Trusted Shops Trustmark

Which criteria are checked?

Trusted Shops uses an extensive list of quality criteria to audit the online store. Click here to view the quality criteria for the relevant country:

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What prerequisites must an online shop fulfil in order to be certified by Trusted Shops?

All online retailers that offer their customers a fully web-based ordering process can be certified by Trusted Shops. However, the following are excluded:

  • Products that are legally prohibited and/or listed in the Trusted Shops exclusion catalogue
  • Websites without sales activities 

The online retailer must fulfil the Trusted Shops quality criteria at the end of the certification process.

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When will I get my audit report?

You will usually receive the audit report for your online store within 1-2 weeks of acceptance of your order by Trusted Shops. A detailed description of the certification procedure can be found here.

This can vary during busy periods.

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Trusted Shops Ratings

What is the Trusted Shops Rating System?

With the Trusted Shops Rating System, buyers can evaluate an online shop’s performance in just a few clicks.

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What categories can be evaluated?

Buyers rate a shop according to up to three different criteria:
- Delivery
- Goods
- Customer service
With some shops in the services sector, only the criterion of “service” can be rated.

In addition, the online buyer is asked to leave a comment to provide reasons for their rating.

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What quality statements correspond to the allocated stars?

5 stars: Customer satisfaction Very good

4 stars: Customer satisfaction Good

3 stars: Customer satisfaction Fair

2 stars: Customer satisfaction Poor

1 star: Customer satisfaction Very poor

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How does the rating process work?

Each category receives a rating of one to five stars. If a user does not want to rate a category or wants to do so at a later date, they can skip it. In addition, they complete their rating with a free comment.

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When is a submitted rating published?

The rating appears automatically in the online shop’s rating overview.

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How are online retailers protected against fake evaluations?

- Double opt-in: The rating must be submitted using a valid e-mail address. After submitting the rating, the customer receives a link so that they can confirm the rating (double opt-in).

- Legal violation: If the customer comment represents an untrue statement of fact or an offensive critique, or if a customer rates a shop that they have not ordered anything from, the shop can report this to Trusted Shops as a legal violation. Any legal violations will be investigated by Trusted Shops on the basis of proof to be submitted by the shop. Any unlawful comments will be deleted by Trusted Shops. If it can be demonstrated that a person submitting a rating is not a customer of the shop, the rating will likewise be deleted.

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Where can online retailers view and work with the submitted ratings?

All ratings are managed in a secure login area (Shop login). Here, the online retailer can view the ratings after publication and write a public comment in response to a rating and/or apply for an inspection to determine whether a legal violation has taken place. The online retailer will receive the access data for their personal login immediately after their order has been accepted. Trusted Shops members can log in with the access data that they receive through their membership. If you misplace or forget your password, you can request a new one here.

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Do online retailers only see their ratings when they appear publicly?

Every online retailer has the opportunity to view submitted ratings in a secure login area after publication. All ratings are automatically released by Trusted Shops. It is not possible to prevent or delay the publication of ratings. Only once the procedure for determining a legal violation has been completed Trusted Shops will, where applicable, delete the unlawful expressions in a comment.

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What languages are Trusted Shops ratings available in?

Trusted Shops ratings are available to online shops in the following languages: German, English, French, Spanish and Polish.

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Why is the comments field limited to 400 characters?

The comments field in the rating form is limited to 400 characters for the following reasons:

- Limiting the field to 400 characters is intended to make ratings as practical as possible for both the online buyer and the seller.

- An online retailer’s comment related to a rating is limited to 400 characters as well. By this, the answers of the online retailers are listed in a clearly represented way in the rating profile.

- From experience, most consumers prefer to read short rating comments so that they can get a general idea about the online shop by means of a variety of opinions.

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How are ratings collected?

The online retailer can ask the customer to submit a rating at every point of the purchasing process. It is sufficient to integrate the link to the rating form into the relevant shop templates or communication channels (e.g. e-mail). Ideally, if the customer agrees, the request to provide a rating will be sent just a few days after delivery of the goods. Trusted Shops certified shops also receive ratings directly via the Trusted Shops System, whereby buyers that have taken out buyer protection are given a corresponding rating form during the processing of this guarantee.

Important: Should the customer be requested to submit a rating by e-mail, express consent must be obtained from the customer. Otherwise this request e-mail will be a case of illegitimate advertising.

