Google Inc. is putting a greater focus on e-commerce by going after Amazon’s business via a partnership with StellaService to provide data on merchants that offer exceptional shopping experiences.
The partnership is via a multiyear licensing agreement. Specific terms of the licensing arrangement, such as how much Google is paying Stella for use of its information, are not being disclosed by either party. The aim is to use Stella’s data as a key differentiator in e-commerce where consumers searching for products can feel comfortable buying from a retailer they’re unfamiliar with through reliance on detailed information on customer service metrics. Many consumers now start their search online using Amazon, and then buy through an Amazon-affiliated retailer. The Google-StellaService partnership opens the door for consumers to a wider range of online stores.
Stella uses proprietary metrics to determine monitoring, benchmarking and improving the end-to-end service experience across a range of operating categories for online retailers. Those categories include phone, e-mail, chat and Twitter, and shipping, returns and refunds. Some online stores already carry Stella’s seal of approval as a trusted site.
According to Jordy Leiser, Stella’s chief executive officer and cofounder, “This development means our ratings-data will be served to the screens of hundreds of millions of shoppers to highlight retailers that provide consistently excellent service.…It’s a win for consumers, for retailers that provide great service and for creating even more trust and transparency for online shopping in general.”
Brian Marquardt, group product manager for Google Shopping, said, “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.”
According to Leiser, the first Google program to use Stella’s data will be Google Trusted Stores, the search engine’s certification program that helps shoppers figure out which ones are the better online retailers, although the agreement is for use of the data across a wide range of Google products.
Consumers who use the Google search engine will see on the right column under “Shop on Google” the online retail options that feature photos of the product being searched. Underneath the price will be an icon to show service metrics from Stella if available for that site.
This isn’t the first time Google has ventured into ratings for different services. The company in fall 2011 paid $151 million for Zagat, the restaurant ratings service. A search for a restaurant, if rated by Zagat’s, would show up on the right side of the screen indicating review information and the data that one would expect to find in the Zagat’s printed paperback version.
Stella in February raised $15 million in Series B funding led by Norwest Venture Partners. Existing investors such as Battery Ventures, DFJ Gotham Ventures, RRE Ventures and Forerunner Ventures also participated in the round. Founded in 2009, the customer service metrics firm has raised a total of $22 million.
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews