Google Trusted Stores – What’s Involved for Merchants

 

Google has opened the floodgates. As posted on their Google Retail Blog, Google Trusted Stores is now open to all US-based merchants!

The program is free for merchants. If you’re accepted into the program, and meet their requirements (more on that below), you’ll have a trusted badge in search results, and one that appears on your site. Customers who hover over it will see a report card on your business:

Sound like a “no brainer” to join? Well, nothing in life is really free. Here are the requirements and standards you have to meet to be a Google Trusted Merchant (in addition to sharing all of your purchase data and shipping data with Google) [data pulled from the “Merchant Guidelines” policy page during the sign-up process]:

  • US Merchants only, English as the primary language on the website
  • Clearly Visible Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, Returns, and Shipping policies
  • No selling of Google Prohibited Items (same list as Google Product Search / Google Shopping)
  • Drop shippers are allowed, but not through ready-made drop shipping sites. Merchants must charge the card and cause an item to be shipped.
  • Accurate inventory availability at all times
  • PERFORMANCE STANDARDS:
  • On-time shipping > 90%
  • More than 100 orders on a rolling 28 day basis (edit 11/28/2012 – More than 500 orders on a rolling 28 day basis)
  • > 50% trackable shipments
  • 90% of orders must have an actual ship date within 3 days of estimated ship date
  • Average time to shipments less than or equal to 14 days
  • < 2.5% cancellation rate
  • < 10% of orders are pre-orders or backorders
  • Merchant must respond to the customer questions within 2 business days 99% of the time
  • 99% resolution rate to customer questions within 2 business days
  • 100% of refunds  within 2 days if product does not have to be returned by customers, or within 6 days of receipt of a returned item.
  • Google code on every page to track shoppers, and code to pass data back to Google on the receipt/thank-you page.
  • Code, Manual entry,  or a data feed to pass tracking numbers, cancellations, and refunds back to Google for measurement.

As you can see, it’s quite a long and detailed list.

Make sure your company can meet or exceed these requirements (especially the greater than 100 500 orders per 28 days requirement) before going through the application process.

But if you are confident your company can perform at the level Google requires, get signed up!

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Cheryl says:

    Between this and Google Product Search/Google Shopping soon becoming being a paid service, it is just another nail in the small business owner’s coffin.

    How in the world am I going to find time to send all this information to Google in order to become a Trusted Store and also manage paid Product Ads with the new Google Shopping? The larger companies have more money to pay for competitive keywords; thus, driving out the small business owner. Also, larger companies that can dedicate staff to submit all the required accurate data to Google Trusted Stores have an advantage over small business owners.

  2. Bob says:

    I would like to say a word about the e-mail that had this link: “The Google Trusted Stores program is designed to help shoppers feel confident in their purchases across the web”

    All these services talk about giving confidence to the shopper. For some merchants that may be true, but I’ve tracked the number of times people click on the assorted logos supplied that gives “confidence,” and it’s small.

    Google is trying to become indispensable for web shopping. Although I’m a big Google fan, there’s something fishy about this Google program. I agree with Cheryl about how it could hurt small people like us. There’s something too intrusive about this google program. At least that’s my view.

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