Monday, May 30, 2011

Google Wallet and its effect on Online Marketers

How does the announcement of the Google wallet effect online merchants. Well, as far as I can tell – it doesn’t. Its important to note that Google Wallet is separate from Google Checkout, and can be thought of as the brick-and-mortar counterpart to the online payment nature of Google Checkout

What Google basically did is take the concept of the ewallet, which has been around online forever, and take it offline. So now you can attach multiple funding methods to the wallet, and then use it wherever the wallet is accepted. Online this has been used for everything from online gaming, to digital music downloads, discreet purchasing and for many other reasons including payouts of funds. The reason Google is doing it is to simplify purchasing, and I love the idea. I hate carrying cards around, however I use a blackberry so since this is only available on the Android, I can’t use it.

There are tons of other articles online that explain what the wallet is, and how it used NFC to process the payments so I am not going to get into that, my focus is strictly on online payments. So, while Google Wallet obviously is geared toward consumer convenience, it also has some hefty implications for internet marketers who work with offline retail stores, not those that strictly sell online. Users will also be able to load coupons, offers and even gift cards, not to mention loyalty cards Users searching for specific deals will be pointed to a place of business on a Google map. Google will also be promoting a daily Google Offer, the Google equivalent to Groupon or Living Social.

Google Wallet will connect online and offline commerce, and will make online promotion for local retail businesses MUCH easier. Google Wallet and Google Offers will make it one step easier to reach potential customers. Things like loyalty cards will be more effective if customers aren’t deterred by having to keep track of dozens of cards in their wallet, or needing to print out coupons.

Google Wallet will also boost paid search advertising efforts for retail businesses, with or without an e-commerce site. Plus, since all coupons will be available electronically I would expect a new range of reporting metrics available to advertisers in Analytics from Google Wallet purchases. Tracking the date your coupon was downloaded from your ad and looking at the amount of time it took someone to actually redeem it, for example, could help you craft ads with stronger CTAs. And knowing how many people have used your coupon beyond clicking on your ad would be good general information to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing as well.

What the Google Wallet is trying to do is make e-eommerce not just a process of buying products/services online via a website, but rather as a tool to make purchases anywhere, and most importantly to bring the convenient aspects of online shopping (searchability, electronic coupons/payment) to your business offline.


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