Google has finally launched Google Checkout, yeah!… wait a minute…
Google’s tagline “Find it with Google. Buy it with Google Checkout.” sounds nice enough, but if you’re in the interactive marketing business, you’d better take notice.
With this service, Google promises users can ‘Control commercial spam’. If you sign up, you can keep your email address confidential, and easily turn off unwanted emails from stores where you use Google Checkout, stores like Starbucks and Fossil, even Google Video (the list is growing everyday).
The picture above is from my purchase on Starbucks. Bypassing all that merchant registration tedium really is nice. Just click the Google Checkout button and your purchase is confirmed. Google even hides your full credit card number from the merchant.
This is a concept I think we’ll be seeing more of in the future. How will e-mail marketing programs adapt? Under CAN-SPAM laws, businesses can e-mail existing customers. What happens when businesses no longer have their customers’ e-mail addresses? (Google is, after all, calling these emails ‘commercial spam’).
Merchants are going to have to get very creative at developing incentives if they expect to build their e-mail lists in the future.