Last year, Google rolled out Google Shopping as the much-touted successor to Google Product Search, a paid Custom Search Engine (CSE) providing users relevant, enriched results for their search queries. Naturally, merchants immediately began looking for ways to differentiate product listings in such a popular-but-cramped venue. Google rose to the occasion once more with Google Trusted Stores, a badge-based service (complete with a Magento extension!) for e-commerce merchants hoping to separate themselves from the mediocre masses. The following parameters are taken into account:
1. On-time shipping
2. Excellent customer service
3. Streamlined dispute resolution
Success in these arenas, and the corresponding badge to prove it, have definite benefits for e-tailers—think enhanced brand reputation, increased average order volume, bolstered conversion rate, etc. We live in the age of reviews, after all, and rare is the customer without the inclination to shop around on their smart phone if it will save them dollars or aggravation.
The Google Trusted Stores badge symbolizes this effort on the part of Google, a trusted and ubiquitous entity; it’s a time-saving signifier for the user, a click-through magnet. To participate, merchants volunteer shipping data, which Google corroborates with customer service metrics from the program’s purchase protection feature.
But What Does This Have to Do with Magento?
As one of the largest and most flexible e-commerce platforms out there, Magento is a natural home for many of the enterprising entrepreneurs in Google Trusted Stores’ crosshairs. Understandably, Magento was quick to adopt the protocol in extension form, offering a handy guide to the installation and validation process. Merchants should note that the Magento extension process involves a thorough application and monitoring procedure, with eligibility determined only after a minimum order threshold and about a month of data-collecting.
How does it work? Users can hover over the badge and see grades for shipping and service, with corresponding percentages for issue resolution and timely delivery. According to Google, badge implementation generally bumps conversion up 1 to 3% and average order size 2 to 6%, with a few outstanding case studies shattering these expectations. The badge shows up in AdWord ads, a common tool for online merchants to complement their optimization schemes. Of course, there is the potential drawback of privacy issues when it comes to sharing shipping addresses with Google, but that’s an issue best addressed by individual merchants.
Magento Go, Too