Google Checkout and Open Source

Google has launched a new product called Google Checkout. It allows for consumers to make purchases in participating stores across the web with only one login and password: their google account.

Why consumers like it:
They have less chance of getting spam & unwanted newsletters. A consumer’s personal information is spread out less across internet shops, and in that they feel safer. It’s much easier to enter in information one time for numerous checkouts. Besides, Google is name brand they trust.

Why you as a store owner should participate:
If you’re enrolled in Adwords and you spend $1, Google will credit you $10 in transaction fees. It’s a no-brainer. Who wouldn’t want to invest money that would otherwise be spent in transaction fees to Visa, AMEX, etc. especially when considering it’s multiplier?

We don’t need many more reasons to participate because consumers like it! This means more sales for you. The only factors in need of consideration are cost and feasibility.
Okay, so let’s offer it.
Hopefully your e-commerce software vendor has implemented it already, or has plans to. Every day that passes where your shop doesn’t have the google checkout option, somewhere else consumers are choosing other stores that do.

You may be unfortunate enough to be stuck with a proprietary vendor that moves very slowly, whereas the only feedback you’ll get is “We’re working on getting it in the next version.” Maybe they’ll charge you for a new version, maybe they won’t. It gets worse for some people though, namely Yahoo Store owners who should never expect to have integration with any tools offered by a Yahoo competitor.

If you have your own developers you’re better off than some shop owners, but your will be on their time when it comes to integrating the code and testing/debugging.

The best scenario
If you’re lucky enough to be using an open source tool like oscommerce, you don’t need to call your vendor to plead for support, the open source community has you covered.

One of the huge benefits to using open source software is the community response to new developments. Someone else usually starts such integrations on their own time and then offers it freely to the community. Their vested interest is obviously their bottom line in addition to credit for developing such software. It’s good developer karma.

It will still take an investment to implement these latest and greatest tools as they show up. But when doing it open source, you can cut down most if not all of the development time, and only pay for debugging and QA. This is why SEER loves using open source tools and uses oscommerce for the guts of our stores. Our time is better spent on marketing and customizing the store’s inner-workings, rather than reinventing the wheel.

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