Digital Goods Sellers: Google Checkout – Friend or Foe?

A detailed article about Digital Goods Sellers: Google Checkout – Friend or Foe.

Digital Goods Sellers: Google Checkout – Friend or Foe?

There has been much controversy in the past few years among sellers: Google Checkout – is it a blessing or a curse?

When Google Checkout was released back in 2006, it looked like Google wanted to overcome PayPal as the top payment gateway online.  Amidst all the press releases and hoopla surrounding online selling, Google Checkout looked like it might actually give PayPal a run for its money.  So, what really happened?  If you have digital goods to sell, is Google Checkout a viable and logical option?

Have Something to Sell? Google Checkout Analysis

Even if you have something to sell, Google Checkout may not necessarily be your go-to choice in the world of payment gateways.  In fact, several recent studies have shown that just about 10% of the top online retailers offer to sell with Google Checkout as a payment option.  With 90% of retailers not even offering to sell with Google payment options, it looks like the “Big G” has a long way to go.

However, just because not many other online retailers are offering to sell with Google Checkout, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t include it as an option on your website.  Remember, the more variety you offer your customers to pay, the easier your checkout process might be.  You may even win over some new customers simply by offering them the right type of payment option.

Hey Sellers, Google Checkout Has Some Limitations

Though you can always choose to sell with Google Checkout, the payment gateway does have a few limitations.  In theory, selling, Google Checkout, and ease of use are the perfect combination, but many digital retailers have found some definite limitations to selling with Google Checkout.  So, what exactly are those confines?

  • Shipping Rates – Sellers, Google Checkout has a limitation of about 3 seconds to look up shipping rates for every address saved in a customer’s Google Account.  That means there could be discrepancies in what shoppers are paying for shipping. 
  • Special Coupons & Gift Certificate Codes – Right now, if you have something to sell, Google Checkout doesn’t always work with special free shipping coupons, gift certificate codes, or any other unique one-time use coupons.  This can get frustrating, to say the least!
  • Customer Registration – In most cases, retailers want their customers to sign up for an account with their e-store to make future purchases easier and more convenient.  It is also a great tool for marketing.  However, beware sellers, Google Checkout has strict privacy policies that prevent this from happening.  Google handles the entire transaction, not your website.
  • Products That Can Be Sold – Did you know that there is a long list of items that Google prohibits from being sold through Google Checkout?  So, selling through Google Checkout won’t even work!  Always read through that list very carefully before signing up as a merchant with Google Checkout.

How Selling and Google Checkout Work Together

If you’ve got something to sell, Google Checkout might be a great tool for your site, but it can also drastically influence the flow of the customer buying process.

As you’re probably picking up on, Google Checkout has a very stringent licensing agreement and requirements for implementation.  For example, on your shopping cart page, the Google Checkout button must be placed in a certain location, and in a certain size.  It also must be placed on a page before any additional shipping, tax, and other fees appear.  For some customers, it can seem misleading to sell with Google Checkout.

So, Do You Use Google Checkout to Sell or Not?

The bottom line is, it is entirely your decision whether you should use Google Checkout to sell your products or not.  There are definitely some limitations, but advantages as well.  The prime advantage is that you are offering yet one more payment option for customers.  Although not everyone will use Google Checkout to pay for a purchase, there is a tight-knit community of Google fans that will.  If they see that option, they may be more likely to buy your product.

For the most part, if you want to sell with Google Checkout as a payment option, you should take a look at the type of customer your store attracts.  Google Checkout appeals to the more technically advanced consumer.  However, if your customer base isn’t comprised of such individuals, you may not benefit by selling with Google Checkout as a payment method on your website.  The lesson here: It pays to know who your customers are!

Making it Easier to Sell with Google Checkout

If you don’t want to implement the Google Checkout payment option on your website, you can always consider joining an online marketplace that already does, like PayLoadz.  It is free to join the PayLoadz community and list your products –  and PayLoadz is compatible with almost every electronic payment method out there!  With such a service, the possibilities are virtually endless, which is good news for your customers, especially those who want to pay with Google Checkout.

So, if you want to sell with Google Checkout but don’t want to go through the intricate process of implementing it on your own website, list your products with PayLoadz.  It’s free, easy, and secure.  And, what’s even better – you’re getting your products listed to thousands of people that already use PayLoadz for all of their digital product shopping needs!