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.
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.
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.