Google Certified Shops: Are You Missing an Opportunity?

As a small business in ecommerce one of the biggest challenges is getting customers to part with their hard-earned cash – or, I should say, card. Either way, they must trust you enough to give you very sensitive details. A great way to inspire trust is endorsing your brand with a household or global name. Many turn to PayPal, for example, as people around the globe see it as a safe and secure payment method. But is there anything else?

Yes there is – step forward Google Certified Shops. Today, we look at what a Google Certified Shop is and whether the scheme is right for your business.

What is a Google Certified Shop?
The Google Certified Shops scheme was introduced to the UK for ecommerce website owners and users in 2013 and acts as a badge of trust to customers visiting your site. Google grants this badge to sites that prove that they’re fast and reliable shippers with a record of positive customer feedback. The concept is extremely simple and has been highly successful in the US where it was first launched in 2012. In a nutshell, your customers rate your delivery performance and your service based on whether there were any issues and how quickly you resolved them.

Benefits of Using the Badge
There are many benefits to using Google Certified Shops. When customers are on your website they can hover over the badge, which will then display your customer rating and shipping record – essentially putting faith in what you say you’re going to deliver. Alongside this, Google will give any customer who buys from you up to £1,000 in payment protection. This means if you fail to meet the standard accepted by Google, it will reimburse the customer up to the value of £1,000. Put simply, the badge tells your customer that Google has checked your business and that it is safe to shop with you. This can be particularly useful if you process cross-border transactions.

Is it Free?
It is free to apply to become a registered Google Certified Shop. However, as the old saying goes, nothing in life comes for free. Rather than requesting a capital payment, in return for endorsing your ecommerce site Google wants your data. Certified Shops is a data-driven initiative so you have to authorise Google to collect data concerning your total shipments, time to despatch and total delivery times, as well as customer emails and feedback. That’s your payment to Google.

What about Data Protection?
The past few years have seen consumers become increasingly conscious about how they share their data online. As a retailer you need to ask yourself if you are comfortable sharing your customers’ data with a third party, as Google reserves the right to use this data for other purposes. Although many people trust big global brands such as Google, others are becoming increasingly wary over the data collected by these behemoths so the badge could in fact turn some people off from shopping with you.

How Else to Increase Your Business Integrity?
No one but you can decide if Google Certified Shops is suitable for your business. Nonetheless, improving business integrity should always be a priority. Other ways to boost customer trust include using independent review sites and a trusted payment service provider with proper protection.

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