{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

GBuy is here, only it is called Google Checkout and despite the chief doers of no evil claiming that it “isn’t like PayPal at all”, it is, erm, rather like PayPal, in that merchants use it to process consumer payments.

Google Checkout allows consumers to purchase products by simply logging in to Google – no need for credit card numbers or filling out forms. Obviously you need to tell Google to begin with, but thereafter Google will store your credit card and address data...

The idea is that buying products will be faster, easier, and safer… or at least that’s one of the aims. Many users are still concerned about security – the Google brand should provide some reassurance.

Consumers don’t even need to remember log-in details and passwords for online retailers that participate in the Google Checkout scheme. Instead, they simply log in to Google and click the Google Checkout icon that merchants can display on their websites, and within their Google ads.

Google says it is “especially excited about combining Google Checkout with AdWords because it gives our advertisers a more complete solution for attracting customers through Google and processing the sales that result”.

Adwords customers will receive preferential rates too, as is explained on The Register: “An icon for Checkout will appear next to AdWords ads for shops using the system. Merchants will also get a discount - for every $1 they spend on AdWords they can process $10 in sales through Checkout for free.”

So we’re looking at an Adwords driver, if not a PayPal killer (although it remains to be seen how this will perform against the eBay payment processor). And sure, it might also influence the behaviour of online ‘shoppers’ who might otherwise resort to the high street, where their credit cards are 'safe'.

Do you see how Google is joining things up? I used to think it was reverse-engineering a portal. Now it looks more like a massive virtual shopping mall is being patched together, and one that should drive more ad revenues for Big G.

It will be interesting to watch the adoption among merchants, and to see if Google can make a bigger dent in the credit card market than PayPal has.

The thing to remember is that eBay and Yahoo are snuggling up, having announced a strategic partnership at the end of May, and the combined installed user base of those two companies is huge. We certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see eBay and Yahoo permanently join forces, and were that to happen there would be nothing to stop Yahoo from pulling off some of the same tricks as Google Checkout, right?

Google is starting from scratch, as it has been doing with many of its non-search product releases. Yet it remains synonymous with ‘search’, not with ‘email’ or ‘maps’, and maybe it won’t bag ‘payments’ either. But people who use Google’s products tend to be converted by the user experience, which normally surpasses the standards set by competitors.

Google Checkout could turn Google into an online commerce heavyweight, rather than a search / advertising leviathan.  We feel that this one is a big, bold move for Big G.

Chris Lake

Published 29 June, 2006 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

582 more posts from this author

Comments (2)

Ashley Friedlein

Ashley Friedlein, Founder, Econsultancy & President, Centaur Marketing at Econsultancy, Centaur MarketingStaff

I'm also interested to see how Google will approach the *marketing* of all these new products and services.

In the past, Google has done well out of releasing outstanding products (or, at least, free ones) and then letting the internet community market them for them.

However, there have been recent hiccups e.g. Google Analytics and PageCreator which crashed out for a while on launch.

And now that Google have so many products and services things are perhaps becoming a little confusing for the user, let alone the 'industry'? Even Gmail has, relatively speaking, a tiny take up compared to, say, Hotmail.

The nice thing about search, and PPC for Google, is that it can sit 'outside' of the websites themselves i.e. marketing people can quite happily get on with AdWords without having to do anything to their actual site (= interface with the IT bods which they so love doing).

Of course, this is not the way it *should* be done, but it *can* be done like this and I believe this has helped enormously with the uptake of AdWords - it's easy to experiment.

However, with Checkout, the site owner will need to make changes to their checkout process. And the checkout process, once working, is the area of the site no-one like to mess with unless they absolutely *have to*.

So why would you bother adding Google Checkout to your site? Why didn't you add BT's Click&Buy; why haven't you got PayPal?

Well, you need a compelling reason to bother doing so. Will it lead to incremental sales? Or will it just leak margin to Google? Will it open up new markets? Or will you just lose customer data to Google? Will it increase conversion rates? Or just confuse customers?

I guess we'll see. But Google will either have to market this better to users such that merchants are effectively forced into having it as an option (because their customers are demanding it); or, they are going to have to court the 'industry' (people like us) to persuade us (with research, great commercial deals etc.) that there is any point investing any time modifying our sites yet again. Google's recent track record of "courting the industry" suggests they might be better off pursuing the former route.

Ashley Friedlein
CEO
E-consultancy.com

about 10 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Gulsene

I guess we'll see. But Google will either have to market this better to users such that merchants are effectively forced into having it as an option (because their customers are demanding it); or, they are going to have to court the 'industry' (people like us) to persuade us (with research, great commercial deals etc.) that there is any point investing any time modifying our sites yet again. Google's recent track record of "courting the industry" suggests they might be better off pursuing the former route.

about 6 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.