Google Certified Shops Available in the UK
Google has finally rolled out Google Certified Shops in the UK for open signup to businesses / online merchants. Previously in beta within the UK, only a select few, large retailers were able to signup, but now this service is available to all who meet Google’s criteria.
You can sign up for a merchant account here: http://www.google.co.uk/certifiedshops/for-businesses/.
What is Google Certified Shops?
The service is aimed at giving buyers a safer and protected buying experience online, whilst giving merchants an avenue for delivering a better experience whilst proving their reputation, increasing buyer confidence. Many retailers in the US have had great results that have impacted on conversion rates on-site and on AdWords campaigns in a positive manner.
Benefits to Consumers
After completing an order through your ecommerce store, the customer will be presented with the option to opt-in to Google’s Certified Shops buyer protection program. This delivers a variety of benefits to the consumer detailed below.
- The biggest benefit is the buyer protection on orders valued up to £1000 offered by Google to consumers on purchases made through your site and is a huge incentive for opting in. This delivers peace of mind that orders are safe and is a huge incentive to get users using Google’s Certified Shops program. More details are available here: https://support.google.com/trustedstoresmerchant/answer/6063046?p=optin&hl=en-GB&rd=1.
- After agreeing to use the service, the customer will be able to track their order status via Google Certified Shops consumer login. This can be beneficial to both parties for consumers tracking an orders progress if your site does not offer this functionality. It also benefits the retailer for keeping customers informed and reducing possible queries relating to orders.
- If the customer encounters any issues relating to their order, Google offer help in resolving this with the merchant.
- The final benefit is that potential customers can via your stores ratings and reputation from other users via the Certified Shops badge and ratings displayed on site and via any other integrations Google make with this service in search and ppc campaigns.
Benefits to Merchants
The main reasons for implementing Google Certified Shops either on your companies ecommerce site or for clients sites are the array of benefits for the merchant.
- The Certified Shops widget that is displayed on site that displays your stores ratings once clicked, can be a huge trust factor for consumers and can positively impact on conversion rates. Full details for the badge available here: https://support.google.com/trustedstoresmerchant/answer/6063053?p=badge&hl=en-GB&rd=1.
- As with other review sites, this service can contribute to achieving seller ratings on your Google AdWords campaign ads, along with integration with Google AdWords Review Extensions as detailed here: https://support.google.com/trustedstoresmerchant/answer/6063062?hl=en-GB&ref_topic=6063048.
- If running Google Shopping campaigns, a Google Certified Shops logo will be displayed next to your logo, showing delivery and customer experience grades when hovered over.
All of the above benefits just improve buyer confidence and increase conversion rates, not only on site, but through Google AdWords and Shopping campaigns.
There are how ever possible ramifications for being this transparent and integrating this service. As with many review based service such as Feefo, bad reviews and customer experience will drive your ratings down and be available to potential customers to see. Negative reviews may have the opposite effect on some of the benefits described above.
Google Certified Shops Application Process
To become part of the Google Certified Shops program you simply need to follow the 3 steps below:
- Create a merchant account: https://support.google.com/trustedstoresmerchant/answer/6063073?p=accountsetup&hl=en-GB&rd=1.
- Complete the integration: https://support.google.com/trustedstoresmerchant/answer/6063065?p=techintegration&hl=en-GB&rd=1.
- Finish the qualification period and meet criteria summarised further in this post.
Once all 3 of these steps have been completed and your store meets the minimum criteria, you will be approved on the program.
To get started you can sign up here: http://www.google.co.uk/certifiedshops/for-businesses/get-started.html.
Google Certified Shops Qualification Criteria
The minimum criteria that must be met to become a merchant with Google Certified Stores are detailed below.
- Average monthly order volumes online are greater than 200 per online store (if you register to have multiple stores).
- Restricted products are not being sold such as Alcohol, Tobacco products, Weapons etc. detailed further here: https://support.google.com/trustedstoresmerchant/answer/3097010?p=restrictedproducts&rd=1.
- Customer escalation cases are responded to within 1 working day
- Your store provides transparent and detailed information on despatch dates for non backordered or pre order products.
- Your sites shopping basket and checkout pages are not hosted on a separate domain or sub domain. Further details available here: https://support.google.com/trustedstoresmerchant/answer/6063065?p=techintegration&rd=1#sepdomain.
Once you have completed your 30 day qualification period (may be extended up to 90 days in some circumstances) you will be approved on the Google Trusted Shops program and your badge will appear on site. To maintain your status and entry into the program, you must maintain the performance standards detailed: https://support.google.com/trustedstoresmerchant/topic/6063060?hl=en-GB&ref_topic=6063043.