Google Upgrades Checkout Offerings, Adds Perks
Launched in late June 2006, Google Checkout is an electronic payment system that aims to simplify the online shopping experience--letting users create a single account for purchases on multiple sites.
Shoppers can keep track of their purchases, retailer contact info and shipping status, as the system creates a purchase history log. The search giant has also upgraded the Google Checkout gadget, giving users with a personalized iGoogle home page the option to scan and track purchases with the new MyOrders tab.
While many deemed the system a direct competitor to eBay's PayPal, Google's offering is relatively limited in comparison, as Google Checkout does not give users the option of storing currency for payment and is not viable for person-to-person payments. Still, those slight limitations have not stopped major retailers like Aéropostale, Comp USA and Toys 'R' Us from adopting Google Checkout and brokering exclusive holiday deals. Between now and December 17th, Google Checkout users will receive discounts of up to $50 on purchases, and free shipping on purchases over $50 at sites like Petco.com and Luggage.com.
In addition, Google has inked deals with multiple airline rewards programs to offer shoppers frequent flyer miles for their use of Google Checkout through the end of December. Users will earn 2 frequent flyer miles for every $1 they spend, and can earn up to 10,000 miles in total with carriers like Continental, Northwest and Alaska Airlines.
The search giant is promoting the deals via a special holiday page, driving traffic to it from both the Google Checkout blog and the Official Google blog. A company spokesperson added that the efforts were part of Google's "larger commitment to building awareness and driving traffic for our merchant partners."
Although Google has not given an official account of the number of participating merchants, according to previously released statements, Google Checkout had been adopted by "more than one quarter of the top 500 online retailers" in June of 2007.