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Google's 1-1/2 year Checkout Experiment
Great product, or a solution looking for a problem?
jwolthuis




msg:3563285
 10:36 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Since Google Checkout was introduced in June 2006, it's gathered a lot of attention; from both merchants who love it as well as those who don't see the point of it. Some view it as the 'PayPal Killer', while others say the battle has been lost.

Now that the free introductory period comes to an end (all sales were processed free of charge until Feb 1st), are you planning on continuing to offer Google Checkout on your site?

What impact has it made on your sales? Is Google Checkout the solution to merchant trust on the web, or is it a solution looking for a problem?

 

rachel123




msg:3563498
 4:20 am on Feb 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't take Google checkout and just recently started taking PayPal. If it's any help, over the past year I have had:
52 "Do you accept PayPal"
0 "Do you accept Google Checkout"
emails/requests.

Good things about Google Checkout that make it tempting: chargeback protection.

But we get virtually no chargebacks, so that's a wash;

On the (-) side, they will keep the customer's email address confidential if the customer requests. So, who likes to have a confusing or problematic order with no customer contact info? Not I! [sarcasm]Great customer service starts there. [/sarcasm] And it's immediate payment...the thing I like about PayPal is I can bill anyone whenever using their email. Susy Q has a declined card, I can ask her if she wants to pay by PayPal, and send an invoice. No need to replace the order, no muss, no fuss.

limoshawn




msg:3563768
 12:27 pm on Feb 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

We used it from the beginning. The only benefit to accepting Google Checkout were the Google Checkout badges (we don't need no stinking badges) that are displayed next to the AdWords ads. That really improved our click-thru rate in the lower positions. Not very many of our customers used the Google payment option.

particleman




msg:3564513
 2:14 am on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

We've used it for a few months now. I can count the times people have used it on my fingers and toes if that tells you anything. Seems paypal or normal CC processing is still king. The transaction fee discounts are nice for us big adwords spenders if people would use it. The badge is a nice incentive too, although we need to get it working first.

sniffer




msg:3565217
 2:14 pm on Feb 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Has anybody used it as the only payment processor on a website? Any thoughts on this?

ByronM




msg:3565753
 1:44 pm on Feb 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Pros: Better Fraud Protection for Retailer

Cons: Quirky - sometmes orders get placed in Google that don't get returned to cart for whatever reason. Phone support isn't easily available, payments seem sporadic.

The rate is good. I'd say 40% of my orders use it but thats mostly because right now i'm marketing heavily on google to begin with selling technology products to smart people who seem to trust google the most.

CernyM




msg:3567214
 11:00 pm on Feb 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

About 6% of our orders choose Google Checkout - close to the same amount that use PayPal.

For us, the benefit is the extra visibility the Adwords badging gives us and the free transaction processing. We'll save thousands in credit card transaction costs this year from that alone.

The downside is that its yet one more thing that can potential confuse customers. Google also takes an extra day or two to get our money to us and we cannot completely integrate our back office setup with Checkout.

bwnbwn




msg:3568962
 9:09 pm on Feb 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have had it since the beginning and Have nothing but positive comments.
1- 0 not 1 chargeback and in my business this in itself is very rare.
2- money recieved timely as with my processor.
3-I had one small issue with a product I sold that Violated Google policy.
paypal cancelled my account and is keeping 400.00 for 6 months.
Google emailed me and asked me to install a line of code on the product page to disable the google checkout button if it was added to the cart..

The product is legal can buy in any health food store just California is lets just say different.

4-We get 6-8% Google checkout.

I agree paypal is the leader here but that is mainly due to ebay and will begin to change as the ebay wang slowley slows as it is now and the ebay spiral continues.

I myself see Google checkout growing stronger just from the brand name itself and I see some big time sellers using Google Checkout in the near future drawing in many more signups.

I use Google checkout myself in purchases and really like the ease of the whole system and feel more comfortable with Google than paypal.

Wlauzon




msg:3571614
 5:43 pm on Feb 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree paypal is the leader here but that is mainly due to ebay and will begin to change as the ebay wang slowley slows as it is now and the ebay spiral continues..

I disagree here. Hundreds of thousands of places take PayPal that have never used or had any association with eBay. They are totally different operations of the same company, just like your savings and mortgage account at your bank are.

