Google Takes the RISK Out of Online Shopping

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is moving more and more into Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) territory after launching an e-commerce program that will hand out badges and customer service scorecards to online merchants and offer an optional satisfaction guarantee for customers.

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“Shoppers tell us they’re often nervous about buying from online stores they don’t know,” Tom Fallows, Google Shopping’s group product manager, said in a post on the company’s blog. “We help customers feel confident, knowing that they’re going to be having a great experience and knowing that Google stands behind them if anything goes wrong.”

Google launched the Trusted Stores program in beta with about 50 stores last year and is now opening it up to all U.S. merchants who want to apply. Participating stores will get a Google Trusted Store badge that, on hovering, will display details on user feedback in shipping and service. The company will also add the Trusted Stores badge to Google.com ads and in Google Shopping results.

To customers, it will offer the option to buy a $1,000 lifetime purchase protection.

Fallows says the addition the badge is likely to help increase sales, and gave the example of gift retailer Beau-coup, which was part of the beta test and saw an 8.6 percent jump in sales, and home goods seller Wayfair, which saw a 2.3 percent increase.

The Google Trusted Stores program will be free for both for shoppers and stores and Google warns experiments will continue. “We’re still testing the most helpful ways to display Trusted Stores information to shoppers, so you may see different versions, or none at all, while we conduct experiments,” Fallows writes.

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