Google on Thursday rolled out a new certification service called Google Trusted Stores that helps shoppers see which online merchants ship quickly and reliably and which ones offer great customer service.
Google has been testing the free service with online retailers including Wayfair, Timbuk2 and Beau-coup. It is open to all U.S. merchants starting on Thursday.
Google offers up to $1,000 in what it calls "purchase protection" to shoppers who opt in to the program when making a purchase.
The company has a dedicated customer service team based at its Mountain View headquarters to help resolve problems if shoppers are not getting anywhere with the merchant.
Google is also working on providing phone-based support for shoppers in the program, said Tom Fallows, an e-commerce veteran who is now group product manager at Google Shopping.
Fallows would not say how many Google employees are working in these new customer-service positions, but he said the business is "significantly overstaffed."
The move is unusual for Google, which is known for its tech-heavy, automated approach to business. About
Google's commitment of such resources shows how important e-commerce is to the company. In general, the company benefits if more people search online for products and are confident enough to buy.