More NewsGoogle Checkout to Integrate with AdWords

Google Checkout to Integrate with AdWords

The long-rumored PayPal rival sees the light of day.

Google’s long-awaited payments service, dubbed Checkout, is set to be launched today. The offering is integrated with the company’s AdWords program, displaying an icon on participating advertisers’ ads and giving them a discount on payment processing.

Citibank has partnered with Google to co-market the product, offering users of its credit cards reward points if they sign up for accounts.

“This helps complete a cycle for our users so they can search, find and buy quickly,” Benjamin Ling, the lead product manager for Google Checkout, told ClickZ News.

Speculation about the system has swirled for months, with much ink being spilled over its potential to threaten eBay’s PayPal. Though Checkout shares many characteristics with PayPal, in that it enables small merchants to accept payments on their sites, the Google service doesn’t enable person-to-person transactions and doesn’t let consumers have a cash balance in their accounts. It also doesn’t have shopping cart features yet. Still, Google will be battling PayPal for consumers’ trust, and also for the small business market.

In that fight, Google’s ammunition will be its integration of Checkout into its AdWords program. Checkout-enabled merchants who buy AdWords will get a shopping cart-shaped icon that appears on the bottom left-hand corner of their ads, in a move designed to assure customers they can trust the check-out process at the advertiser’s site. Those icons will only appear on Google.com sites and not on AdSense affiliate sites.

Additionally, AdWords advertisers will receive free payment processing for sales of up to 10 times their monthly spending. A company spending $1,000 in one month for AdWords would receive $10,000 worth of free payment processing the next month. Beyond that, or for non-advertisers, the charge will be $0.20 and two percent of the sale per transaction. PayPal charges 1.9 percent and $0.30 per transaction.

“It’s intended in part to create a reward, a loyalty, for the AdWords advertiser,” said Greg Sterling, an analyst with Sterling Market Intelligence. “It will also encourage merchants who aren’t AdWords advertisers to try it.”

Though the service would seem to be most appealing to smaller merchants who may not have a trusted brand name, Google has signed some well-known brands to participate at launch. Buy.com, Timberland.com, Jockey.com, Starbucks.com and Levis.com will offer users the option of using Google Checkout.

From the consumer side, Google Checkout is aimed at providing people the convenience of entering in their credit card and personal details once, then using them across a variety of merchants. Consumers can also track the status of their orders, including shipping information, from within the Google Checkout interface. They can also rate their buying experiences. For now, this rating information is simply being routed back to merchants, but Google says it is exploring how to make that information public.

One relatively minor feature within the Checkout process may turn out to have implications for marketers. The interface lets consumers create a merchant-specific email address that forwards to a Gmail account and can be turned off at will. The theory behind this feature is that users are hesitant to give their real email addresses to little-known online merchants, for fear of receiving spam. Consumers can opt-in to merchants’ email marketing programs using this address from within the Checkout interface, as well.

Related Articles

GDPR: The role of technology in data compliance

Data & Analytics GDPR: The role of technology in data compliance

1m Clark Boyd
What companies can learn from the We-Vibe lawsuit about the Internet of Things

Legal & Regulatory What companies can learn from the We-Vibe lawsuit about the Internet of Things

9m Al Roberts
Has advertising arrived on Google Home?

Media Has advertising arrived on Google Home?

9m Al Roberts
Target is the top retail digital marketer, so why is it struggling?

Ecommerce Target is the top retail digital marketer, so why is it struggling?

9m Al Roberts
YouTube is "on pace to eclipse TV" thanks to savvy algorithm use

More News YouTube is "on pace to eclipse TV" thanks to savvy algorithm use

9m Al Roberts
YouTube is getting rid of 30-second unskippable pre-roll ads

Ad Industry Metrics YouTube is getting rid of 30-second unskippable pre-roll ads

10m Al Roberts
Is Twitter slowly dying?

More News Is Twitter slowly dying?

10m Al Roberts
FedEx launches fulfillment service to take on Amazon

Ecommerce FedEx launches fulfillment service to take on Amazon

10m Al Roberts