Google launched a new pilot program today aimed at helping shoppers identify stores that Google trusts. Known as Google Trusted Stores, Google awards a badge to websites with a strong history of reliable shipping and excellent customer service.
Google’s goal with Trusted Stores is to solve a problem for online shoppers: alleviating their fears that an online store is untrustworthy, unreliable, or that they’ll be ripped off should something go wrong. Google is hoping that offering up to $1,000 in free, opt-in lifetime purchase protection is one way to accomplish this.
This gives shoppers 30 days after delivery or 60 days after an order is placed to file a claim. Eligible issues include receiving the wrong item or an item that isn’t in its advertised condition, being billed the wrong amount, slow shipping, or a return policy not being honored.
The Google Trusted Stores badge appears on websites at the bottom right of the screen. Hovering over the badge will trigger a popup box that shows shoppers a letter grade for the retailer.
For example, on Wayfair’s website (one of four sites that will display the badges starting today, along with O.co, BabyAge.com, and Beach Audio), notice the Google Trusted Store badge next to the check mark. Based on 100,000 transactions, Google gives Wayfair A's on their “report card” for both reliable shipping and excellent service, and offers additional details below.
Google also notes that you might not see this badge, or any Google badge, during the early testing stages.
Shoppers can also click on a “verify” link that takes users to a secure link on the Google domain:
Merchants that want to participate must share shipment data. If a customer asks Google for help resolving an issue, Google will work with the merchant, while also collecting customer service metrics from shoppers.
To take part, on the shipping side Google says etailers need to have a high percentage of orders with on-time shipping and low average days for a product to ship; on the service side, Google says a high percentage of issues must be resolved quickly and there should be a low number of customers needing assistance with an issue.
Google Trusted Stores, like many of Google’s programs, is starting small and plans to add more stores “over the coming months.” If you’re interested in becoming a Google Trusted Store, you can apply here.