If you buy from big online retailers, like Amazon, BestBuy or Walmart, you probably don't really need to be convinced that they are legitimate. But for smaller retailers, it may be harder to convince people that they will be getting good service, meaning quality merchandise that will get there quickly. That's why a third party, who will tell customers that they can trust you, is extremely helpful.
STELLAService, an independent provider of customer service ratings and analytics for online retailers, is one such company, and now it has signed a new partnership with Google to help shoppers better understand the service quality of online merchants, it was announced Wednesday.
Google will use the customer service ratings and performance data to highlight online merchants that offer a better shopping experience, the company said. The STELLAService data will be used within Google offerings, including Google Trusted Stores, a selective certification program that helps shoppers identify the best online stores.
“Google is dedicated to building a better shopping experience. We’re focused on making it easy for people to find exactly what they want at the best online stores” Brian Marquardt, Group Product Manager, Google Shopping, said in a statement. “The data we receive from STELLAService will help give shoppers the confidence that they’re buying from a store that provides a consistently excellent shopping experience.”
Google has been attempting to break into the e-commerce game, unveiling its new shopping and same-day delivery service Google Shopping Express in March.
The service allows shoppers to purchase items online from local retailers and get their items during a time window of their choosing. Some of the retailers Google is working with include Target, Walgreens, Staples, American Eagle, Toys R Us, and Babies R Us, as well as local stores such as San Francisco’s Blue Bottle Coffee, Raley’s Nob Hill Foods, and the Bay Area’s Palo Alto Toy & Sport.
Founded in 2009, New York City-based STELLAService is focused on not just helping Web shoppers better understand how online companies handle internet purchases, but it also informs retailers how to grow their businesses through customer service data and marketing services.
Through a process audited by global accounting and auditing firm KPMG, STELLAService analysts measure and rate the end-to-end service experience across support channels including phone, email, chat and Twitter as well as shipping, returns and refunds. The service metrics include a mix of speed and quality, such as total time to reach a live representative on the phone, product and policy knowledge and packaging quality.
The company has raised $22 million, including $5 million in Series A funding, led by Battery Ventures and included DFJ Gotham Ventures, RRE Ventures and Forerunner Ventures, in November 2011. Most recently STELLAservice raised $15 million in Series B financing from Norwest Venture Partners, Battery Ventures,, DFJ Gotham Ventures, RRE Ventures and Forerunner Ventures.
"This collaboration supports the shared goals of STELLAService and Google to provide a better and more informed online shopping experience to users around the world," STELLAService Chief Executive Jordy Leiser said in a statement. “ By sharing customer service performance data with Google, we’re able to not only help consumers quickly identify companies with helpful service and fast delivery speeds, but we're also able to provide a new opportunity for the best online retailers to stand out from the pack with their great service.”
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