Google opened its Trusted Store program today to all United States merchants who apply.
The news comes in lieu of Google’s KikScore acquisition from earlier this week. The buyout is rumored to bulk the Trusted Stores program that helps online shoppers find stores with a safe and superior online shopping experience.
KikScore is a similar service that also offers seals for non-online retailers and local businesses. It foremost guarantees online businesses, however, and aggregates information about management, website history, and details on customer service satisfaction. The financial aspects of the acquisition were not revealed.
Google’s Product Manager Tom Fallows took to the Official Google Blog this afternoon to explain how the once-beta Trusted Store Program generated feedback from 50 online merchants and more than 10 million orders since last fall to develop a premium—yet free—shopping service:
Over the last nine months of the pilot, our tests show that participating in this program can help merchants big and small. For example, Wayfair, the largest online-only retailer of home goods and one of the top 50 largest online retailers as ranked by Internet Retailer, increased sales* on its site by 2.3 percent with Google Trusted Stores. And Beau-coup, a specialty online favors and gifts retailer, saw an 8.6 percent increase*. Take a look at our merchant success stories to learn more about how Google Trusted Stores has had a positive impact on website conversion rates and average order sizes for online retailers.
Google explained that when shopping online, the Google Trusted Store badge might appear. Shoppers can view a report card with grades for that merchant when they hover over the badge. The badge is only given to online stores that “deliver a great overall experience.” This helps shoppers to identify trustworthy and reliable online retailers.
“If there’s a problem with your purchase, we’re here to help. When you buy from a Google Trusted Store, you can opt in to get up to $1,000 lifetime purchase protection per shopper. And our dedicated customer service team is there to work with you and the merchant to assist in resolving the issue,” Fallows added.
The badge will also roll out to Google.com ads and in Google Shopping results. Merchant can visit the Google Trusted Stores program website to apply now.