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.
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)