Private equity firm Apollo Global Management will take Rackspace private in the all-cash deal.
Online shoppers will see more customer service data on e-commerce sites.
99.9% issue-free orders.
99% on-time shipping.
60-day return policy.
And an overall rating of EXCELLENT.
Those are some of the customer-service data points for eBags Inc., one of the online retailers taking part in the newest version of the Google Inc. and StellaService Inc. collaboration that seeks to give shoppers more information about—and confidence in—the e-retailers they purchase from.
Earlier this year, Google said it would use customer service data from StellaService to boost the e-retailer ratings that appear via Google’s Trusted Store program. Trusted Stores appears to consumers as an online badge that, when clicked, shows customers how Google rates sites in such areas as returns and shipping times. Google also includes a purchase protection guarantee for up to $1,000 on orders placed with participating retailers.
What’s new is that when consumers roll over the Trusted Stores badges on e-commerce sites—the badges are typically found in the bottom corners of the sites—they will see performance data from StellaService. The badge also includes a link to participating retailers’ profile page on StellaService.com. The new program includes more than 100 e-retail sites, says a StellaService spokesman. Among the merchants are eBags.com (No. 149 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide), FatBrainToys.com (No. 472) and Envelopes.com, No. 505 in the Second 500 Guide.
Neither retailers nor consumers pay for the service, but retailers must apply for and be accepted into Google’s Trusted Stores program. Google does not disclose how many retailers take part in Trusted Stores. Merchants must regularly share order and service data with Google to take part. Google launched Trusted Stores in 2011. “Together, we’re providing a more informed shopping experience for consumers and offering a compelling opportunity for the best online retailers to stand above the competition and increase their revenue by showcasing their great service,” says Jordy Leiser, co-founder and CEO of StellaService.
StellaService does not charge retailers before rating them, the spokesman says. “We examine metrics like response time, shipping speed and consistency and accuracy of (customer service) responses,” he says. “There are hundreds of different metrics, all of which deal with how a retailer provides service to their customers. We evaluate over 20,000 interactions on a monthly basis, including contact center and shopping interactions, as well as orders and returns.”