NY Times on Google Checkout

Google CheckoutHere’s Bob Tedeschi’s NY Times feature story (reg. req’d) on Google Checkout (vs. PayPal).

Here are my two posts, “Google Checkout (Late Posting)” and “Google Checkout, Click Fraud and PR,” which argue that the company needs to break out of its “no marketing” culture and market this product.

Stories like the NY Times piece are one way that the public gets information about new Google products. And Google has had enormous success with PR (and word of mouth) as a substitute for marketing.

But my sense with Checkout is that there’s a great deal more at stake; it’s not just another beta product. And with Checkout, everything hinges on consumer adoption. If consumers don’t know about it, understand the benefits or, most importantly, trust the product they won’t use it. It’s pretty simple.

Google’s “wait and see” approach won’t fly in this case. I think this product has about a year (max) to catch on. After that consumers won’t be afraid of e-commerce and some of the benefits of Checkout won’t seem like benefits anymore.


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