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Google Steps More Boldly Into PayPal's Territory

 3:35 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Steven Grossberg, who sells video games online from his home in Wellington, Fla., recently sent an enticing offer to 20,000 customers: $10 off any purchase over $30 using a new payment service, Google Checkout.

Traffic on his site more than tripled, and best of all, he said, Google picked up the tab for the promotion.

"I think it's fantastic," he said. "I'm selling the product. Google is getting tons of customers to sign up for Checkout. Customers are happy because they are getting a monster deal."

Google Steps More Boldly Into PayPal's Territory [news.com.com]

What a great marketing ploy: The merchants win, and the end user wins. Oh, and Google wins too.



 4:02 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yep it's what we call competition. I hope checkout becomes available to other countries soon.


 5:10 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Me too... And some nice person creates an OSCommerce Contribution :)


 5:21 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

What a great marketing ploy: The merchants win, and the end user wins. Oh, and Google wins too.

and ebay wins as well. They win the insight that it's not enough to shell out billions of dollars for unrelated companies like paypal and skype .


 6:04 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

unrelated companies like paypal and skype

Skype, I will give you, but considering that paypal probably drives at least 50% (if not more) of their transactions, I would say that paypal was very related to their business.


 6:05 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

There already is and osCommerce contrib for it. I installed it on a few stores last week and it is easy to install.

Within 5 min of putting the live contrib up we got a google checkout order....and no processing fees. Google knows how to win over merchants.


 6:11 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

We love google checkout and so do our customers. We are no longer using pay pal. Also, they are not just competing with Pay Pal, they are competing with Authorize and 2 checkout as well. Its a win for any ecommerce site.

Feedback we are getting from customers, they trust google more with their credit card numbers than they do pay pal. Face it, pay pal still has a huge pfishing email issue.


 6:20 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think there are many, many merchants that are waiting for Google to better support real-time shipping calculations. If they can fix that issue, the ball will really get rolling and there's no telling how big it can go from there.


 6:28 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google supports real-time shipping calculations. They call it "merchant-calculated shipping".


 6:29 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Can't wait for this to hit Europe.


 6:31 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

How about support for automated subscription payments? Anyone have any idea when that will become available?


 6:42 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

That's what we're waiting on as well. Recurring payments are a must! :)


 6:44 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Do you have to sign-up to buy something at a site with Google checkout?

If you do its not a serious enough payment solution.


 7:35 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am dying for someone to figure out how to integrate this with Yahoo store platform...Our customers are asking for Google checkout, but it can't be done! Sux.....


 8:05 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

If paypal wasn't a good acquisition for ebay, then I don't know what you'd call a good acquisition. They're making billions more because of that move. This is a short run move by google, that could backfire. On one hand, its encouraging publishers to make the extra effort of modifying their scripts etc to work with google checkout. But on the other hand, they're going to have to offer much more in the long run to retain stores. Maybe more integration with gmail, adsense, adwords, etc.,?


 8:21 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google supports real-time shipping calculations. They call it "merchant-calculated shipping".

That's true, but read their message boards or those of some of the carts that have done the integration. Their timeout (3 secs) is far too short and many merchants are experiencing problems on a large percentage of orders.

They should increase their timeout setting to a more reasonable length and/or allow the merchant input their USPS, FedEx, etc. account info into their Google Checkout profile so that Google's servers can query those services directly for shipping rates.


 8:44 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Face it, pay pal still has a huge pfishing email issue.

As soon as Google checkout is made available to merchants in countries other than USA they too will face this same problem of fraud emails.


 9:42 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Pay Pals big downfall for pfishing emails is due to the ebay contact a seller or buyer buttons. Basically, the pfisher sends the auction buyer an email from another ebay account, asking the buyer a question about something else. If the buyer responds directly from their own email address instead of using the ebay email account, guess what, the pfisher now has your email address.

Now they have the email address and send the email.

Google Check out is much different. The buyers email address is not publically posted, the seller does not know the buyers email address because google handles it. So it will be a lot harder for the pfisher to get an email address regardless.

