An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

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July 28, 2007

Is Google Checkout Confusing?

The Banking Unwired blog writes that Google Checkout's problem is that people have to overcome many barriers before using the service. And to do that they need to be really determined to use Google Checkout.
The benefits to users are many, including a central place to manage all your online purchases, added protection from someone fraudulently using your credit card, and limiting the chance for commercial spam. While this objective remains a noble one, its current incarnation of creating a parallel and optional path for users means a disjointed experience. The benefits of Google Checkout are only truly realized with an all or nothing approach. But getting there might be difficult given the customer experience kinks it has to overcome.
The author finds it strange that you should follow the Google Checkout badge, which may not always be very visible. Most people will choose the default checkout option because it may appear more convenient. They'll also ask questions like: "Who would I call for customer service issues? Where can I track my order or shipping? If I have a payment question or want a refund, where do I go?"
While the many benefits of Google Checkout outweigh its issues, the challenge of Google Checkout is one of adoption, data integration, branding, and how to provide a seamless customer experience. Having it as an optional add-on checkout option, however, raises the interesting prospect of increasing the confusion quotient, which was the original impetus for the need for Google Checkout.
So Google's main challenges would be to increase Google Checkout's awareness and to make the checkout experience better once you decided you want to use Google Checkout (a plug-in or a Google Toolbar option could help). Google is already heavily promoting Checkout in its shopping search engine.

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