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Trusted Shops expands to Italy and the Netherlands

Trusted Shops, an European trustmark for online shops with buyer protection, has expanded its services to Italy and the Netherlands. An expansion to Belgium is planned to go live at the end of this month. In the Netherlands it will face serious competition with Thuiswinkel.org, who is also one of the founders of Ecommerce Europe. And that organization also wants to have a pan-European trustmark for consumers. Is this a first sign of the start of a battle for the trust of the European shop owner?

Trusted Shops is a huge player in Europe, the company has more than 15.000 certified online shops who embedded the trustmark logo on their sites. Trusted Shops is known for providing services like accreditation and buyer protection, where it checks whether a store is respecting the consumer rights and ensuring that consumers get their money back in a case of dispute. Before an online shop gets a Trusted Shops certification it needs to meet more than 70 quality criteria.

Trusted Shops thinks it’s going to be an European standard in terms of trustmarks. Liesbeth Mack-deBoer, executive director marketing & sales at the company, is certain the expansion to the Netherlands will play a big role in this. “Now is a better time than ever. Despite the financial crisis ecommerce in Europe and especially in the Netherlands is growing hard. More than two in three Dutch people buy online now and then.” Certain international clients have already asked for a Trusted Shops trustmark in their Dutch online shops and the company is now working to certify a few big online retailers.

Battle of European trustmarks?
The expansion to the Netherlands is interesting as the trustmark Thuiswinkel Waarborg from Thuiswinkel.org is already an established name in this country. But even more peculiar is the fact Thuiswinkel.org is one of the founders of Ecommerce Europe, an association representing 4000+ of European online shops ánd an organization that has the wish to launch a trustworthy trustmark for all European online consumers.

A lot of European countries are connected, but Germany and the United Kingdom, the two biggest ecommerce players on this continent, aren’t one of them. Of course Trusted Shops could still connect, as Ecommerce Europe is relatively fresh and still growing. But what if they don’t want to, and instead want to directly compete with it? And then, of course, there is also Google Trusted Stores, that wants to launch in the UK. It still has to expand to Europe but with Google behind it, it’s a player that has own the trust of many organizations already.

Fact is that by launching in Italy, Belgium and The Netherlands, Trusted Shops made the first step into becoming the biggest European trustmark. Of course it has still a long way to go but with 15,000 shops connected already, which on their turn might go cross border as well, Trusted Shops has some pretty good cards to become the last man standing if it’s about becoming the biggest pan-European trustmark.

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