If you manage an eCommerce site certified by Google as a Google Trusted Store, you probably have already been informed that the program will be shut down and replaced with a customer feedback system.
Depending on your perspective, that could be good or bad. Many merchants who struggled to meet some of the more challenging requirements for Google Trusted Store status will likely be pleased. Among other customer-friendly conditions, Google Trusted Store merchants had to prove that:
- At least 90 percent of orders were shipped on time.
- Fewer than 2.5 percent of orders were cancelled.
- Less than 10 percent of orders were delayed because of back orders or pre-orders.
- Almost every customer service question — 99 percent — received a response within 2 business days.
In return for meeting these criteria, Google Trusted Stores sellers got an icon next to their store’s name in Google Shopping results and could offer $1,000 in customer protection for purchases. Losing these perks may be a bit of a downer for you as an ecommerce store owner or manager.
Now, Google Trusted Stores will migrate to a new program called Google Customer Reviews. Google contacts customers after they’ve received their orders and queries them about the service they received. Information is then publicly shared.
Why would Google make the change? It’s probably part of a continuous effort to make it easier for Google users to interact with the site. The Google Trusted Store may not have had enough brand awareness for the company to continue offering it. Plus, maintaining the service may have been time consuming; Google has been working to streamline its services.
Customer reviews have always been popular with consumers. A 2013 study conducted by BrightLocal found that an astounding 79 percent of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Most consumers say they only read 6 or fewer reviews before making a decision, so quantity is not as important as quality. With Google Customer Reviews, Google aims to provide quality assessments of an online store’s customer service.
What do you need to do to get ready for the transition? Likely, nothing. Google will automatically migrate Trusted Stores over to the new program. Look for emails that will offer instruction on what you can do to get the most benefit from the review system. You’ll also be able to relax on gathering customer stats under the strict requirements of the Trusted Store program.