Google Trusted Stores: Retail Experts Weigh in on the Impact of the GTS Badge

What is a Google Trusted Store?

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Google Trusted Stores is a free certification program that highlights a businesses’ great shopping experience.

Once qualified, a retailer will be recognized with a badge that is displayed on their site and on Google Shopping results.

As of January 2015, applying to become a Google Trusted Store is easier than before.

With the most recent updates, applicants only need to create an account and add two snippets of code to their website.

Retailers no longer need to submit separate feeds for shipments and cancellations – an often time-consuming and tedious process. Approved merchants can specify a custom position for the Google Trusted Stores badge on their site and display it on HTTPS pages as well.

We got the chance to hear from major players in the online retail space from a wide range of product categories to discuss their opinion of Google Trusted Stores.

 

Retailer Experts Weigh in on the Pros and Cons of Google Trusted Stores


Parag Patel, CTO – AutoAnything, Inc.

AutoAnything, Inc., an AutoZone Company, is a San Diego-based E-Commerce Company that merges the high-speed lane of custom automotive accessories and performance parts with cutting-edge internet parag-pateltechnology and industry-leading customer service.

AutoAnything is backed by AutoZone, the leading retailer and distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the United States with annual sales of over $8 billion.

Q: How long did it take to become a Google Trusted Store?

A: The integration took about 3 weeks. The badge started appearing pretty much right away as we were one of their first customers.

Q: What were some of the difficulties you faced in the GTS approval process?

A: Google requires the app integration and a shipment feed to assess the performance of autoanythingthe retailer. We needed to create a shipment feed which was not initially in scope.

Also, the pop-up on the order confirmation page was competing with other surveys that were designed to be fired. We cleaned up the interface to support both. Although, nothing was particularly difficult.

Q: How has the Google Trusted Store badge impacted your shopping performance?

A: This is unclear. We cannot validate the benefit as the Google terms and conditions prohibit you from running A/B tests.


Travis, Ecommerce Director – Established Flower Retailer

Q: How long did it take to become a Google Trusted Store?travis-zboch

A: It took us about one year.

Q: What were some of the difficulties you faced in the GTS approval process?

A: We had a hard time setting up the shipping and cancellations feeds. Once we finally got them going, GTS changed their format, and the feeds were no longer necessary.

Then, I had a hard time passing data to them and getting the GTS stores verified through their code checker. That took some time. However, once that was working, it only took about four weeks to get approved.

Q: How has the Google Trusted Store badge impacted your shopping performance?

A: Too soon to tell. I’ve only been approved for about a week. Our badge has been on the site for about a week, but has not yet began appearing in our PPC ads.


Jonathan Long, VP – RockyMountainTrail.com

RockyMountainTrail.com offers outdoor gear from backpacks, jackets, tents, sleepingbags to camping accessories, stoves and more.

Based in Buena Vista, CO they carry top name brands such as The North Face, JanSport, Columbia, Patagonia, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, Dakine, Kelty and more.

Q: How long did it take to become a Google Trusted Store?

A: It took us less than a month. We started in November and were approved right around Black Friday.rocky-mountain-trail

Q: What were some of the difficulties you faced in the GTS approval process?

A: Initially we had some data syncing issues. We were not informed there was a dashboard to follow. At first we were told our numbers were not good enough. Later, we saw where the issues were.

About 10 percent of our orders are drop ship and we weren’t sending all our tracking info. Once we figured that out we were were able to close the loop. At the time we were disappointed because we weren’t able to start over but had to wait until the good data could catch up. That caused some delays.

Q: How has the Google Trusted Store badge impacted your shopping performance?

A: Once we were approved we did see an initial spike and an increase in conversions but its hard to know if that was due to GTS because we are a seasonal company. It was right around Black Friday when we got approval.

When it came back down – the ability to evaluate wasn’t clear. We were hoping to have the same experience as Amazon but were somewhat disappointed by the recent changes.

All they really tell you is your customer reviews. Don’t track things like time shipping anymore and that was one of the features I was most excited about in the beginning.


Do We Recommend Google Trusted Stores?

“I pretty much always recommend that retailers do it,” Jeff Coleman Director, Account Management at CPC Strategy said.jeff-coleman

“It can be hard to measure the before and after impact but the one thing I always tell retailers is that you want to try and think about it from a customer’s perspective. For a customer that’s looking for something, GTS is just one more indicator that you are a trustworthy retailer. Google’s vouching for you essentially,” he said.

“By no means is it going to impact everyone that’s looking at your store but it’s another indicator of trust and that’s the hardest thing to build in a customer’s mind.”

Since the updates in January, the approval process is much faster than before now that retailers don’t have to work through the data feed red tape.

The amount of time it takes for a retailer to receive GTS approve is dependent on a variety of factors. For some of the clients listed above – the old process took up to a year, now the process can be completed (considering all qualifications are met) in a matter of weeks.


Key factors to keep in mind about Google Trusted Stores approval:

  • Has the potential to (but cannot guarantee) conversion increase
  • Badge has the potential to strengthen business credibility
  • Google provides a mediator during problematic business / customer situations
  • Can help retailers stand out in the Google SERP and Shopping tab
  • Offers Purchase Protection, a program favored by consumers
  • Enhances the amount of Customer Review / Ratings

 

Click here for more information on Google Trusted Stores

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About the AuthorTara graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Journalism / Business. Her passion for creative publishing and quality reporting landed her work opportunities at several companies in Massachusetts, New York and California. She is a leading voice behind CPC Strategy’s Blog. See all posts by this author here.