Merchants who are registered within the Google Merchant Center are eligible for a Trusted Store badge, Google stated in an announcement last week.

In February, the company notified users it would start rewarding merchants who provide “excellent customer experience” as part of its new program called Shopping Experience Scorecard. This reward, according to the announcement, would come in the form of a badge, a boost in rankings and other benefits that put merchants in front of their target audience.

Google follows through by expanding the Trusted Store badge to free product listings and enabling more merchants to generate interest and clicks on their products. To earn the badge, merchants must demonstrate high scores across various performance metrics that are measured relative to other merchants.

These metrics include (but are not limited to):

  • Shipping costs
  • Shipping speeds
  • Return windows
  • Return costs

The scores are determined using the Shopping Experience Scorecard program, which keeps track of a merchant’s performance based on the metrics shown above. On each metric, they can get a rating of “Excellent,” “Comparable” or “Opportunity.” 

If certain criteria are achieved, Google will reward that merchant with the coveted Trusted Store badge and a boost in rankings under the Shopping tab. Anyone who has signed up for Buy on Google or free product listings in the U.S. is eligible for the reward.

The company stated in the announcement, 

“Merchants who provide excellent shipping and returns services, for example, may receive a badge indicating they’re a Trusted Store, which will appear alongside their free product listings on the Shopping tab.”

In essence, the Trusted Store badge is designed to help qualified merchants reach and convert more buyers. According to Google, those that display the badge are more likely to get clicks, and those who are lesser-known in their market niche could generate more traffic and prominence with the badge on display. 

The benefits, overall, include increased brand awareness, higher rankings, greater customer trust and more product listing engagement.

With these opportunities on the horizon, Google merchants are encouraged to provide the best possible customer service and excel in areas of shipping and returns. 

The new reward system speaks to Google’s continuous push for customer experience and is aligned with everything we know about the search engine so far: Provide value to customers, and you shall be rewarded.

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