The holidays are here. For some, it means the busiest and most profitable time of the entire year. For others, it means having to spend countless hours online searching for gifts for your friends and relatives.
I’ll tell you this much – I’m not a fan of the latter.
However, this weekend, when I was doing all of my holiday shopping, I noticed and even fell prey to an interesting phenomenon – Google Checkout.
When I began my gift-search, I noticed that some of the stores that carried the items I was looking for had the Google Checkout promotion where they would offer $10 off a $30 purchase or a $20 off a $50 purchase. Needless to say, when compared to another store that didn’t have this going on, it’s pretty obvious as to who got my business.
But an interesting thing happened. Without even realizing it, I began to search for all of my gifts on Froogle and eventually limited it to only the stores that carried this promotion. In fact (and I am a bit embarrassed to admit it), I even changed some of my initial gift ideas to match them up with what was available in those select stores – it was just TOO good of a deal!
It was truly amazing. I purchased 80% of my gifts in stores that had Google Checkout!
Now, I’m not entirely sure as to who foots the bill for those discounts. It could be the merchants, it could be Google themselves or something in between. However, when you take the fact that Google waives the processing fees for merchants and many of them get a ton of new business solely on the fact that they support the platform, well… it certainly pays to use it.
Of course, it’s questionable if Google is now going to be my payment processor of choice. I’m still pretty loyal to PayPal and have no problem using a credit card. But that’s just me. I’m sure that millions of other people who tried it will continue using it.
So, what does that mean for Google? For e-tailers? For consumers?