Google’s young online payment service, Checkout, is one of the few Google products to live up to the hype in some time. As of Cyber Monday 2006, Checkout halved PayPal’s market share lead.
Unlike so many other Google products, which were brought forth and generally orphaned on the Web somewhere, Checkout has beenby the Mountain View, Calif.-based company. Already, that is paying off.
Hitwise’s LeeAnnthat the market share of visits to Checkout was up 158% in the days after Thanksgiving. But more impressive, PayPal suddenly isn’t so far ahead.
The bulk of those visits came from ToysRus, offering $10 off $30 purchases if customers used Checkout. Google has similar with Linens-N-Things, Buy.com, Petco, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Ace Hardware.
But that’s not all. Checkout is free to use until December 31st, signifying that Google isn’t fooling around with getting this particular brand out there and accepted by the online shopping public.
You’ll notice that eBay is not on the partners list. Even when Google Checkout was just a rumor floating around the blogosphere, referred to as Google Wallet or Google Purchase, eBay posted notice about payment services without longstanding customer histories.
So, in effect, there’ll be no Checkout at eBay where PayPal has always worked just fine. And judging from the rapid public acceptance, that was a smart, protective move.
But it hasn’t been all birthday cakes and butterflies for Checkout. One of the search industry’s most prominent Google authorities, John Battelle, posted aof the product on his blog.
The biggest issue addressed was privacy. Google’s usual give-cool-stuff-in-exchange-for-user-information policy is not only opt-out, but is also obfuscated by three different privacy policies.
Coping with that knowledge, Battelle used a test credit card to make a purchase. Checkout took his credit card information, but didn’t make the sale.
Sorry Google, but mark this one in your metadata as “abandoned cart.”