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Google Opens the Checkout Lines

Posted by iTech - 2006-07-04

With the launch of Checkout formerly called GBuy search specialist Google wants to give you a helping hand with all your online purchases. The new service at checkout.google.com can store all of the pertinent information needed to quickly complete a transaction with any participating merchant.
In essence Checkout streamlines the ecommerce buying process much like PayPal does by letting you create an account with Google that includes contact information payment preferences and shipping information.

Then when completing a purchase at any participating store you simply click on the Checkout shoppingcart icon and sidestep the need for filling out forms at each online retailer.

AdWords Connction

In addition to offering a quick payment method Checkout can keep track of purchase history including orders and shipping details all in one place. Like PayPal the Checkout service can handle all major credit cards.

At the same time the company has created yet another way to boost its searchrelated advertising revenues by courting retailers of all sizes with enticements to use the new service.

For every $ merchants spend on AdWords they can process $ in sales through Checkout at no charge. Participating stores also get an advanced interface that integrates Checkout with existing shopping carts and orderprocessing systems.

A Checkout icon placed on AdWords advertisements will help consumers find Checkoutauthorized stores when they search for products on Google or on sites that use Google's advertising system.

Getting Personal

"This supports Google's core business by tying search to ecommerce" said Sue Feldman a research vice president at IDC. "They along with Yahoo MSN and AOL are entering a new area by matching queries to advertising and other information on the Internet and selling access to a large audience."

While security could become an issue with Checkout as it is with all online payment system Feldman said the service will attract more advertisers to Google and is poised to give PayPal a run for its money.

What's intriguing she added is that Checkout represents Google's push into delivering more contextual search results using information obtained from users to zero in on what they are looking for. "Now they can use the information obtained from a transaction such as a shipping address or purchase history to deliver results that are more personal or local."

On the flip side though some people might be wary of letting Google store such sensitive personal information. "That's the tradeoff for being able to make quick purchases online" said Feldman.

The service is currently open to all U.S. merchants even if they are not AdWords members. Google plans to expand the Checkout service to retailers around the globe at some point down the line.

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