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Google Trusted Stores provides an unfair advantage to some stores

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VM
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# 1
VM
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Google Trusted Stores appears to offer an unfair advantage to stores with both small ticket items and large ticket items. Its designation can also be extremely misleading to the consumer.

 

For example, store A  sells hot tubs that are priced at $3,000 each and store B sells the same hot tubs at $3,000 each but also sells spa accessories that are under $20 each.  Store A may sell 40 hot tubs in a month while store B sells 1 hot tub in the same time period plus 300 spa widgets for $10 each. Store A does $120,000 per month in sales and Store B does $6,000 per month in sales, yet store A does not qualify for the Google Trusted Stores program and store B qualifies.

 

What is unfair is that the Google Trusted Store info can be used by store B in their PPC hot tub ads but store A does not even qualify.  What is deceptive is that prospective customers, even if they read the reviews,  have no way of knowing that store B is far less experienced in the single product line in which store A specializes.  The reviews don't necessarily reference the specific products purchased. Under the current structure store A would likely never be able to qualify for the program yet it may be a dramatically superior vendor for a particular product or line.

 

 

 

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Google Trusted Stores provides an unfair advantage to some stores

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi VM
Some great points you've made there and to be honest, I completely agree. In fact, one of our clients is in a very similar market to the one that you are discussing and while they are close, they're falling a little short on the number of 90 day order volume to qualify. So, I more than most understand your frustration more than others.

However, after proclaiming the unfairness, I've come to realize that it is in fact somewhat logical in most cases. The way i eventually got around to looking at it was as follows:

A business selling high ticket items at a rate of 1 per day has a much easier time of making the customer happy as they have a lot more time to engage with the customer and the sale. However, Google does not have enough information to know if the customer would be that happy if the retailer was dealing with a high number of sales in a 90 day period. Whereas the higher volume retailer has proven that they can.

Trusted stores is not about who sells the better product. Trusted stores is based on shipping times, customer service, return rates etc. Not about the product. So I think that in the example that we both share here, it's perfectly illustrated what Google is trying to do with the program.

Again, I agree that it's somewhat of an unfair advantage, especially when we may be giving the better product and service, there's just no way for Google to know that with any statistical certainty for us which I guess I understand.

If anything, this has driven us more to reach for that 90 day target and supplement that with added value products for the customer to help us get there. In the quest to reach this volume, we've found that we've been able to offer our (clients) customers more value and increase the bottom line. It's a natural progression for a company to offer accessories to their core product group. If anything, Trusted Stores has "forced" us to go in that direction and that has been nothing but good news.

I'd love to say that life isn't fair and to get on with it, but I'm in the same situation so I can't. What I can say is that if you can't beat them, join them because in this particular case, it can only be good for you.

Hope that has been somewhat of a help and apologies for taking so long to reply to you.

Re: Google Trusted Stores provides an unfair advantage to some stores

VM
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# 3
VM
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Hi - Thanks so much for the feedback. It's much appreciated.

I suppose the thing I find most disconcerting is that one could easily qualify for the program by offering additional low priced widgets, at cost or below - lost leaders. That approach would work but would achieve better ranking only because of an investment in an expanded marketing strategy and more product. My understanding is that Google is trying to avoid giving a company an advantage based primarily on their marketing budget. However, this simply would be a way of getting better ranking by spending more, just not by spending more directly with Google.

That said, the program probably works the way it's supposed to most of the time and shouldn't be fooled with in order to accommodate the exceptions. It's unfortunate but it seems like effectively "gaming" the system may be the only option in some cases.

Thanks again!