Why Google Checkout?
You might be reading this if you are interesting in Google Checkout or have heard about Google Checkout in passing conversation with friends, family or co-workers. If you have used Google Checkout to purchase goods and want to know more then skip this paragraph. However, if you have heard about Google Checkout but never used Google Checkout, you must first try it. How can you determine if it’s good enough for your customers without ever trying it? Okay, you get the idea. Here’s a list of merchants that accept Google Checkout. If you need a financial incentive, starting Nov 23 you can save $50 during holiday shopping using Google Checkout at selected merchants. Once you use it, you know why people are talking about it. Like, for one, how easy it is to use.
Sites that offer Google Checkout understand consumers want alternate payment options that meet their needs and are easy to use. With Google Checkout, it’s like two-click ordering all-the-time. They can't have one-click ordering since Amazon owns the darn patent. I don’t know about you, but fast ordering is always cool and convenient in my book. The name, Google Checkout, is not too original, so maybe they should consider the name Google Two-Click Ordering.
Looking to integrate Google Checkout with your web site?
Google provides several ways to enable Google Checkout on your e-Commerce web site. Warning – beginning of technical talk. It can be as simple as an html form post to Google Checkout, referred to as Level 1 Integration by Google Checkout engineers, or a more complex web service offering, called, surprisingly, Level 2 integration. Don’t worry; even with level 2 integration, Google has organized some open source coding projects available for many platforms that can be leveraged to make Level 2 integration a breeze.
How do you know which integration level to choose?
Level 1 Integration:
If you maintain a web site but don’t really know how to write code, or know anyone who can help, then Level 1 integration is the best situation. Medium to large e-commerce companies who only sell one product the majority of the time or sell digital goods, should also consider Level 1 integration. To summarize, digital goods merchants and e-commerce companies who sell one product per order the majority of the time are ideal candidates for Level 1 integration. After orders are submitted, a customer service representative must login to Google Checkout in order to complete all order fulfillment functions from printing a receipt to adding the tracking number and archiving the order. For more information about Level 1 integration, stay tuned, I'll be discussing it in subsequent postings.
Level 2 Integration:
If your business has an order processing system and hundreds to thousands of orders are processed a day, then Level 2 integration is the only option. Ideally, it’s best to have the orders, once processed by Google Checkout, flow back into the workflow stream of your current order process for literally, "hands-off," processing. Regardless of integration level, from the customer end, it will appear to be the same process. However, the Google Checkout button may be invoked far more often from the product detail pages in Level 1 Integration, and on the cart page more often in Level two integration. That’s not always the case, but typically the rule. Some merchants go so far as to inconvenience the customer by requiring them to create an account before presenting the Google Checkout button to the customer. This is not necessary since Google Checkout will pass all customer information back to your order process via XML. Most people do not like forced account creation on checkout, so it’s a bad idea to hide your Checkout button behind a Create Account option or hide your Google Checkout button, in general.
Next post - Level 1 integration. Have a nice day.