Google’s second acquisition of the year is trust seal provider KikScore, based out of Washington, D.C. and Denver. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
As of June 28, KikScore announced, their service will no longer be available to their 1,700+ customers. They recommend that customers “check out the Google Trusted Store product as an alternative to the KikScore service.”
In the announcement, KikScore said Google has acquired their technology and “certain assets.” KikScore CEO and co-founder Rajeev Malik recently described his company in an interview as:
“… a patent-pending online reputation score and interactive report card for small businesses around the world. KikScore enables online small businesses to take information and reputational data about themselves, their track record of responsibility and dependability and show their website visitors that their business can be trusted. Small businesses do this by placing the interactive KikScore Confidence Badge, real-time merchant report card and comment platform on their website so they can close more leads and sell more.”
KikScore wasn’t thought to be an alternative to the Google Trusted Store product so much as they were complementary. While Google’s program focused more on customer service, purchase protection, and shipping, KikScore offered a more holistic look at the business as a whole. For example, customers could learn where the e-commerce website was hosted, who owned the company, and review customer feedback with real-time scoring.
In the world of e-commerce, trust is big business. A 2010 national survey by the National Cyber Security Alliance discovered that 54 percent of Americans at the time were “extremely concerned” at the prospect of loss or theft of their identifying or financial data online. Retail e-commerce sales in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2012 alone surpassed $53 billion.
With their Trusted Store program, Google will try to compete with longer established companies to instill confidence in online consumers. KikScore’s technology will definitely help them beef up their offering, should they incorporate the features into Trusted Stores.
Google has been working hard at making online purchasing and mobile payment more attractive to consumers; in April, they also acquired mobile payment technology company TxVia. In that deal, TxVia’s 100 million customers came to Google as part of the package.