Times change and technologies keep up with the pace. Ordinary bricks-and-mortar stores are replaced with online ones and the purchase process has narrowed to a couple of clicks. The only thing that remains the same is customer trust. Today a merchant can sell his products worldwide, broadening his audience through many countries. Buyers prefer to get items from those they can trust. The best way to learn whether the seller is credible is still reading other customers’ reviews.
A giant corporation like Google couldn’t stay away from the issue of online stores’ credibility and launched its own Trusted Store program. What is a Google Trusted store? The program certifies for free those web shops that provide their customers with a positive shopping experience. After getting accepted, these stores receive a badge that will be displayed on their site. The stores themselves can be viewed in Google Shopping Results list. Today trusted stores take part in a changed program name that is now called Google Customer Reviews.
To join the program a store must fit certain standards. The Google Trusted Store requirements are:
- Shipping that meets customers’ requirements
- The necessary order total amount per month
- User-friendly site interface
- Modern site technical characteristics
Let’s look at the trusted store requirements in detail. This is important, as you and your staff should be ready for getting a Google trusted status. After applying for the badge you’ll have to wait for about 90 days, which is called the monitoring period. During that time you are to share your store data with the company in order for them to decide whether you fit the requirements, which are:
For your store to become Google trusted you need to have a Gmail account and an SSL certificate. The checkout pages must be encrypted and the cart pages must not be kept on another, separate site. Access to your software through API is also necessary.
For the store to be granted a trust badge you must perform 200 orders per month, which is 600 during the monitoring period. The list of items sold at your webstore must not include restricted or endangered products. At least 90% of the orders must be delivered within a stated time period; the deadline of any shipment is 14 days. You must also have support staff who will be ready to respond to any customer complaints at once.
Benefits of becoming one of Google Trusted Stores
For large companies known worldwide it might seem unnecessary to join the program as their services are already famous. Medium-sized businesses can get a lot of benefits from becoming a trusted store though. We have raised the most significant perks of joining the Google Customer Reviews program for you to see how good it can be for your online store:
- Social proof
Whatever your store design, prices and service may be, reviews still play a great role in the customer decision-making process. A trusted review is the most prominent aspect for a client to turn to your web shop. Buyers trust each others’ reviews, especially when they are provided by such a large company as Google. That is why the Google trusted sites badge increases your trustworthiness to the utmost.
- The ability to get more consumers via Google services
As soon as you take part in the program, you automatically cater for Google services like AdWords and Shopping Ratings. The ratings can be shown on your ads and posts, which has proven itself to be essential for conversions raise.
- Google Trusted Stores purchase protection
This feature must be the most essential for both sellers and customers, but unfortunately it was completely removed about a year ago. A Google Trusted Store protection meant that customers could receive a free protection for a certain amount of money sum they opted in at the checkout. Apart from that, the list of differences between the Trusted Stores and Customer Reviews programs are not that big.
Of course, using the program can have negative consequences as well. For instance, negative reviews that you get will be also included into your statistics and be shown on the badge. But this won’t be a problem if you don’t have any or quickly respond to all of them and fix the problem, leaving your angry customers satisfied.
Steps to get into Google Trusted Stores list
If you have made up your mind to become a Google trusted seller, you need to go through some steps to get a Google Trusted Store badge. Today the program, as we mentioned before, is called Google Customer Reviews, but the basic working principle remains the same, so the two names are used by interchangeably merchants.
Getting an account and launching the program
To receive a Google Trusted Stores login you need to visit the Google Merchant Center website. The registration form is clear and contains just a few fields to fill in. After that you need to pick the Customer Reviews program, accept the user agreement and add the survey code to your web store. The whole process is simple and there is a Google guide for beginners. After the period of evaluation you’ll be able to add a badge to your website, and you’re done.
For your website to fit the program you’ll need:
- A separate order confirmation page
- If you sell via an eCommerce platform or a third-party member, a customer must be sent to the separate order confirmation page
- The order confirmation page must include HTTPS protocol
Now let’s talk more precisely about the Google Trusted Store Review program and its requirements for web shops. The working principle of the program is clear: after getting a product from your store, a consumer will be asked to receive an email that will ask for a review of your store. This is only possible when the order is shipped and received for the feedback to be the most up to date and honest.
The review received will be shown on your Merchant Center Dashboard and be taken into account in Google ratings. It can also be displayed at the badge that is optional to show. By clicking on it visitors will be able to see all your reviews and ratings.
At the Merchant Center Dashboard you’ll be able to observe your progress and metrics including survey opt-ins, reviews received and your overall rating within a time period.
Becoming a Google Trusted store is not as tough as it might seem at first. The company has streamlined the process making it available within a few easy steps. All you need to receive the trusted store badge is to make your site and service meet some requirements and wait for 30-90 days. After that you’ll be able to collect customers’ feedback, analyze it, and use the perks of Google services to raise your number of clicks. Getting a Google Customer Review badge, you’ll instantly become a seller people can trust, who is open to buyers’ reviews and is ready to show them freely, which can become an important stepping stone for your business.