Sell online with storefront shopping carts for b2b, b2c.
Advice on payment processors

Should I use PayPal or Google Checkout on my webstore?

My cart uses Google Wallet (“GW”, a.ka. Google Checkout), PayPal and X-Payments all running side-by-side. I highly recommend PayPal credit card processing for webstore checkout over GW. Here is why:

  1. With my own cart, the abandonment rates are the highest for shoppers who choose GW during checkout, as compared to PayPal, and of course the transparent, PCI-DSS compliant X-Payments. Some reasons for those abandonment rates are detailed below.
  2. Try doing a checkout with GW when logged out of Google, or when you are logged in but don’t already have a Google Wallet account. After signing in, you will then simply be brought to Google Wallet’s splash page. No indication on what to do next. The credit card payment page does not appear, as of the day I wrote this. So, approximately 35% of your shoppers will give up and go to your competitor. Joy (sarcasm).
    PayPal Payments Standard does require the shopper to leave your site to login or create an account at PayPal.com. But, after that, the checkout process happens smoothly.
  3. GW support: non-existent. Yes, really: No phone. No email. Your only Google provided option is to post a message in their support group that relies upon non-Google employees to answer. Oh, well, except for that once every three month comment to each post by a Google staffer. It’s ridiculous and dangerous for the cart owner who has a problem. The only reason they stay in business? See #5 and #6.
  4. In contrast, PayPal support is tremendous. Go ahead and call 1-888-221-1161 and see how fast you get a USA person with brains. Touch the prompt for merchant support and prepare to be impressed even more.
  5. I only use GW because big G rules half the Internet.
  6. Think you are going to get that nice GW cart icon next to Google Shopping results? I have been using GW for two years with 100% 5/5 feedback. I have followed all their rules perfectly. Well apparently not, but I don’t know why, and cannot determine why: The stupid icon still won’t appear next to my store in Google Shopping results. And if that happens to you and you want to find out why, see #3. “Doh.”
  7. Shipping methods and rates often do not calculate properly with GW. If GW does not get your cart’s rates within three seconds, then it will use the rates that you have defined within GW’s settings. And, that can be a mess.
    PayPal has no such issue.
  8. GW takes at least 20 minutes to approve each transaction.
    PayPal is practically instant.
  9. When a shopper uses Google Wallet/Checkout, your cart’s database will not automatically receive the shopper’s data such as name, email address and phone number. GW likes to act like it’s an anonymous transaction, protecting the shopper’s privacy. This is silly, because you still have all the data in the sales order, and it’s likely that your privacy policy allows for you to save the data. (Ours does.) And, you will have to pay someone to re-key that data into your customer data table. The last thing we need as cart owners is another maintenance task.
    Customer data from transactions with PayPal do get saved directly into your cart’s customer table.
  10. Rates are about the same between GW (https://checkout.google.com/seller/fees.html) and PayPal.

I really am not prejudiced. #5 and #6 (if you can get it) really are the only advantages I see to Google Wallet. It is an incredibly lopsided advantage for PayPal. If you see other advantages to Google Wallet, comment below. And, feel free to tell me your thoughts otherwise.

6-9-2012 update:
I have now removed Google Checkout from my cart. With the announced discontinuance of free Google Shopping feed submissions, the benefit of #5 is now eliminated. #6 is being made relatively irrelevant with the Google Trust Badge program.

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2 Comments

  • Rob Couty says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I use Google Checkout because of the sheer size of their market and because I wanted my products listed in their “shop” / “store” or whatever they call it. I understand impressions are important so I use them as much as possible. But Paypal is my number choice for my shopping carts. Also check out the Amazon Checkout program. It shows real promise. Whether it catches on I don’t know but I will be adding it to my choice of checkout options soon, once again because of the sheer size of their repeat customers.

    • Leafgreen says:

      Thanks, Rob. The readers here and I would be interested to hear how Amazon Checkout is working for you.

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