Robert Beerworth Team : Web Strategy Tags : Technology Online Trends Usability

The Google Trusted Stores Program: the quick lowdown.

Robert Beerworth Team : Web Strategy Tags : Technology Online Trends Usability

Google are currently piloting a program in Australia called Google Trusted Stores. I experienced it on the Kogan website a few days back:

Google Trusted Websites are a sign of the times...


The name says it all.

Essentially, a validation and confirmation that by some measure or agreement, Google trusts your eCommerce website:

  • Reliable shipping.
  • Great customer service.
  • Purchase protection where Google offers up to $1,000 in free cover to the customer where the website fundamentally fails to deliver.


The result of the program of course, is that users then trust your eCommerce website because they trust Google.

The product is in BETA in Australia.

Whether the Google ‘seal’ becomes a standard is hard to tell, especially so early on. On one hand, Google is a universal brand and users have great trust in it; if Google says something is good, it probably is.

Additionally, the program has a level of verification involved and Google’s brand is on the line; this compares to say SSL Certificate providers such as Verisign or Thwart who are happy to have their logos on any website using their essential technology, though can offer no verification of the merits of the actual eCommerce business and its products, delivery and service.

They can only tell you that your credit card details are encrypted between your computer and the server which is cold solace when you’re case of wine isn’t delivered and the seller tells you to drop dead: “great, they securely took my money…”

Conversely, the argument against the Google seal succeeding is a few-fold:

  • Research suggests that users don’t really understand trust symbols. They get the gist, not the detail.
  • Yet another trust symbol and subscription service to install on-top of all the other bloat and crap we have to install? No thanks.
  • Yet another, sign-of-the-times Google service like so many before it.


I don’t really mind where Google Trusted Stores goes (though it seems cool and I hope it succeeds) and this blog isn’t about trust and endearing user engagement through social proof and external verification, a parallel though different topic.

It is basically to tell you about Google Trusted Stores.

Over and out.


Update: 23 July 2014

In the past day I ordered some flowers for a friend as congratulations on a new position.

Immediately after my order, I was asked if I wanted to participate in a survey by Google about my end-to-end experience with the retailer through hich I purchased the flowers. 

I aid 'yes' and Google said it would send me the survey shortly after the retailer confirmed that it had delivered the flowers to me:

A Google Survey... coming to you in the near future

I'll let you know how it goes.

And expect to see these sort of surveys yourself.