Plus, all communications between buyers and sellers take place from secure areas where only the buyer and seller have access to.

Ebay makes it way to easy for people to see who is buying and selling high dollar items.


 10:25 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Lol... as long as we're going to use e-colloquialisms: it's phishing, or even just fishing, not pfishing :-)

Edit: Typo

[edited by: IanKelley at 10:28 pm (utc) on Dec. 20, 2006]


 10:27 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

The buyers email address is not publically posted

And this stops pfishers how? I get dozens of pfishing emails a day that are sent the same way spam is, auto generated lists. Google checkout will face the same issues on the pfishing front here soon. Not displaying email addresses slows those guys down for about 2 seconds.


 10:38 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

As soon as I can process transactions without them having to create a Google account I will give it a try!


 10:55 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

fishing, lol...

Can you tell my mind is on my december christmas vacation.


 12:02 am on Dec 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

What a great marketing ploy: The merchants win, and the end user wins. Oh, and Google wins too.

It is a very common marketing strategy, not a great one. It is too early to claim that Google will win. Winners in price competition are usually those with deep-pocket, but not always.


 12:58 am on Dec 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

What I find so interesting about Google's active promotion of Checkout is the real money they are throwing at the problem to get merchant's signed on and consumers using it.

It is a dramatic departure from forays into other areas in the past where it relied on word of mouth and viral promotion (mostly ending in failures, think Orkut). I think it is bold and commendable, and I am very curious to see what kind of market traction it can achieve. I mean Gmail is considered a success and it still is a distant third to Yahoo mail and hotmail in the free email world. But they seem to be going about this in the right way.

Also I totally disagree with the idea of Google Checkout as a 'paypal killer'. It really is not a solution for person to person payments for auctions and other uses (which makes up 2/3 of Paypal's transaction volume). It is frankly competitive with merchant accounts, Authorize.net, 2checkout, and the lot.

And with no processing fees through the end of 2007, they are making a solid claim that they will take losses to build this part of their business.


 2:38 pm on Dec 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

As soon as I can process transactions without them having to create a Google account I will give it a try!

Then you might be missing the point of Google Checkout. It's meant (among other things) to save customers the time and hassle of entering shipping/billing info for every online merchant they buy from. So setting up a Google account is kind of the whole point. That also allows customers to have order histories, etc. all in one place across many different merchants.

Google Checkout is an alternative checkout system, not just a payment processor.


 2:58 pm on Dec 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

google checkout is a total online consumer profiling system ..

now add that to the other info that google have at their disposal on you and your site and your visiters ..

and that they can make or break your trafic at will ..

and say to yourself ..do I really want to put my purchasing , surfing, and business information all in the one set of hands ..which if they wish can strangle my business at one go ..or mine and then sell or exchange the data on my purchases or habits ..

if the anwser is yes ..then thats fine ..line up and one of these days they may just give you a bar code or an implant on the back of the neck and have done with it ..

or you could think about it a little more ..and decide not to help them in the quest for total domination of the internet ..one of these days they may just decide that you personally are not worth their ROI ..

and shut off your access to whatever they are doing ..or start charging you to participate ..

G pushes product the same way crack dealers did ..free until you need them to live ..

and there may be nowhere else left to go ..that isn't already theirs or their friends ..

edited typo / clarity

[edited by: Leosghost at 3:03 pm (utc) on Dec. 21, 2006]


 2:41 am on Dec 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Give an example of a major google project that went from free to pay. There are a few but nothing that was unexpected or in a crack-dealer fashion. If you can back up what you say, i'll be very surprised.


 3:59 am on Dec 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

did n't say they had ..yet ..

