Google Checkout. Viable payment method?

Google has launched its answer to Paypal.

When news of Google Checkout was announced many merchants jumped with joy. Just think; a payment method that doesn’t exploit the merchant! Google Checkout offers free processing (until December 31, 2007), $10 off coupons for first time customers, $50 AdWords coupon for merchants and robust anti-fraud tools. Google also promised seamless integration with the major hosted shopping cart solutions. To date, Volusion, 3DCart and MonsterCommerce offer Google Checkout integration for their stores.

Google Checkout promises to help merchants in three areas:

1. Generate leads: Shoppers can see the Google Checkout badge on the store's Adwords ads. Supposedly, this will make customers click on your ads rather than the competition that does not have the Google Checkout badge on their ads.

2. Increase Sales Conversion Rate: Google Checkout is so easy to use shoppers will have a lower bail out rate while shopping on your online store.

3. Processing. Currently, Google Checkout is offering free processing (till 12/31/07) and Google claims it’s easy to process orders using the Google Checkout Merchant Center.

Since its release, Merchants that have implement Google Checkout have reported mixed results. Many have reported frustration over the lack of control over the shipping component (esp. when it comes to offering free shipping) and the not having the ability to show real-time shipping rates. Others have reported confused customers that select Google Checkout for the first time and have to run through a second registration gauntlet in order to purchase from their stores. There has also been reports of delays in Google transaction approval process. This has caused some delays in shipping orders that would not have occurred in a credit card transaction.

Also, Google Checkout places limits on the types of product sold and allows chargebacks for orders that were “not as described.” So if you sell intangiable goods, like digital content, Google Checkout is not for you. Or if you sell high risk products, you better take great care in how your items are described and displayed.

Given the pros and cons of Google Checkout, many small business merchants are adopting a “wait and see” plan with Google Checkout. Perhaps this is wise move until Google can perfect this product. No doubt they will.

For further discussion about Google Checkout, please visit our forum:

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