SMBs Check Out Google's Checkout ServiceMonday, August 14, 2006
Posted by Brawlin Melgar
Checking Out with Google's
New "Checkout" Service
By Merle MCPromotionsPress
After months of "buzz" online about Google's proposed "PayPal Killer," they've finally launched their new service, "Google Checkout." After all the hype that was floating around, you'd have thought this new creation would be the death of Paypal, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.
Online payment options are important, so it's always nice to have another way to accept payments from your web site. But Google's new service is also good news for consumers who are concerned about their privacy when shopping online.
We all know Google likes to do things their own way and put a little "Google Twist" on their work, so it comes as no surprise that they've added some integration with their Adwords program. You don't need to use Adwords to utilize Google Checkout, but if you do, Google gives you some other nice benefits.
If you are a seller who also uses Adwords, you'll love this: For every $1.00 you spend with Adwords, Google will allow you to process $10.00 in "Google Checkout" salës for free. So if you're already using Adwords and start using Checkout you'll save monëy on your transaction fees. What are the fees, you say? 2% and $.20 per transaction, which does beat Paypal's current fees of 2.9% and $.30 per transaction.
Another advantage to offering Checkout on your web site is that your Adwords ads will display a small graphic of a shopping cart next to them. This is called a "Google Checkout Badge," and will identify your site quickly to searchers as one who will take "Google Checkout" payments from shoppers. Some are wondering if this may help your Adwords ranking. This is something that still remains to be seen.
To sign up, you'll first need to have a Google account, which you can get at nö chärge by going to http://google.com/accounts. At this time, you must live in the U.S. and have a bank account if you wish to process payments as a merchant. If you're a merchant you'll also need to specify your return and shipping policies.
Merchants can accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. If you have an Adwords account you'll want to link it to your new Checkout account during the registration process in order to earn your free transaction credits.
Before you get too excited, be aware there are some things not allowed to be sold using this new service. They include:
Body Parts (don't you need to keep those?)
Buyers Clubs offering goods at wholesale
Credít and Collection Services
For a complete list, see http://tinyurl.com/hmujh.
There are three ways for sellers to accept payments:
1) Buy/Now Buttons: These are similar to Paypal buttons. You just copy and paste some HTML code and you're done.
2) E-Commerce Partners: For use with Google's approved partners' shopping cart systems.Some of them are: Channell/Advision, Infopedia, Mercantec, Monster Commerce, ShopSite, Volusion.
3) API: A more complex way to integrate more options. This involves a programmer to setup.
One disadvantage to the cut and paste button method is you cannot specify tax or shipping rates. You'll need to use the API checkout method in order to do that. Another shortcoming is the inability to specify your own return page after a customer completes the purchase process. They get taken back to a "Google Thank You Page."
All orders are placed into Google's Merchant Center inside your in box. To view your orders you'll need to log into Checkout and go to the "orders tab." If the order can be fulfilled, you then clíck the "charge button" that's located next to each order. After the order is sent you'll need to let the buyer know by clicking on the "ship button" next to it.