( please do not try to put your words into my mouth )

but if you look at the way the serps are being constantly changed since 2005 so that more sites that were previously found "organically" had to begin using adwords and then with rollout of analytics followed by the rise in adwords prices being pushed as quality scoring ..etc etc ..

the laughable sounds of their PR people trying to claim that they are warring on MFA's and non content sites that run adsense ..

and the links between G via adsense and the domain kiting "industry" ( often done on trademarks )that G's man Toomey at the Icann doesn't want to address ..

add that to their "blend" ..dont "blend" doublespeak in their guidelines ( deliberatly vague so as to give them the excuse of it's the publishers fault if an adwords client complains ) ..and the issue dodging and spin and dumb maths and graphics they go into over clickfraud ..

they have managed in a very short time to create a base of adwords customers who feel they must pay or die from unexposure ..and they are planting that impression every where in all media ..( "local search" is being pushed as "coming" right down to the local mom and pop grocery store thinking it needs a site to survive ) ..an adsense base of publishers who hang on their PR peoples every word posted here and elsewhere and millions of pages made every month just to facilitate G's role as middle man ..and the publishers dreaming of the UPS club and many not even clearing a dollar a day ..but they are hooked into the dream ..

A large percentage of what we know as the visible part of the internet is now specifically built around and to serve Googles ends ( and they still say make pages for users , not for search engines ;-)..and then send their reps in here to tell us to not do some things in your pages ..or your sites might not show up :o) ..they have maybe 80% of European eyeballs ..Most Europeans who are not webmasters have never even heard of Yahoo or MSN ..I've seen people who type Google into the MSN search box every day ..they think that the MSN is their computer and that google literally owns the internet ..( those who dont think that AOL do ) ..that was not a joke ..nor were the people who said that to me unintelligent ..thats what they beleive ..

the internet is google ( even here the G fora are premodded ) ..it is the 800 lb gorilla ..and it is walked around gently ..

they are a global monopoly in away that MS was during the nineties ..and are in many ways more powerfull ..and they are now secretive and abusive ..and many here are afraid to say so because their livelyhoods and their sites and especially their adsense checks might get taken away if G is offended ..

they have made websmasters dependent upon them ..and fear them ..and kow tow to them

the next step will be within 5 years or less to begin to offer premium services ..admission to their directory ( a la Y ) ..or admission to their aff network ( the reason for their slowly squeezing out the affs is obvious ..g does not want other middlemen ..they take the ads ..they choose where they are seen ..and they have been profiling the surfers since day one ..then they began mining site data ..and now they are going to join the two ends ) ..and authorise and 2CO etc will be squashed as were the competing Search engines ..

the payment processors are IMO the real next targets ..not paypal ..( G and ebay have a very cosy relationship..you only have to look at the way quality control doesnt apply to ebay landing pages ) ..

and when there are no alternatives / competitors left ..

a de facto monopoly which has its clients dependant on it for all their internet interfaces and services apart from maybe the last mile of copper ..will no longer need to give any services way for free ..

so it will begin to change ..via two tier services ..and mixing ads into serps ..already they moved from right to top ..and now they have left the top and dropped into the white ( there's blending for you :) on some searches ..those that return "product search results" as the first one in organic serps ..

4 more "product search results" ( with the shopping bag icon at the side of each ..and maybe the google cart too ) in the white on organic serps and you'll pay to be above the fold ( that they pushed you below ) if asked ..

and you will be "asked" ..sooner or later ..

edited typos ..maybe even got most of them ;-)

[edited by: Leosghost at 4:16 am (utc) on Dec. 22, 2006]


 1:35 am on Dec 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

When Google can offer me a mastercard debit card to access the funds from my shopping cart AND backup funding for my debit card, I will switch. Until then, it doesn't make any sense.

I can spend money received two seconds ago, right now, via the debit card, and if my purchase was to exceed my debit card balance, the purchase would go through automatically, thanks to backup funding of my Paypal debit card.

Google is going to have to match that, with a VERY bold move into Paypal territory, before those of us with Paypal since 1999 are going to switch. Paypal (and Adsense by the way) has made my life so easy, I wouldn't dream of switching, even with free merchant fees. It is just not worth it.

Give me a debit card I can use with my Adsense account, Adwords account, and that is associated with my shopping cart as well, then add backup funding... I will put all my eggs in the Google shopping basket. Until then, I'm sticking with Paypal.


 12:38 am on Dec 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

OK, google drives customers to my site via natural searching engine listings or google adwords, I analyze them with google analytics, and finally make my customers pay using google checkout? :/

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