Is Google Desperate With Checkout?

By Nathan Weinberg

I subscribe to a lot of “deals” websites, lately hoping to get a shiny new HDTV, and have noticed a huge trend: Deals that are only deals because you get $10 off with Google Checkout. Now, try as I might to crunch the numbers, I can’t see any incentive for the retailer worth $10 off almost any purchase, so the only logical conclusion is that Google must be spending millions on these coupons. Now, comes word that Checkout is willing to waive all processing fees through the end of the year.

Is Checkout doing really poorly, or is Google just playing super-hardball? $10 off everything is a lot of money, especially when those deals get passed around on all the hot deals sites. I hope Google realizes that this isn’t going to accomplish anything, since the retailers are getting a temporary, artificial boost that will dissapear the second the promotion ends. Coupons work much better offline, getting people to come down to the store, than online, where its click » see deal » buy » move on. I don’t think this is going to be what gets Checkout to beat PayPal, or whoever they aren’t really competing with this week.

November 3, 2006 by Nathan Weinberg in:

3 Responses to “Is Google Desperate With Checkout?”

  1. James V. Reagan Says:

    I’ve noticed and wondered the same thing. I think Google is trying to acquire customers and get them used to Google Checkout. By offering the $10 per order, they get customers entering their credit card into their Google account, they get to email customers notifications, and in short build “share of mind” with end customers. They have to acquire customers somehow, and this is as good a way as any. Time will tell if the customers “stick” or not.

  2. Google Checkout, Google Goals,, Multichannel Buyers, Abandoned Carts, Godin, Spock, Eepybird II, Real Time Analytics Says:

    […] Google Checkout Buying Share Nathan Weinberg of InsideGoogle notes that Google is spending heavily (discounts to consumers, payments to retailers) to increase adoption of Google Checkout. What does this intense promotion suggest about the natural rate of adoption? […]

  3. » Save On Gears Of War, Microsoft AdCenter, Xbox 360 »  InsideMicrosoft - part of the Blog News Channel Says:

    […] is selling Gears of War, possibly the biggest video game of the holiday season, for just $54. Thanks to Google’s desperation to sell stores on Google Checkout, you can knock off another $10 using that payment option. Add $4 shipping, and you get the $60 game for a puny $48. Xbox 360 Fanboy has a few more deals. […]

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