Google aims to shine a spotlight on high-quality online stores to help shoppers find ones that offer compelling shopping experiences.
Slideshow: Top 15 Google Apps ForBusiness
(click image for larger view and for full slideshow)
To allay doubts about the legitimacy of the e-commerce sites, Google has announced a new program to highlight exemplary online merchants.
Google Trusted Stores aspires to help shoppers recognize online stores that offer compelling shopping experiences. The program is likely to be less contentious than Google's attempt to promote trust among members of its Google+ social network by requiring people to use their real names, though it may make competitors fret about the inexorable spread of Google branding onto third-party websites.
Google has begun admitting merchants into the program, which will require participating sites to share shipping and customer service data with Google and to meet Google's shipping and customer service standards.
Merchants that meet Google's standards will be allowed to display a badge on their websites that serves as a trust mark and attests to their ability to serve customers.
In order to continue displaying the badge, merchants must ship a high percentage of orders within the delay period specified at purchase and must maintain a low average for shipping time. Google has not disclosed specific threshold numbers for the program.
Shoppers at Google Trusted Stores will have the option of free purchase protection. Google, however, insists that this protection does not constitute a product warranty or endorsement and does not represent a form of insurance--a disclaimer probably designed to avoid regulation under consumer protection laws.
The purchase protection program allows customers to seek help from Google if a dispute arises. Google is offering up to $1,000 lifetime purchase protection for eligible purchases. The company describes its dispute resolution process on its website.
Merchants participating in the Google Trusted Stores pilot program include O.co, Wayfair, BabyAge.com, and Beach Audio. Google says that program badges may appear intermittently on these sites in order to test whether the program promotes shopping, as intended.
Google expects to admit more merchants into the program at a later date. Those interested can sign up online.
InformationWeek is conducting a survey on the state of business intelligence/analytics and information management deployments. We'd like to know about the successes and challenges you've had as well as your wish list of new BI/analytics capabilities you'd like to tap in the months and years ahead. Respond to the survey and be eligible to win an iPod Touch. Take the survey now. Survey ends Oct. 7.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
2017 State of IT ReportIn today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.