Google has launched a new scheme to help consumers identify quality retailers. As the announcement explains, The Trusted Stores program awards a badge to e-commerce sites that “demonstrate a track record of on-time shipping and excellent customer service.”

When users visit a Trusted Stores member, they can hover over a badge on the site to view metrics on its shipping and customer service performance. Google is offering optional, free purchase protection for up to $1000 for consumers using sites participating in the scheme.

If a problem crops up with the purchase, Google will work as a mediator between the two parties to resolve it. Then, if a problem arises with their purchase, they can request Google’s help, and Google will work with the merchant and customer to address the issue.

Retailers interested in taking part in the program will have to voluntarily share data about shipments with Google, while Google will collect customer service metrics when shoppers seek Google’s help with a problem. Google is launching today with a small number of sites including O.coWayfair,BabyAge.com, and Beach Audio.

Trusted Stores was announced today, although word leaked out back at the end of August when the video below seemingly accidentally went live on YouTube early. With Google getting deep into the location reviews game via Places, as well as retail through Offers and Google Wallet, it makes sense for the company to collect as much data as it can about online retail trends too, even at the expense of a $1000 per purchase gamble.