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Google will start an online payment system this month that will challenge EBay Inc.'s PayPal and let Google offer more targeted ads.
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[edited by: engine at 3:04 pm (utc) on June 12, 2006]
Consumers using GBuy, which is set for release on June 28, will be taken off the merchant's site to complete the payment. This will enable Google to capture e-commerce transaction data, driving more precise targeting in future searches.
"If harnessed, the precision of this targeting could be revolutionary," wrote RBC analyst Jordan Rohan in a report Friday.
Google's GBuy Could Be 'Revolutionary'
This will enable Google to capture e-commerce transaction data [...]
Before I put on my tinfoil hat & start blathering like an idiot, can anyone offer any knowledgable comments or opinions on what the above statement actually means? I'm thinking about data retention here, as in how long is Google going to hold onto my credit card number...
"trusted GBuy merchant"
Chuckle... Just because Google trusts them, doesn't mean I do. How long before "trusted merchant" and "MFA" are used to describe the same website?
I'm vaguely concerned - in an altruistic fashion - about those ready to jump ship from PayPal to GBuy at the first chance. Sure, PayPal has its problems, but it has something that GBuy doesn't - brand recognition with the general public. Now, I hope it isn't taken as FUD, but one has to expect a certain percentage of lost sales simply due to the fact that the buyer doesn't recognize GBuy. (On the flipside, I also don't doubt that some sales will be made simply because it's Google.)
One other point I'd like to make: Google often has teething problems with their new product rollouts (and do they ever make it out of beta?). Pause & ponder for a moment... Am I ready for the financial risk? Do I have a Plan B I can implement at a moment's notice?
>There does seem to be a serious undercurrent of discontent and suspicion with G as they "expand and improve".
No, say it isn't true!
It is yet another small step for Google, on its road to world domination. Welcome to our new overlord.
The Inquirer: Goodbye eBay, here comes GBuy [theinquirer.net]
Why would I do this?
Or have I missedd something obvious?
On its core search results pages, Google will designate each merchant accepting GBuy as a "trusted GBuy merchant." If consumers view this as a mark of safety and security, Rohan believes this should increase click-through rate.
And decrease the CTR for organic product searches.
So its a case of 'sign up or else'? Way to go google.
1.) So my customer is ready to buy my product,
2.) My site is setup so they pay through GBuy,
3.) They go to pay and see Ads for related stuff (my competitors stuff).
4.) Customer thinks "Perhaps I'll click that Ad and review their products instead of buying this".
Why would I do this?
Or have I missedd something obvious?
I highly doubt that this is how it is going to work. If that is the actual process, who would ever sign up?
Once out of 'beta', Google will just charge a discount rate, just like any other merchant account provider; but on top of that money, they will have a wealth of data.
For all of you supporters, make sure you're willing to pay the price when Google makes its play to buy the Internet. Organic results will be no more, the only way you'll be seen is by paying to advertise on the GoogleNet (formerly known as the Internet).
The GoogleNet will be just like television, you'll need to pay to be seen. Advertisers will pay for programming by Google.
Fortunately for all of us, it will be this greed that will spell their demise.
So Google rolls this out. The AdWords algo already favors ads with a higher CTR. So one of your competitors fires up GBuy and has that "trusted" logo on their ads with smiley face or something on it. Just like the "Trusted Merchant" shopping engine feedback programs, the ads or listings with that logo get a higher CTR. Your competitors ads start moving up in the rankings and his CPC goes down.
If you are going to keep pace, you need to implement GBuy so that your ads have a little smiley face next to them and you are just back on par with your competitor, right where you were before. At first, maybe there are not transaction fees for GBuy to get merchants to signup.
Now that you both have GBuy setup you both get to provide Google with your conversion data, let Google know how much a click on every variation of a search term is worth to you.
By June 28th of next year, Google knows exactly how much all of your traffic is worth to you, knows what they can charge you for it. Your sales will suffer if you take down GBuy and stop giving them this information, even though it might be desirable because the transaction fees on GBuy may have gone up substantially.
For the individual searcher, Google knows who you are (personally identifiable) , they know what you search for, they know what you buy, then know when you search and when you buy.
Not that all that information isn't already out there in databases scattered all over the place but now it's all in one place and that makes it a lot more powerful, useful, evil, helpful, depending on your POV.
To really get this to work, G needs people to buy right from the Google site though. A simple text ad is not enough to get most people to buy anything so it may be a while till it takes off and it may take merchants willing to add GBuy to their sites for Google to collect all this information.
And G's profits come from:
1)Get adwords advertisers to pay the most
2)Pay adsense advertisers less
As long as Google offers a positive ROI they're OK. And this is because of G's size. Even if I get 5% profit on Google and 10% on Yahoo or MSN I would still work with Google because I can get 10 times more traffic from them.
For Google to optimize profits they must balance this equation carefully. And with all the smart people they have and all the information avaible this shouldn't be hard.
But don't fool youselfs thinking that Google doesn't use the information they get from us.
Now it is about us to decide what we want google to know about our sites.
Google has had a significant set of product launch problems. The PR and the push has been good - but the follow through has not. This isn't two guys in the dorm any more - they need to start getting seriously professional with their product launches. Up-to-now, they have been very problematic (eg: for a company their size, launches like Gmail were excessively unpolished)
- Compatibility. Google has yet to launch a majer new web based service that worked with top 5 major browsers (ie, mozilla, opera, pocketIE, safari). That in turn has cut 10-15% off the top of Googles market share. Calling it "beta" doesn't excuse sloppy and lazy programming. If people can't access stuff on the day it is launched - they won't be back.
- College Boy Syndrome. eg: The lack of follow through.
Googles perpetual "beta" tag on things helps them deflect alot of the criticism they would otherwise get on launch day. However, they have not stood behind products. eg: Whither Orkut, Froogle Calendar, Specialized Searches, and a host of other products people have sniffed at and forgotten about because Google hasn't promoted them or stood up for them.
If Gbuy is to be successful, those problems need to get addressed. This payment system will have to be universally accessible without making people jump through hoops, on everything from a Dual xeon running vista, to a Nokia phone running symbian and a wap browser - from day one launch.
But I guess there is no good reason that a company of Google’s size and resourcefulness should produce and deliver sloppy and unfinished services.
I hope GBuy works well because I will definitely use it over criminally expensive entrenched PayPal.
Innovation is one thing, but to Brett's point, we're talking about a company that's worth $120 billion. They will eventually lose credibility if they keep introducing half baked services under the label of "beta."
I keep thinking back to that interview with Schmidt. It's like they are throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. I used to struggle trying to figure out exactly what Google was trying to do with toys like Picassa. Innovation for innovation's sake is not healthy over the long haul. Investors will eventually take their money elsewhere.
GBuy has to come out of the gate as a superior service to PayPal or people will not give it a second look.
Reasons are as follows:
1. The audience is endless. So some people don't like beta products? Too bad, we will make more money sending out the product when it's barely functioning because there will always be people there to use it. Plus, once it's working properly, those people that were upset with it will come back to us.
2. A large area of G's products are gimmicks as they only need to drive people to their site. (So no need to go into deep development).
3. It is way cheaper to launch a product and make changes according to complaints then to contract out the debugging process to another company. (Although less effective).
Still not convinced? It ain't only Google *cough* Microsoft adCenter *cough*
Watch the trend...