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Google Checkout – Short Term Loss for Long Term Payoff

December 20, 2006 Leave a comment

NYT offers an interesting update on Google Checkout.

Here are my highlights: Aggressively pursuing merchants, Google Checkout waived transaction fees in November (through the end of 2007), and it has also been Checkout users $10 off $30 purchases at many e-commerce sites and, in some cases, $20 off $50 orders. In fact, Google is prepared to lose money on every transaction for the next year. Why?

They see long term payoffs in expanding their base of advertising.

 “It’s a way to incentivize more merchants to join our network,” said Benjamin Ling, a product manager for Checkout. “We want everyone who sells online to be a Google advertiser.”

The advantages for merchants include current savings, and a model that helps merchants generate more sales leads by increasing click-through rates.

Read the article at NYT.

Integrating my interests and my work

November 30, 2006 Leave a comment

I wrote about the idea of integrity and integration earlier in the month. The divisions between our personal and public lives do not appeal to me. I want to live as a whole person whether in the workplace, the ministry, the home or even online. When working at Philips, I had the opportunity to use my interest in creativity and play to lead workshops among co-workers. This excited me because within the workforce, I found a way to integrate personal interests with work in a way the I believe benefited the company.

Another key interest in my life has been community/relationship building. That’s why I track social networks and trends in culture. I am interested in how these trends online and offline will impact the formation of relationships. I’ve had the privilege of bringing this interest in community building into several companies, but the focus has primarily been within a company not between the company and their outside stakeholders (customers, vendors, et al).

So I’ve tried to find connecting points between this interest and the company I’ve been working with most recently: Jewelry Television. We’re making some baby steps toward community/social networking. They recently gave approval for me to start a Jewelry Television blog. It’s very low radar right now. We’ve not promoted or mentioned it much at all.

This is still an ongoing experiment. While I want the blog to direct people to our site (so I post ads and videos from the site), I also want to blog to reveal the human side of the company and open the door for conversation with customers. Eventually, it is a step toward building a more socialnet based dialogue between JTV and customers as well as other folks online.

Take a look at it, if you have chance and give me any feedback. I’d appreciate it.

E-Commerce Shopping Sites

November 27, 2006 4 comments

Not that I’m encouraging anyone to spend more money this season, but if you’re interested, Larry Chase sent out a list of interesting of shopping sites that you might want to check out. I think I’ve written about some of this before, but here are the highlights:

FruCall –  One quick call tells you if an online price beats the store price. “Frucall not only reads back the best online prices to you, but it also allows you to buy items directly from online merchants while you’re on the phone!”

CyberMonday – Shop.org set up this site to show all the various deals online today.

Dealcatcher – Comprehensive list of online and offline deals.

Like.com – A shopping search engine.  This is an interesting concept that captures photos of celebrities and allows you to search fashion items they are wearing and find similar items for sale.

Shop Local – Find all the deals in your neck o’ the woods.

Pronto – Named “”Best Online Price Comparison Site” in 2006 by Kiplinger’s, this site searches product reviews to create an overall product rating and then it connects you to various online merchants.

ThisNext – This a social shopping site that lets you connect with like-minded to find their recommendations on specific products.

Kaboodle – Another social shopping site that lets you organize your wish lists from various sites on the web.

Bidnearby – Find the closest ebay auctions to your zip code area and save or avoid shipping.

Google Checkout – It’s growing.

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