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Ecommerce Forum

Google Checkout
Impressions and comparisons with Paypal

 9:58 am on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I would be interested in hearing opinions on Google checkout's value as a service from current users. Is it ...

1. any good
2. easy to implement
3. better than Paypal?

It has just been rolled out in the UK so no one here has been using it yet.



 12:03 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Really good
Can be difficult to implement depending on shopping cart
Better than pay pal

(Low processing fees)


 1:10 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Good topic.

Do you use it as your exclusive payment method or as an alternative? Is it used frequently? Our cart is supposedly compatible with it but I've never looked into implementing that feature because no shopper has ever asked about it.

I'm in the USA btw


 1:17 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

PayPal Trumps Google Checkout [newsfactor.com]

Google Checkout ranked far below payment service PayPal in a customer-satisfaction survey of online shoppers that J.P. Morgan released on Wednesday. In fact, only 19 percent rated Google's Checkout service as either "very good" or "good." The rest relegated Google's new offering to the "average," "poor," or "fair" categories.

Indeed, Google Checkout's official discussion forum signals user concerns over the product. Users report error messages in the checkout process, confusion over how the payout system works, problems with the user interface, and even trouble logging in with Internet Explorer.


 5:12 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

As they are regarded as an e-money issuer in the UK presumably credit card users will be charged cash advance fees as they are with Nochex.


 5:57 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Apparently Google is processing payments with no fee until 2008. Can anyone confirm this?

I've got a couple fo sites lined up, so I may use it on these to see how it fairs.


 8:03 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes, it is free until 2008 ... https://checkout.google.com/seller/what.html?hl=en-GB

Do you need an account to make a purchase?

[edited by: BeeDeeDubbleU at 8:05 pm (utc) on April 16, 2007]


 9:20 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

No comparison should be made between P****L and Google.


 9:41 am on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)



 2:01 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Pay Pal is mostly for small sellers.

Google Check Out is going after the large and reputable merchants. I would suspect by the end of this year google check out will be processing millions or more dollars than pay pal will ever process.


 2:59 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

I run a site for a small local charity and we currently use Nochex for a handful of web based transactions for advertising in our printed newsletter. G have signed us up no problem.

Looking at the options it looks great if you are integrating a all singing, all dancing shopping cart or if you want "pay now" buttons to sell individual items. It will take a lot more investigation to see if it will cope with the rather novel idea of paying when uploading advertising copy. (I don't have a budget to pay for PHP support from our host)


 6:21 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)


Just been checking out the fee structure (thanks for the link BeeBeeDoubleU).

Looks very competitively priced. It would work out cheaper than my Streamline/Protx combo on my average sale value and as my adwords spend is about 250 per month they will process 2500 worth of transactions for free.

I am definately going to use them on my new site to see how they pan out and then may even convert my main site if it works well.

Does anyone know what level (if any) of custimatisation you have. Worldpay and Protx have allowed me to have a near identical design on my payment pages as the rest of my site.


 6:23 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

google checkout is a slam dunk for anyone selling online


 7:15 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

What's a slam dunk?


 8:23 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Does anyone know what level (if any) of customisation you have.

Zero! But I don't think that's what Google is trying to do - the point is that the checkout is obviously on Google which gives confidence and familiarity to the customer.

It's really interesting seeing some big UK companies already using this, such as eBuyer - I used to hate their checkout, now I can pay with just a couple of clicks through Google Checkout.


On a separate note, does anyone know how to specify that my prices already include VAT, and not to show it on a separate line? I know this can be done as I've seen some people (such as eBuyer) showing below the total "(including VAT 12.45)".


 9:04 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Pay Pal is mostly for small sellers.
Google Check Out is going after the large and reputable merchants. I would suspect by the end of this year Google check out will be processing millions or more dollars than pay pal will ever process.

Exactly which planet have you been living on for the past year? Google made a big push, signed up a number of "big name" merchants, and subsequently dropped the ball with a much inferior offering. The whiplash from this actually helped PayPal land more "big name" merchants. Currently I'd say that Google Checkout is more for the small time operator who doesn't want to start off with a full-blown merchant solution. There's a reason why Google Checkout is free, it has to do with value.


