Google are currently trialling Google Trusted Stores in the US. After completing a purchase with a Google Trusted Store, some users will be offered the chance to opt the order in to free purchase protection from Google. If you opt in, the merchant will share your order information and email address with us. You’ll get an email with the details of your order, the merchant’s contact details, and a link to contact Google in the event of an issue.
I don’t know about you but it seems remarkably similar to Paypal / Ebay’s resolution centre. They suggest you contact the store directly then take the problem to Google. Compliant, well rated stores get a ‘Trusted Merchant’ badge so that users can buy with confidence, and to qualify you need to have excellent shipping and customer service standards / ratings. Customer service is calculated both on the amount of customers who have issues and how quickly those issues are resolved.
Where’s the Money?
This scheme coincides with an announcement last week that Googlebase will be restricted to paid Product Listing ads only. Your position in the listings will be based on relevance, quality score and your bid – i.e. what you’re willing to pay. The Trusted Stores programme will complement this move as well as compensating for any resulting dip in consumer confidence. (That said, perhaps few people outside search marketing will be aware of the change in policy). It’s another example of the precarious user experience / ad revenue line that Google walks on a daily basis.