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Google Trusted Stores – Internet Shopping Made Safe

google trusted stores

The Internet has long been held as one of the most innovative and influential modes of communication in history. Throughout the years of its existence, it has grown exponentially as a mode of communication, entertainment, and marketplace exchange. In fact, it now connects millions of people every minute of every day in a web of amusement, information, and commercial trade. However, this rapid growth has been accompanied not only by privacy and security concerns, but also those involved with the quality and actual delivery of goods involved in these e-commerce transactions.

It is sad to say that although the internet has established itself as a legitimate remote purchasing method along with such mediums as telephone and mail-order shopping, there is still a large amount of consumer perceived risk whenever they shop online.

Traditionally, these risks have often been managed by employing risk relievers. These include such concepts as payment security, cheaper price, and exchange options. However, there are other newer and better ways to manage consumer perceived risk in the online market place.

 

What is a Google Trusted Store?

The Internet giant, Google, announced its take on how to lessen consumer perceived risk in online shopping by introducing its new program – Google Trusted Stores. The program is designed to assist in the growth and development of e-commerce by endorsing exemplary online merchants that offer the most reliable online shopping experience, and best customer service.

The program was introduced back in October of 2011, and has since then admitted numerous e-commerce merchants into its ranks. The participating merchants are required to not only comply with Google’s strict standards on shipping, and customer service, but are also compelled to share data regarding these two factors with the internet giant.

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These select merchants will be allowed to show off Google’s badge of trust on their website in order to take advantage of the positive reputation the company has long developed. The badge will serve as a testament to the company’s commendable ability to serve its customers well.

 

How it helps consumers

Aside from the obvious advantages to having a badge on a website the customer can trust, Google is also backing their claim on the website with a free $1000 lifetime purchase protection for selected products the merchant sells.

The purchase protection program also guarantees consumers the assistance of Google whenever a purchase goes awry, and a dispute arises between them and the merchant. Moreover, this dispute must be reported within 60 days after the purchase is made. More detailed information on the dispute resolution process can be found on their website.

 

How it helps e-commerce sellers

Despite the fact that internet shopping has been gaining a little more trust from consumers nowadays, the fact still remains that majority of people surfing the internet have little to no experience in the online marketplace. In fact, a recent study has even shown that past experience in online purchases does not necessarily translate into the consumer perceiving the Internet as a less risky shopping channel. Now, merchants do have the option to just wait for these people to change their opinions through social forces and word of mouth marketing, but the fact is that this natural process takes up too much time – time that translates to dollars in opportunity cost!

A more cost and time-effective approach would be to take an active stand in lowering the consumer’s perceived risk in online purchases.

E-commerce merchants can now assist consumers that are worried about shopping at unfamiliar online stores, and are nervous about the reliability of shipping and dispute resolution by applying for certification as a Google Trusted Store. Less perceived risk means that the consumer is more likely to make a purchase at the store. Consequently, more purchases means more profit and more positive consumer reviews, which in turn means less perceived risk from other potential consumers!

Moreover, studies show that the success of trust marks and confidence-boosting badges largely rely on the entity backing the given badge. Considering that Google has made Buyology’s list of Top 10 Most Desirable Brands and Forbes’ Top 100 Consumer Brands, it’s safe to say that the weight accorded by Google’s badge is more significant than most.

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The future of Google Trusted Sites

It’s hard to say whether or not Google Trusted Sites will play a major role in the future of e-commerce. There isn’t really much hard evidence to support either conclusion. Nevertheless, it’s a shared belief here at Redstage that this is one very valuable trust logo to have on your site.

Pinterest – A Potential Goldmine for E-commerce

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you have probably already heard about the new sensation that’s been spreading across the internet like wildfire – Pinterest.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a new social network whose main feature is its ability to act like a digital scrapbook, bulletin board, or wish list. While there are several other websites that offer extensive image sharing capabilities, Pinterest has developed this as its main competitive edge against other more popular social networks. In fact, it has been so successful in carving out a niche for itself that in two short years after launching its private beta, it has skyrocketed. It is now ranked among the top 10 social sites, and is estimated to be worth around 500 million USD.

The company was conceived a while back in 2009. It officially launched its invitation-only beta in 2010. Right from the start, Pinterest’s client base has always been mostly composed of women. Its first frequent visitors were mostly interested in the recipes and stylish home decors they found on the site. This core group of people then spread the word to their friends, who in turn told theirs, and so on. Pinterest owes its marketing success to the quality of its content and the power of referrals. On July 2011, only 13 months after its launch, the company had already its 1 millionth unique visitor. This rapid growth has often given it the reputation of being the fastest growing internet site in history. In truth however, it is only second to yet another internet sensation – formspring.

Fast-forward 7 months later to February 2012. The company now has 17.8 million unique visitors in the US alone! This means that during these 7 months, more than 16 million people have visited the website at least once – an absolutely amazing feat. What’s more, Pinterest is still growing – fast. In the last month alone, the website has attracted roughly 52% more unique visitors than the month before that. This was been confirmed by the findings of comScore in its most recent report.

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Why should you consider marketing at Pinterest?
Two words: referral traffic – lots of it. In fact, by February 2012 Pinterest surpassed Google+, Youtube, and Linkedln’s combined referral traffic. In the next month, Shareaholic, an online sharing tool, discovered that Pinterest now drives more referral traffic than Twitter. Yes, that’s right. Pinterest now brings in more traffic that Twitter – the very popular online sharing network that internet-aficionados rely on to get an accurate real-time flow of information.

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Moreover, a very recent study by RJ Metrics has suggested that Pinterest users are starting to develop a more mass-market orientation.
When it started, Pinterest users were mostly composed of homemakers, and fashion and style enthusiasts. However, there are only so many people in these niche markets. As the site ascends into the ranks of the internet’s most prominent sites, its users’ interests will get more and more diverse. Topics everyone can relate to are starting to become more and more popular on Pinterest boards. Food, the 4th most popular category at the moment, is steadily gaining more and more interest from the users. In fact, food is the most re-pinned category on Pinterest to date. It generates roughly 50% more re-pins than the fashion and style category, the second most re-pinned category.

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