What is it?
Google Trusted/Certified Shop program has been around for about 2 years (although some of this time was in beta, so only available to a select few.)
For shoppers this is like a certificate of excellence, ie. the online retailer meets a high level of criteria set by Google, and with the added bonus, that shoppers can get up to £1000 purchase protection.
The purchase protection is quite limited, and only applies in the following instances:
- You fail to receive the correct item.
- Your item is not received in the promised condition.
- You are billed an incorrect amount.
- Your item is not delivered in a timely manner.
- The Merchant does not honour their return policies.
For online retailers, you get a Google certified shop badge to display on your website, and will also show on your ads if you are running adwords search campaigns.
Google claim that certification can increase conversion rate and overall order size on your site. Case studies we have seen, show a 4% increase overall across beta test sites, so not hugely significant.
If you don’t already have sellers ratings appear against your ads (these are the orange stars you see next to some ads), this can help you get more reviews and start showing sellers ratings.
Is My Online Shop Eligible?
There are strict criteria to meet in order to be considered for the program:
- Average monthly order volume must be over 200 orders per shop.
- You do not sell restricted products/services eg Fireworks, Alcohol, Gambling Products, Endangered Animals and more.
- You must respond to customer queries within one working day.
- You must clearly provide information on postage & shipping times, including back dated and pre-ordered items.
- Your checkout pages must be hosted on the same domain as your website.
- Your checkout pages must be encrypted.
How Do I Apply?
You can apply online here: http://www.google.co.uk/certifiedshops/
There is a 30-day qualification period, during which Google will collect and analyse data to assess if you are eligible to run in the Certified Shops program. If not enough data is available; the qualification period may be extended.
Once you are accepted into the program, you have to maintain a high standard of customer service and still meet all the initial criteria in order to keep your certification.
Should I Apply?
If you can easily meet the criteria for the program, we recommend that you do apply for it. While the data available only shows a small improvement in conversion, if this can be achieved without significant development costs or changes to your business it is worthwhile.