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GBuy: Killer App, or Wake Up Call?

By - June 11, 2006

Missed that Forbes is predicting a June 28 release for GBuy, the PayPal competitor.

Consumers using GBuy, which is set for release on June 28, will be taken off the merchant’s site to complete the payment. This will enable Google (nasdaq: GOOG – news – people ) to capture e-commerce transaction data, driving more precise targeting in future searches.

Given how important this particular launch is to Google, I am sure it will be a good product, not the spaghetti against the wall we sometimes see. However – and as odd as this might sound – I am not sure the world is ready to trust Google with its payments. I sense the overall cultural vibe on Google is that it’s gaining too much power. Folks are starting to wake up to the whole ephemeral to eternal riff. The Times is banging the table about it nearly every week (see this front pager from Sunday, or today’s story, for example, which kindly quotes me.) Soon, the networks will pick it up. And then….

Maybe it’s not such a bad idea to hang fire…

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10 thoughts on “GBuy: Killer App, or Wake Up Call?

  1. TomS says:


    I agree, this is too important for Google to get wrong, both profile and revenue wise. Let’s assume that Google will get it right, and not repeat their experiences with page hosting and analytics. The high level of goodwill Google possesses among the general public should give them an immediate and broad customer base. Even if only a fraction of the marketplace uses Google it should result in a strong revenue stream.

    I predict this new service will spread quickly among vendors but, ultimately, it will be the consumers who decide if Google is to be trusted. Vendors ought to move as quickly as possible to offer Paypal and Google side by side. After all, why should vendors try to figure-out what their customers are most comfortable using when they can let them decide for themselves?

  2. numlock says:

    This is going to be very hard for google I think. Nearly all vendors signing up for GBuy already have or should have a PayPal option on their website. So google needs to show the consumer (not the vendor, as it makes no real difference to them which service they use) why they should click the GBuy button instead.

    To make matters worse, I really can’t see many vendors lowering prices just because google has lower ratest than PayPal. I wouldn’t.

  3. or says:

    Wait a minute – consumers have already been using this system with Google Video (not super popular, yes, but it is already in use). Few have also used this on Google Base.

  4. Phyrefly says:

    Remember, Google has the potential to combine this with Froogle, meaning you can search for the cheapest supplier of a product, and buy it, straight off Google’s own site, without even touching the vendor’s site. This reduces overheads for vendors (possibly) – and makes the user experience more efficient.

    Personally, I can’t wait for that!

  5. Another example of the awareness that John mentioned was the monologue at the beginning of the MTV Movie Awards:

    “And I should know, I’m Ron Google, creator of…Ron Google is all powerful, Albaqurque, I keep track of everything.”

  6. NotMyData says:

    Yea. That’s a swell idea. Let google consume more of my personal information.


  7. Brian Mingus says:

    I hate PayPal…

  8. John says:

    Overated. Already. Like Gmail. Like Picaso. Like Blogger. Like Gspreadsheet. Like Google Print.

  9. Hi John,

    I actually did not put the payment part with GBuy together with the metrics part of tracking success – I just thought that GBuy was going to be a better PayPal.

    But it makes sense to me that Google can now, with GBuy, tie into Google Analytics and tell you the actual income an ad or link has because they’ll control every part of the transaction.

    Do I worry about it? Not really. As long as Google is fighting the DOJ for access to Search Query logs – I don’t think they’ll be using the information they collect for some other than strightforward purposes. The only thing I’d worry about is a security breach – like someone stealing the data and then using it.

  10. dumbfounder says:

    In my opinion they won’t have a big issue with trust. It’s whether or not people will care. This isn’t one of the cool new google apps you download/sign up to play around with. I use Paypal, I haven’t had problems with them, so why should I switch? Switching is a pain in the ass. I don’t want another source out there with access to my bank account unless I need it. So, do I need it?