Google made a big announcement on Tuesday that went relatively under the radar in the PPC world. Starting immediately, the process for online merchants to become Google Trusted Stores has become much easier.
What Is A Google Trusted Store?
A Google Trusted Store is a direct endorsement from Google. According to the big G, for merchants to have the Google Trusted Store badge on their sites they must “offer a consistently great shopping experience.” Merchants benefit by the boost in credibility which hopefully leads to more sales. Another great feature of the program is that it’s free. Here’s an example of a Google Trusted Store badge on Overstock.com.
In turn, the badge is also displayed on Shopping ads, giving them that much more credibility.
The same reviews that are used for Google Trusted Stores are also used for the seller rating extension. This extension allows advertisers to highlight review stars within both their text and Shopping ads. Here’s an example from an Overstock text ad.
Again, it all comes down to credibility. Letting potential shoppers know that your site is trustworthy is necessary in today’s world of comparison shopping. Within our accounts we’ve seen nice conversion lifts as a result of seller ratings.
What Has Changed?
Previously, merchants had to submit shipment and cancellation feeds to Google in order to be a part of the program. Due to privacy concerns, many merchants scoffed at the idea of providing Google with this information. Merchants are no longer required to submit this information. The minimum requirements are as follows.
All of these requirements are pretty basic and help ensure customer trust.
The second component of Google Trusted Stores is the two snippets of code that need to be placed on merchant sites. These codes allow for custom placement of the Trusted Stores badge. Previously, the badge showed in the bottom right hand corner, but can now be placed anywhere.
Along with these two components, Google also requires business information and for merchants to sign agreements. Once everything is in place Google will monitor the site for an extended time period and approve the certification.
In the announcement, Google mentions that a Google Trusted Store status can be used as a review extension. This extension can be difficult to implement as Google wants to ensure that reviews are indeed accurate. Some advertisers had been using the trusted status for the review extension, but it was seen as more of a loophole. Google has now stated implicitly that the trusted status can be used for the review.
Also of note is that merchants are offered free purchase protection on orders up to $1,000 when participating in the program. This feature is a great value add and helps merchants stand out from the competition.
With the process easier than ever, all merchants who meet the Trusted Store requirements should apply for the certification. Having the badge not only boosts credibility during the on site shopping experience, but will help to improve ad click-thru-rates (CTRs) through the seller ratings and review extensions.
Another implication of this update is Google potentially becoming its own marketplace, similar to Amazon. A “Buy Now” button via Google Shopping has been rumored. With more merchants potentially joining the Trusted Stores program, Google could be building a larger store base to be part of this marketplace. As the base grows, so to will the options available to shoppers.