About 20% of our orders are PayPal, and about 12% of our revenue (PP orders tend to be smaller compared to cards such as AMEX).

pageoneresults




msg:3571623
 5:50 pm on Feb 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

I look at it this way. Google is a brand. Anything with that brand on it is going to attract attention. If its not difficult to add a Google Checkout widget/plugin to your store, then by all means, add it. You are just providing the consumer one more method of making payment, there really are no cons to that. Even if they don't use the Google Checkout, the badge itself has an impact as mentioned above.

trinorthlighting




msg:3572442
 4:36 am on Feb 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

You have to look at it from Googleís point of view, look at the merchants they signed up, very big ones. With millions of dollars being processed via credit cards daily, Google will soon take a % of the pie. Is that a bad deal for Google? No, not at all, wait till their financials come out showing real dollars. As far as being a pay pal killer, no but I am sure they took a chunk out of pay pal, authorize, 2 checkout, etc..

Bear in mind, people tend to trust Google as well, respectful company with great financials and a large king of the internet. Itís a brand, itís a trust factor and I have yet to hear a Google check out horror story. I have heard a lot of pay pal horror stories though.

Gomvents




msg:3572710
 11:31 am on Feb 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

Google checkout just doesn't get it... they force you to do what they call a "level 2" integration. Translation - sorry you can't use your own shopping cart / back office to keep your customer order data etc.

until they allow integration like PayPal it's of no use to us.

It needs to simply be an alternative payment method.

Edge




msg:3572797
 1:56 pm on Feb 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have never tries the GG check out, however I need to consider all my options. Most government organizations (schools, research facilites, military) are prohibited from using PayPal. This has effected me some though not significant. I have had some large corporate purchasers that where prohibited from PayPal as well for credit cards and direct accounts.

Is anybody aware if government organizations are able to use GG Checkout?

Don't read me wrong, I'm not bashing anybody..

bwnbwn




msg:3572909
 3:59 pm on Feb 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

Gomvents
"sorry you can't use your own shopping cart / back office to keep your customer order data etc'

Sorry your are incorrect here I have it going through my shopping cart I have an order on file in my database, I have all the necessary information to contact them through my system. All I don't have is the cc number.

Kufu




msg:3572924
 4:36 pm on Feb 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

I personally love Google Checkout. Yes, Google gets more of my info, but it's very easy to use, and I specifically look for stores which offer Google Checkout when shopping online.

netmeg




msg:3572928
 4:42 pm on Feb 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

I couldn't get it to work right with our shipping, no matter what I did.

Phaedrus




msg:3573141
 7:23 pm on Feb 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

I liked it - and the big brand name behind it helped with getting trust from the customer...however if I was a serious ecommerce site I would want my customers email info - not sure if they'll be able to overtake Paypal at this point without some kind of continued incentive though...

[edited by: Phaedrus at 7:24 pm (utc) on Feb. 12, 2008]

mil2k




msg:3573166
 7:45 pm on Feb 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

Unlike most retailers over here, we have used Google Checkout for B2B service. The 0 % processing fee was the main attraction plus we had some problem with our existing processor.

Initially most of our clients did not have checkout account. They created those accounts just to pay us.

Since we spend huge money on Adwords, the processing is nearly free for us. Roughly 30 % of our transactions happen through Checkout.

But Paypal has a clear first mover advantage. There are tons of our client who have Paypal and prefer it as first payment option.

Good thing about Checkout is that payments are automatically credited to our bank account (In Paypal you have to withdraw money manually).

But one of the most important features missing in Checkout is recurring billing.

pontifex




msg:3573683
 10:18 am on Feb 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

I second the 30%ish range. We have introduced GC about 2 weeks ago as a paypal alternative and there are a lot of paypal haters who want one.

The full integration into the backend of your e-commerce solution is a pain though. Paypal is much easier. Nonetheless is paypal sometimes just not working.

One of the integration ways with paypal is the IPN, where their server calls your server and tells you, that the payment was completed. That stops working for 4-10 hours about every 3 month. We have around 1,500 order daily, so every 3 months we have manually process around 300-500 orders, which is a pain!

That has not happened with GC (yet) and if it does not, it is just a technological winner for us!

features missing in Checkout is recurring billing

RIGHT!

;-)

Ganceann




msg:3573699
 11:03 am on Feb 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

I haven't used GC yet, but I fully intend to use it when I have a site that is eCommerce driven, not just because it is Google, but it offers an additional method of payment.

