November 28, 2006

There Goes Google Again

Sometimes things just slip by me, and I need a fellow blogger to awaken my senses.

Earlier this year, Google released Google Checkout, a method to make checkout easy for customers shopping your site. Google charges a fee of 2% of the order size, plus a $0.20 flat fee per transaction. In other words, Google picks up the charges associated with the credit card order, and keeps a small fee for themselves.

The list of participants is a who's who of online merchandising.

So, my dear online marketers, database marketers, and multichannel marketers. I have a few questions for you.

Question #1: Did you receive incessant and passionate feedback from your customers, begging you to add this service to the array of checkout options you already offer?

Question #2: At what point do you, as an online marketing executive, finally stand up to Google and say "No thanks, I'll manage the rest of my business on my own?

Think about it. A portion of your customers fail to recognize your brand, and instead type BLUE NILE into Google, resulting in a click-through to your website. Worse, the click-through may be the result of the customer clicking on paid search. In this case, you pay Google because you haven't trained your own beloved customer to bookmark your URL.

So, you pay Google to get your own customer to visit your site. Next, you pay Google to facilitate the transaction on your site. You use Google Analytics to analyze how effectively Google managed your purchase consideration process. You enter key metrics into the documents and spreadsheet application Google hosts. Then, you blog about the process with Blogger, so that your customers can read the content, search for your URL on Google, and start the process all over again.

Will you let Google manage your distribution center one day? Will you let Google staff your contact center for you? Will you let Google run your finance department, or human resource department?

Maybe I'm just paranoid. You tell me. It's your turn to participate in the discussion.

Page Counts When Bifurcation Hurts All Other Customers

Yesterday we talked about the fact that best catalog customers (a minority of your file) deserve MANY catalogs that are merchandised with...