Webinar: Google Trusted Stores: The Good, Great and Remarkable

Google’s Aaron Rackoff presents benefits and how to get started with Google Trusted Stores.


Webinar Transcript

Google Trusted Stores help shoppers feel more comfortable buying online. Today I am going to give you an overview of Google Trusted Stores, describe a little bit how it works, share the impact that some of our retailers are seeing and then the next steps to getting started if you’re interested.

The highest level of Google Trusted Stores is a badging program, it’s designed to improve your conversion rate and your average order size on your website, by reassuring particularly new buys to offer a great shopping experience. If you’re like a lot of our partners you probably have a lot of existing customers that are very loyal and come back. This program may not help them, but for all those new customers that are new to your site, seeing you for the first time on Google or on your website, this is going to be great to be able to reassure them that you offer them that fantastic shopping experience that you offer.

So if you look at one of our partners, Wayfair.com which is one of the top 50 retailers in the country, you’ll see their site and in the bottom right hand corner of that is the Google Trusted Stores badge. The badge will float there in the bottom right hand corner so as you scroll down the page it will stay in that same position. And then if a customer to the site mouses over that badge, they will see the slide-over that we have blown up so you can it a little bit more clearly. And basically there’s a lot of elements to this, the first is that we are co-branding it with you. You see the Wayfair brand in the upper left in this example, Google Trusted Stores in the upper right.

The next line says based on over a million transactions with Wayfair.com, and this is important because we think that the more transaction history that you can build up the more impressive that is for customers to be able to see that tons of other people have had a great experience shopping on your site.

The next thing that jump out at you are the A-Grades and reliable shipping and excellent service. So we found from a lot of customer research that the two things the customers really care about that they are not seeing today as much as they would like and it’s a barrier to them is not knowing when a product is really going to ship, and not knowing what the customer service experience is going to be like if they haven’t already bought from your site. So we want to make sure that that’s front and center.

An important part about the program is that Google Trusted Stores badge is the promise of a good experience, so the badge only shows if you would have some form of an A+, A- grade here. 
For the details on exactly what that performance is, right down below we show 98% on-time shipping for this example, one-day to ship and that is the days for the product to leave your warehouse.

On the excellent service side, we give customers up to $1,000 in purchase protection. For great stores, customers won’t have to use this almost at all because your customer service takes great care of them. But if they do have to come to Google with an issue, we measure the percentage of people that do escalate an issue and what percentage of those are user/retailer resolved in under two days, and we show that information in the badge as well.

So that’s the badge on your site. This launched as of last September in Beta, and we have just come out of Beta and made the program available to all retailers who want to participate.

On the next couple screens I am going to show how we’re going to take the badge and move that onto the Google experience, so anytime customers are seeing your listing we want to have them be able to see that you’re a Trusted Store there as well.

So here’s an example from Adwords. We have already started testing, integrating the badge into Adwords in various different UI treatments, so this is one of them. It would show the logo and say Google Trusted Store next to your website. And then also if people moused over that Google Trusted Store part of the Ad, they would get the same kind of fly-over that comes out of the badge on your site as well.

In addition to Adwords, we are starting to roll this out across other parts of search and ads at Google, so Google Shopping product pages is the first of these that we’re testing, the first of many. So we are now at about 25% exposure of the badge and hope to raise that over time. So, if you see next to the Wayfair example here, it says Trusted Store with a checkbox and then if you mouse over that it would also show the fly-over that has the Trusted Stores metrics in it including the on-time shipping excellent customer service.

So in terms of the impact that we’ve had for our partners, here are three examples, Wayfair.com. Timbuk2 and Bookoo, and we’ve helped through AB testing improve their conversion rate and average order size, and so that AB testing we’ve been able to calculate what the total impact of having the badge on their site is. And for the largest retailers, we are seeing in this 1%, 2%, 3% total impact and for smaller retailers all the way up to 8%, 9%, 10% total impact, and we have had really great results so far. The different partners, some of the experiences they’ve had – read Bookoo’s example here – it’s a win-win situation. Customers get the assurance of seeing our performance grades based on the actual experience of customers. And Bookoo enjoys the higher sales that come with that buyer confidence, so we definitely think this is a win-win situation as well, both for the retailer, for the customer and for Google as well because we are able to recommend great stores like yours to Google users as well.

