The average UK household will spend £4000 online a year. Making sure your ecommerce brand gets its fair share of this is more important than ever, as consumers move more and more towards online shopping solutions. In an endless sea of online stores and ecommerce websites, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. It is important to look at ways of showing that your ecommerce brand can be trusted, showing customers they are safe buying from you. The Google Trusted Store accreditation is designed to do just this. To become a Google trusted store and have the accreditation badge to prove it you will need to offer consistently excellent service. Once you have the Google trusted store accreditation in place what benefits can you expect and how will this help your business?
What Is It?
It is worth quickly taking the time to understand exactly what Google Trusted Store is: The Google Trusted Store accreditation acts as a direct endorsement from google. As Google put it: “Being a Google Trusted Store reassures shoppers that you’ll provide a great customer experience.” A Google trusted store will receive a badge which can appear on their homepage, as well as in Google ads and on Google shopping. The accreditation also allows owners to include reviews and ratings on these platforms.
The first thing to note about the Google Trusted Store Accreditation is, that it is free of charge. Meaning you will be able to take advantage of all the benefits without having to make a single payment. There is some work involved in getting the accreditation from Google and the potential drawback of allowing Google to access more of your information. It is worth reading through the process and all the terms and conditions first to help decide if the accreditation is the right route for you.
Like it or loathe it, Google is the average user’s gateway to the internet. Google’s growth and size make them an almost unavoidable aspect of the web. Google now processes over 40,000 searches a second, or 3.5 billion searches a day which translate to 1.2 trillion a year. Along with their other web-based products, such as Google Drive, Mail, Analytics and AdWords, Google has become ubiquitous with the internet, people recognise Google and therefore will (to a certain extent) place their trust in it. Associating your ecommerce brand with one of the world’s biggest organisations means your will be able to share in that trust. Essentially, a user may think: “If Google trusts this store they must be good”. An increase in trust at a time when online consumers are hyper-aware of who they decide to share their credit card details with should lead to an increase in customers as they place their trust where Google already has.
Web developer Michael French, who tracks his business’s online transactions has noticed a surge in online purchases since his business ISSWWW became a Google Trusted Store.
The Google Trusted Store accreditation allows stores to add customer reviews to AdWords and Google Shopping. When potential customers are looking for a store or product online they will search for stores that appear the most credible. Customer reviews of ecommerce sites have been shown to increase not only conversion rates but the stores perceived credibility also. By including reviews and feedback where stores without the accreditation are unable to, your ecommerce brand will look transparent and upfront. Even one or two less than perfect reviews can be beneficial; showing customers you are honest. The increase in credibility means you are more likely to enjoy increased traffic and sales.
Along with increased trust and credibility, the Google Trusted Store accreditation also has the potential to drive traffic to your site with increased customer confidence, conversion and click-through rates. The Google Trusted Store Badge alone has been shown to increase click-through and conversion rates by up to 5%. The fact that the accreditation is free means this is a potentially massive benefit and one that ecommerce sites will find it hard to ignore. Although there is not yet significant evidence to show that the accreditation will significantly increase search engine ranking, the potential increase in visits to your site alone, makes the work involved in gaining the accreditation worth well.
A Competitive Edge
In a saturated marketplace, anything that makes you stand above your competitors is worth exploring. At this stage when a lot of online stores have not yet got the Google Trusted Store accreditation those that do can enjoy the competitive edge that comes from being the proud owner of the little Badge.
Ecommerce sites that are Google Trusted Stores benefit from purchase protection from Google:
Although strictly speaking this is a benefit for customers the crossover effect is obvious. This protection has the potential to save the retailer a lot of time and money, and can be used to cover the cost of refunds and replacements.
It is important to understand that the purchase protection acts as a warranty for the customer on the stores services and not the product itself. Meaning the customer will be covered if they receive the wrong product, the product is not as described, they are billed incorrectly or the store does not honour its return policy. Although an ecommerce store owner would hope this type of protection is never needed, the fact that it is available is another benefit of the Google Trusted Store accreditation that will increase customers trust in your store.
Helps to Drive Improvement
Perhaps a more secondary effect and benefit, but potentially a very important one. The Google Trusted Store accreditation means your ecommerce site and brand have reached a certain standard. This kind of achievement is a great motivation to continue to improve, or at the very least maintain the already very high level of service you offer. Nobody wants to be the store who lost its Trusted Store accreditation. Maintaining your accreditation and continuing to take advantage of all the benefits that come with it can drive you, your staff and your business to the next level.
Can you be Left Behind?
The Google Trusted Store accreditation has a range of benefits to ecommerce brands and sites. From increased credibility and trust to an increase in traffic, a competitive edge (currently), purchase protection and the motivation that comes with maintaining your status as a Trusted Store. However even if you ignored these obvious benefits, if Google Trusted Store is here to stay, and it looks as though it is. Can you afford to be left behind? Large national and international brands already have the trust of their customers and are able to exist, to a certain extent without the power of Google’s approval behind them. Smaller brands and online stores are competing in an increasingly competitive space, and it may not be too long before any online store that wants to compete will have to be a Google Trusted Store.