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Does Trusted Shops ask the buyer to provide a rating by e-mail?

No, Trusted Shops does not ask the customer to provide a rating by e-mail at any time. However, the online shop can implement this function independently or with the support of the shop system. In such a case, the customer must give his consent to receiving such a reminder from Trusted Shops.

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What shop software solution can the Trusted Shops Customer review be used with?

The Trusted Shops Customer review is compatible with every shop system.

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Can the widget be adapted to suit a shop layout?

Yes. In the login area (Shop login), the widget can be adapted on an individual basis to the needs of the online shop. This adaptation applies to the width of the widget (between 140 and 190 pixels) and to the display of one comment in the widget. Trusted Shops members can also integrate the Trusted Shops Trustmark directly into their widget.

An uniform appearance of the Trusted Shops rating widget is especially important to us, so that we do not allow design-related changes to the widget. Cropping the widget graphic or other changes using stylesheet settings are also not permitted. This is because, above all, the recognition value of the widget among consumers and the corresponding trustworthiness of a neutral rating system from Trusted Shops represents considerable added value for the online shop

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When is the widget updated?

The widget is constantly brought up-to-date by the Trusted Shops System. However, slight deviations between the widget and the ratings management in the member area are possible if the integration of the widget into the online shop takes place via a caching function.

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How is the shop grade to be displayed in the widget determined?

The Trusted Shops Customer review comprises the ratings submitted by the dealer’s customers since 29/09/2012 in the following categories: delivery, goods and customer service.

The grade and rating profile are re-determined daily using an algorithm developed by Trusted Shops. The ratings submitted after 28/09/2012 are used to calculate the average grade. Only using those  ratings serves the purpose of keeping the rating profile up to date.

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When is a grade displayed in the widget?

As soon as an online retailer has collected the first rating in the system, the grade is displayed directly in the widget and the profile. If the online shop has not yet collected any ratings, the widget merely contains the link to the public rating form.

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What technical support can online retailers use during implementation?

Every user of the rating system will receive a detailed integration manual in PDF format with the e-mail order confirmation. This and the Trusted Shops System contain features such as code examples for integration into the relevant shop templates.

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Can ratings from other suppliers be imported into the Trusted Shops System?

No, ratings from other suppliers cannot be imported into the Trusted Shops Rating System.

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Are ratings from Google Shopping and Google AdWords recorded?

If the merchant has booked the with costs additional option "Google Integration" the rating submitted by customers are transferred daily by Trusted Shops to Google, guaranteeing the fastest possible uptake of ratings in Google. There is no hard and fast rule for the amount of time it takes for new ratings to be accepted on Google’s part. In our experience, it takes between 4 and 6 weeks.

Google also automatically integrates the collected shop ratings from your customers into Google AdWords shop ads (if available) – this can read to higher click-through rates.

However, this function is only available in certain countries, e.g. Germany/UK. In some countries’ versions of Google, such ads are not possible.

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What does Trusted Shops do with the data and ratings?

All data and ratings are used solely for handling Trusted Shops ratings.

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Who holds the usage rights to the submitted ratings?

The ratings are collected, stored and managed by Trusted Shops. The usage rights are transferred to Trusted Shops with the submission of the rating by the purchaser.

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What happens to the ratings in the event of termination of the contract?

The ratings are no longer shown publicly. The ratings cannot be released.

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Can buyers object to the display of their rating in the widget or on the overview page?

No. However, the ratings and comments are anonymous and always shown without any reference to the online buyer.

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What are the advantages of Trusted Shops ratings for online retailers?

Ratings increase user confidence in an online shop. New customers are more likely to make a purchase and long-term loyalty to the shop is generated among existing customers. In addition, the ratings provide the online retailers with first-hand feedback as to which areas of the online shop could be optimised.

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How important are the ratings for the consumers?

According to a representative consumer study carried out in September 2009 by the market researcher GfK, over 70 per cent of all online buyers trust ratings and use them as guidance when making a purchasing decision. Furthermore, a lack of suitable opportunities for quality evaluation is a hurdle in making an online purchase for almost one in two internet users.

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Can the comments be used as a component of the ratings for advertising purposes?

Authorisation must be obtained from Trusted Shops as the customer only assigns the usage rights to Trusted Shops GmbH. Trusted Shops can grant sub-licences so that advertising is possible after approval has been granted.