 9:51 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just got through the implementation. It is tough if you have a custom shopping cart as we do.
Will be testing over next few days, so I'll let you know.


 9:53 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Slam dunk definition: a no brainer - do not have to think about, just do it.
Slam dunk term comes from american basketball.


 9:46 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

I just set up a site last month with Google Checkout. It was phenomally and unexpectedly difficult.

We used ZenCart, and there were extensive issues with installation and with shipping. There are just pages and pages of problems on the Zencart forums, with very few people able to offer assistance. Also, as mentioned above, the Google Checkout official forums are really flooded with frustrated coders.

I was having trouble with shipping to Canada, and just couldn't figure out the error I was getting, so after contacting Google, I was informed that Google Checkout does not support international shipping (from the U.S.). That was early March 07, maybe it's changed by now if they've finally released it for the UK?

Our client was desperate to save money, so he wanted Google as the only option for the free processing until 08. We tried to talk him out of it, but he wouldn't budge.

He was forced to drop international shipping since he did not want to implement any of the (somewhat clumsy) workarounds that were posted on Zencart.

Additionally, as of launch, many people were not happy with Google being the only payment option, we received many emails asking if they take paypal, or other emails asking "Do I have to use Google Checkout?" So make sure you have another payment option. Obviously, this will get better in the future as people get used to seeing/using it.

Well, that's our experience here. I hope it goes better for you.


 9:00 am on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

From a user perspective, I had a look at two sites the last couple of days to see what Google checkout looks like, and on both occasions the new user registration form took ages to load, causing IE to hang while it loaded. The quickest load time was about 30 seconds, the longest about 2 minutes!


 5:20 pm on Apr 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

We jumped on the Google Checkout bandwagon early and I'd have to agree with jgstyle. GC is not quite ready yet for prime-time IMO.

The implementation was not the easiest, but the biggest problem was/is the lack of being able to handle international orders. It can't even handle Canada. There is some rumor that Canada is to be implemented soon (whoop-dee-do), but that doesn't go far enough.

When we first started with GC, we offered our customers free shipping if they used GC. The logic was that we didn't have to pay merchant txn fees. But GC alone wouldn't have cut it, so we STILL had to pay monthly merchant fees, so we dropped the free shipping for GC and you know what? We haven't had a GC order in a couple of months!

The only plus I'd say about getting GC is if you are a Google Adwords advertiser. This way you'll have your GC logo next to your ad and you can actually bid lower and still be seen as your ad will stand out with the logo on it (unless of course your competitors also have it).

Basically offering GC does no harm really. It's a lot of work for very little effort. And I still don't like having to add "US customers only" under the GC logo.

Finally, Google customer service is pretty hard to come by and you can feel pretty helpless when/if something goes wrong. Not that PayPal is all that much better.


 7:11 pm on Apr 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

We added Google Checkout about 3 months ago via the API custom shopping cart method. Integration was really complicated, taking about 8 hours of "smart coder" time.

Pros (in order of financial significance)
1. adwords CTR up, CPC down. This makes a sizeable difference over time, but only if you spend a lot of money on Adwords campaigns.
2. save 2.5 to 4% compared to processing through your merchant account.
3. About 6% of customers opt for it on their first purchase.

1. Google's checkout page is not as streamlined as our own.
2. Lots of customer confusion. We hear back from customers who don't even realize they are using a Google service, or what they just signed up for. Basically a lot of people on the Internet still don't know what's going on out there!
3. I do not think it brings in new, incremental sales that would otherwise have been lost by not offering Google Checkout. It is a new thing, and isn't what customers are "seeking out" as their preferred or only method of doing business. Paypal, on the other hand, has this in its favor.

