program is completely free and currently available to all businesses in the U.S.