So, people often ask now how are the badge metrics calculated and what data is that based on. So on the shipping side what happens is you, the retailer, would send us an estimated ship date through a conversion tracking pixel, and then you would submit a feed to us with the shipment tracking numbers. Those are the numbers from UPS, FedEx, USPS, and we basically are able to verify that way that you shipped it out, it left your warehouse and came to the carrier by the time you had promised the customer, so we can calculate the on-time shipping and days shipped to leave your warehouse as well.

On the customer service side, we think we have a great way of calculating the customer service scores, better than consisting star rates and reviews programs, which often – people will only meet a star rating or review if they have had a much better or expected experience or a terrible experience.

Your rating could be based on a review that someone wrote years ago when there’s been a lot of changes since, because not as many people are actually responding to those reviews.

In this case, because it can be based on the entire population of people opted in to purchase protection, we can see what a percentage of customers escalate an issue to Google that they need help with and we can consider everyone else who doesn’t escalate an issue to the purchase protection to be satisfied. We always give you, the retailer, the opportunity to resolve the issue first, and basically we are able to look at how quickly you respond to that issue in addition to the percentage of customers that ask for help in calculating that customer service grade.

Some terms of the lifecycle. You would first demonstrate reliable shipping and excellent customer service in what we call an invisible monitoring mode. It’s 28 days long and at least 1,000 orders long, and after we’ve had that chance to monitor your performance we are able to award the badge that has real data in it, and then the customer would see that badge, recognize that you’re an excellent merchant and hopefully convert at a higher rate and buy more from you. And then after purchase, a customer can opt into free purchase protection. It’s free for you and also free for the customer, and in rare cases the customer can ask for help with the order. You the retailer would still resolve the issue and mark it resolved in the system, and only in extremely rare cases would it have to come to Google to help mediate in that situation.

So the way the customers opt in is this: after they have already placed an order is on your order confirmation page, we would have a ‘Like’ box like this one, and if the customer clicks yes I would like free purchase protection, that big blue button, then they are opted in. If they click no thanks or they click the X box or they don’t do anything, it’s assumed that they did not opt in to the program. All the information that we get sent is totally anonymous except the email address of the customer if they opt in to the purchase protection. If they don’t opt in, it’s totally anonymous so then there is no TII at all.

In those rare cases where customers do have issues that they escalate to Google through the purchase protection, basically they come to a screen like this – the first step is always to contact you, the retailer, and basically we would show your excellent customer service report card in this bottom right part of the screen to give that customer that extra reassurance that they are going to be treated well when they work with you. Then basically we give all the ways the customer can get in touch with you, your phone number, your online chat, your email, etc. And then if the customer just contacts you directly, then we still don’t ever hear about this and this is not counted in the metrics.

It’s only if a customer escalates an issue to Google in the second round, if they haven’t been able to work it out with you in the past. And in that case the customer would fill out a web form and that web form would get automatically, immediately forwarded onto your customer service team so they would have a second chance to work with the customer. And only in extremely rare cases would it come to our team at Google to help mediate, this happens in a very-very small percentage of orders, and basically we would work with you and the customer to come to a satisfactory resolution that is in line with your policies.

So if you’re interested in Google Trusted Stores, there is a standard Google Trusted Stores Beta agreement that you would accept down at the web address below:

The integration is typically under three days of effort based on all of our Beta partners that are participating, and consists of Javascript that goes on every page of your site that renders the badge. You can just copy and paste that into the global footer of your site. Then there’s an order confirmation page pixel. It’s about equivalent to doing a Google analytics implementation, it usually takes about a day of IT effort to implement. And then you would send us the actually tracking numbers through the shipping data feed on a daily basis, and then the cancellation feed is really just the order number and the cancellation code and it excludes from your metrics any orders that are cancelled.

Once you’re integrated, you would enter the invisible monitoring mode for 28 days while we collect the data on your shipping performance. It’s both 28 days and the number of transactions that we need to monitor, and then once you’ve passed all of our checks and make sure that you meet the standards of the program, then you’d be able to launch and the badge would be visibly on your site.

So with that, I really want to thank you for listening to the Hangout today, and we look forward to having you as a Google Trusted Store.