Lastly, we found Google Checkout's customer service to be threatening and or paranoid on multiple occasions. For example, we thought that every merchant gets to post the "$10 off your first order" promo that all the early launchers were promoting, so we went ahead and promoted the same thing. We received a somewhat rude "you weren't invited to offer this promo, so remove this promo or your membership will be terminated" email from the Google Checkout team after a customer wondered where their discount was and called Google to find out. Google basically said, "pay this customer the $10 you promised them, and remove the promo our you are out of the program." It was more the wording than the message itself that we found to be insulting. I mean, jeez, sorry, we didn't know, and how do we get invited to be a part of the buzz anyway? After putting so much effort (and expense) into integration, rollout, and customer education, that was a huge turn-off to us. It was almost like "Google is doing you a favor, not the other way around." Sorry, but that's just not the way it works, Google - you are in this business to make money, and we, the merchants, are your customers that enable you to do that. We spend the advertising money and the integration time to make your offerings catch on in the marketplace.

Later, we asked them how to be included in the list of merchants that accept Google Checkout. They provided us with a laundry list of "suggestions" that would "improve our chances of being listed." All of the suggestions basically revolved around "showing off Google Checkout" like making the Google button as big or bigger than your normal checkout button, paste messaging on your homepage, etc. We did all of these things, and 8 weeks later, are still not listed on the list of merchants that accept Google Checkout, despite following up about this matter with them.

On another instance, I was using my own credit card to test the Google implementation about 8 times over the course of about 4 days, using fictitious emails (myname1, myname2, myname3, etc.) along the way. We received a paranoid email from Google warning us that everyone using Google Checkout must create their own Google account, and that you can't process offline orders through 1 checkout account, or something like that. It was confusing and strange, almost like we were being watched 'too closely' and too early on in the game. I'd much rather feel like its not Google's business whose money is flowing through their system, as long as it isn't fraud or illegal.


 10:58 am on Apr 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think I have heard enough to make me forget about GCO for the time being.


 9:33 pm on Apr 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you are serious about business, why are you using a middleman provider like Google or P****L?

You might as well get your own merchant account. They are no more expensive, add legitimacy to your business, and put you more in control of your finances and whats going on. This is invaluable in the long term.


 8:13 am on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I know that, but the question was related to Google Checkout v Paypal, not merchant accounts.


 2:44 am on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

We were one of the launch sites for GC and while it was rough at first it has gotten much better. We're a huge AdWords customer so it does help that we can promote GC.

When we were first approached to do it we figured it couldn't hurt as long as we didn't have to throw a lot of resources at it (which we didn't). We've accepted traditional payment methods for years and we've considered offering PayPal even though almost none of our customers inquire about it. The drawback we've always encountered with PayPal is the fees are higher than our traditional merchant account so it's not something we would want to encourage. With GC every transaction we process is giving us a couple of extra % points.

Only about 1% of our customers opt for using GC so it's not huge by any means. We haven't had many complaints or confusion from customers which really suprised me, I was ready to pull the plug quickly if we got even a few but 8 months later and its working pretty well.

The biggest problem I have with services like GC is the lack of flexibility in customer exchanges. If the transaction is perfect then it works great but as soon as a customer wants to exchange something and the new item is a different value it all breaks down. Since you can only charge up to the initial authorization or refund up to that you're limited in what you can do easily. Many times you just have to resort to refunding the full order and running a new order after getting the customers permission and their CC data.


 8:20 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google Checkout is a slam dunk for those who like gettin everything for free (no fees), and the thing is nothing free. G is accumulating massive amounts of shopping data, and pretty soon will start selling your products at an advantage, as they know in which countries your products sell best, at what prices, with what options, etc...All thanks because you decided to use their "free" payment systems, and if you are using google analytics, they will even know what text works, and what doesn't when they setup their own store to compete with Amazon, and then the e-commerce world will be ruled by G and Amazon, and you will be left with ebay as a last sorry source...


 9:22 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you are serious about business, why are you using a middleman provider like Google or P****L?

It's been quite a while since Paypal has been simply a "middleman". They began offering Payments Pro almost two years ago. It offers the best of both worlds ... you can take credit cards on your own site as you would with a regular payment gateway as well as take paypal payments through Express Checkout.

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