Google urges shoppers to Checkout new feature


18 May 2007

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Google Checkout was launched yesterday at the Irish Internet Association’s (IIA) Congress 2007.

Ronan Harris, director of online sales and operting for Google Ireland, launched the feature.

He said that Google hope to provide a one-stop shop for all online shoppers, make it easy to find the product they want in a search engine and browse and buy all in one portal.

He emphasised that Google Checkout was not a payment process but a checkout process, facilitating payment methods in one easy-to-find place, but working with a third party to handle actual transactions.

In order to encourage merchants to join Google Checkout, the company said it will be processing all checkout sales for free until 2008.

Google research has found that the top three reasons for consumer reluctance to shop online were that it takes too long to check out, there were too many website accounts to handle and there was a fear of sharing personal information each time a consumer goes through the checkout process.

Google also found that 37pc of all online transactions begin with a search query in an engine like Google or Yahoo!.

Shoppers said lack of simplicity had discouraged them from completing online, with 64pc of those surveyed wanting a single-page checkout as opposed to clicking through several pages.

Further to this, over 60pc of all shopping cart processes are abandoned before purchase is completed.

Harris said that he hoped Google Checkout can solve some of these problems and that Google was aiming to “use its presence on the net to give people confidence to transact more easily”.

With only a single username and password, the buyer can access all merchants signed up to Google Checkout and leads and traffic will still be directed back to those participating merchant sites.

Harris described Google Checkout as a way of “combining online shopping as a single process from search to find to buy”.

Google Checkout was launched last month in the UK and has been operating in the US since last year.

UK online analyst company Search Media found that Google Checkout came in at No 60 in market share of UK internet visits to business and finance sites last month.

By Marie Boran