There are some definite improvements required:

1. Recurring Billing
2. eCommerce sites should ALWAYS be able to get their customer email address - it is a matter of good customer service and follow-ups to do so.
3. Integration process will hopefully become more straightforward (currently never experienced it, but if veteran webmasters are saying it can be awkward, then it needs to be improved).

There are likely several other things that need improvement or refined and those may well come over time. However, NO payment processor is going to be the Paypal killer due to the first mover advantage that enabled Paypal to grab such a huge market share.

It does provide competition and if processing/transaction fees are more competitive than Paypal, it will eventually grab more market share when webmasters grow more frustrated with Paypal.

Reflections




msg:3573710
 11:24 am on Feb 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thank u.

nickreynolds




msg:3573978
 4:48 pm on Feb 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have used checkout on my site and continue to use it as the fees are still cheaper than paypal. Have had little resistance. As many use Checkout as used to use paypal

amp586




msg:3574525
 5:10 am on Feb 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

bwnbwn:
"Sorry your are incorrect here I have it going through my shopping cart I have an order on file in my database, I have all the necessary information to contact them through my system. All I don't have is the cc number."

Do you have a custom shopping cart or something like oscommerce, zen, creloaded, etc.?

mil2k




msg:3575590
 10:13 am on Feb 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

That has not happened with GC (yet) and if it does not, it is just a technological winner for us!

Although we do not process huge number of orders, we have not yet faced downtime problems since we started (6 months back).

One of the common problems we face is if the ticket size is high, Google sometimes automatically reverses transaction. This is one of their ways to prevent Fraud. But for our clients its a pain as they think the payment is done and then we have to inform them .. no not quite. Google rejected your transaction. Try our alternative gateway.

CernyM




msg:3576468
 4:27 am on Feb 16, 2008 (gmt 0)


bwnbwn:
"Sorry your are incorrect here I have it going through my shopping cart I have an order on file in my database, I have all the necessary information to contact them through my system. All I don't have is the cc number."

Do you have a custom shopping cart or something like oscommerce, zen, creloaded, etc.?

We use X-cart and Stone Edge and its integrates reasonably "ok". There are some (annoying) caveats to the process:

* GC often denies a credit card transaction after its already gotten an order number from the cart. There's no way to connect this deny back to the order management system, meaning that a human being has to go verify that all charges are good before shipping.
* Google's oddball asynchronous mechanism means that the order management system can't interact directly with Google Checkout. So, if you want to authorize and charge on ship, we have to do that manually. If you want to send shipping notifications we have to login to GC and do that manually as well.

Its all very annoying. I got the impression that Google didn't bother to look at how merchants actually need to interact with them to get running quickly, easily and efficiently and just decided to come up with a solution that was convenient for them.

We're using them, for now. Our current integration won't scale, so we'll end up dropping them in the next 12 months or so if they don't get their issues resolved.

card_demon




msg:3577467
 12:59 am on Feb 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Their free trial period (year) was fair but but there has never been a solid reason to use it.

It is consumers that drive payment services, and not business owners. Unless Google finds a way to make many more shoppers want to pay with Checkout, there is never going to be a wide adoption.

Google needs it's own eBay - although Adwords discounts will for sure get website owners to put up Checkout as a solution, that's not going to get customers to use it.

PayPal got its break from being used on eBay, and most of the good things about Checkout such as the chargback guarantees is going to make much difference.

Shoppers may click on the checkout logo on Adwords, but when they see they have to fill in those Checkout forms most will just walk away. Free money to shoppers Google? Worked for PayPal's first road to 2 million accounts.

menial




msg:3579720
 5:42 am on Feb 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

most of the good things about Checkout such as the chargback guarantees is going to make much difference.

It's only good for tangible items.

Intangible goods, such as services and digital content are not covered. So the guarantee is still very limited and those who provide services or sell digital content don't have any serious incentive to accept Google Checkout.

Reflections




msg:3606249
 11:17 am on Mar 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Google checkout is better than Paypal. It is fast and secure.

ByronM




msg:3606448
 3:56 pm on Mar 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

As a merchant i prefer google over paypal by a mile. They actually have a fraud guarantee that is a life saver.

At the same token though, no one uses it with the rare exception. I mean we heavily target google PPC, we are in google products and we use the google checkout banners EVERYWHERE.

Hope it manages to grow, i'd like to offset some of our marketing through the adwords program they have but its not paying off just yet ;)

Reflections




msg:3613221
 12:35 pm on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes, you are absolutely right.

This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: 37 ( [1] 2 > >
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