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Are the results of the rating also shown on the Trusted Shops shop pages?

Yes, the ratings are also integrated into the public shop profile for online shops that are Trusted Shops certified.

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How are the customer comments displayed in the rating profile?

The customer comments regarding the submitted ratings are displayed in a prominent position on the rating profile. By offering filter options by school grade, ranging from “Very good” to “Very poor”, the online buyer can very quickly gain an overview of the comments on transactions.

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Does an online retailer need to carry the Trusted Shops Trustmark in order to be able to use Trusted Shops ratings?

No, the “customer reviews” feature can also be used as a stand-alone solution in online shops that do not use the Trusted Shops Trustmark.

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Can online retailers that have integrated the customer reviews into their shop use the Trusted Shops Trustmark?

No, only those that have been certified by Trusted Shops are entitled to use the trustmark in their online shop. This means that only Trusted Shops certified shops can display the rating widget with the note “Trusted Shops Customer review”.

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Trusted Shops Buyer Protection (and Guarantees)

Do I have to integrate Buyer Protection into my shop?

All online shops certified by Trusted Shops must offer their customers Buyer Protection.

The terms of use from the agreed Terms and Conditions of Membership (TS-AMB) state the following:

The right of use is granted on condition that the online shop offers its customers (Internet buyers) Trusted Shops Buyer Protection as defined in the conditions of the Trusted Shops guarantee contract (this requires the prior conclusion of the additional guarantee contract);

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What are the differences between the “Classic” and “Excellence” Buyer Protection models?

The Classic model is free of charge to your customers and covers purchases up to € 2,500 where Buyer Protection is activated after the end customer’s purchase.

Choosing the Excellence model means you can offer your customers Buyer Protection up to € 20,000. For a small fee, customers can activate Buyer Protection directly in the shopping basket of your online shop.

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How long does Buyer Protection apply?

The guarantee period is generally 30 days in both Classic and Excellence Buyer Protection models and can be extended by the buyer by one single further period of 30 days, provided that no delivery or refund takes place in this period.

With the Excellence Buyer Protection model you do in principle have the option to extend the guarantee period from 30 days to 60, 90 or 120 days. This, however, requires a case-by-case examination by the Trusted Shops risk management department. Please send us an e-mail with the desired guarantee period for your online shop via our contact form.

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How does the refund process work?

A buyer has the option of contacting Trusted Shops in the event of a problem during the order process (e.g. non-delivery or cancellation) within 30 days after taking out Buyer Protection, which will extend the cover period by 30 days. The online shop will be immediately informed by e-mail of the customer’s message. The buyer can extend his Buyer Protection guarantee for only one single period of 30 days by sending feedback (e.g. non-delivery or cancellation).

If no delivery or refund is made by the online shop in this period, the customer has seven days to apply for a refund.

The customer’s claim for reimbursement will then be assessed by the Trusted Shops Consumer Service team and, if applicable, the refund will be made by Trusted Shops.

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How is a warranty case dealt with?

All the important information concerning the processing of guarantee cases can be found in our guide, which you can view and download in your Trusted Shops backend under Membership - Documents – “Buyer Protection Guide for Online Retailers”.

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I’m having technical problems with the Buyer Protection integration. What can I do?

In this case, feel free to contact our member service by phone or via our contact form. Please try to describe as precisely as possible how the problem is manifesting in your shop and, if you are using shop software and plug-ins, give us their names and versions.

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Trusted Shops Membership

I have changed the shop software, so what happens now?

If the shop software used by a certified online shop changes, generally a new audit is needed. If the last audit of the shop was completed over 12 months ago, the new audit required will be considered a follow-up audit. There will be no charge for the shop system change, as you are entitled to a free follow-up audit every 12 months for the certified shop.

If, however, the last audit was less than 12 months ago, you will be invoiced for € 200 (net), as per our price list.

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I have sold my shop. Can the new owner take over the trustmark?

In general, it is possible to take over a Trusted Shops Membership contract. To this end, please use our contact form, stating the full address of the company taking over the contract. You will then be provided with a contract takeover form, which must be signed by both the old and the new owner and returned to Trusted Shops. The associated certificates will be changed on the takeover date stated on the form.

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Where can I download copies of invoices?

If you wish to be sent a/another copy of an invoice, please send a short message with your request via our contact form. Our accounts department will then send you the invoice copy by e-mail as a PDF.

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