Shopping PayPal or Google Checkout

After getting numerous requests from small business owners for the best solution for a DIY shoppping cart, I did a little further research about shopping carts on the two that were given to me by my internet resource and mentor, Chris Morgan of http://cmorgansweb.us/?Monthly_Freebies.

I located some information that I feel will provide insight to my clients as well as others about ecommerce solutions and I wanted to share it.

You can use only PayPal on eBay, but should you check out Google’s new shopping method when doing other business online? Both services are secure, but PayPal offers more features, such as helping you shop around the world.

By Elsa Wenzel (July 17, 2006)

 

Since Google Checkout launched last month, many tongues wagged that it would slaughter PayPal. Yet these digital payment services are different beasts that cater to different needs. Both provide a secure way to shop, with policies that refund your money in case of fraud. Overall, however, we prefer the many features of the veteran service, PayPal.

Google Checkout simply serves as a holding place for your credit or debit card information. It allows you to log in to a single Google username to shop, while hiding your valuable data and e-mail address from merchants. If you’re selling stuff on a Web site, you can cut and paste some code that lets visitors shop via Google Checkout, which takes a small cut of your sales.

PayPal’s fine print is more complicated than Google Checkout’s, but PayPal offers a wider variety of services for shoppers and businesses–particularly small ones–to exchange funds. Only PayPal lets shoppers transfer money to or from bank accounts in addition to credit and debit cards, and you can use it to wire money to other people without requiring them to get a paid account. And PayPal is the only way to go if you’re shopping around the world. Your financial details remain hidden from stores, but sellers might see your e-mail address.

The Google Checkout shopping cart icon will likely be popping up more frequently within text ads when you Google all sorts of subjects that can be bought or sold. However, PayPal’s user base is 100 million strong, while Google Checkout is just getting off its feet. Only PayPal can be used to bid on or list auctions at eBay, which owns the service. And thousands of merchants are already PayPal-enabled, while Google is still building partnerships with sellers. Check out the features at CNET.com.

 

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Some women like it fast…and I’m one of them, are you?

In the US in 2006, according to professor Kang, about 70% of all women in the US went online, 67% of them made online purchases, and this is expected to increase to 74% by 2010.

She notes women 55 and older have increased their online purchases by more than 120% during the last several years. “You will soon notice a similar kind of trend elsewhere, especially in places where broadband penetration rate is high,” she says.

Click on the link to get additional information

To Twitter or Not to Twitter

 At some point I know we’ve all had to weigh pros/cons against the benefits of the time we spend online and how that affects our family lives and values. I’ve debated this question often and now realize I’m not alone. If you’ve had this debate with yourself or with someone else, continue reading, you may or may not already have the answer but I belive this article may enlighten you.

Twitter Distracts and Annoys

Not all Web 2.0 applications are advances. Twitter encourages self-absorption and rude behavior in business settings. Pro or con?

Pro: Stop Tweeting and Start Listening

It was on a gorgeous summer day that I vowed I would never Twitter.

I was speaking at a Seattle conference of tech-savvy professionals, feeling rather old fashioned as I tried to network (i.e., talk to people in person) before the opening session. The guy on my right was zoomed in on his iPhone (APPL). “What are you doing?” I asked.

“Twittering the conference,” the man said. He didn’t look up—just kept tapping. The woman next to me had her laptop browser open to Twitter, too. I was surrounded. That’s when I made my vow.

A recent Web 2.0 fad, Twitter is an instant messaging stream, or microblog, that allows you to publicly broadcast short-short messages to your “followers.” But I think it’s bad for business.

Twitter is the ultimate in self-centeredness. To imagine that anyone would want a running commentary of every moment of your life puts you—as a businessperson—at the center of your world when in fact that’s where your customer should be. It feeds the isolated narcissist who wants “followers,” rather than live contact with actual customers.

If I am tweeting about my lunch with you while we’re having lunch, then we’re not having lunch together. If you’re tweeting while we talk, we’re not talking. And if your customers are tweeting, they can’t be buying from you.

In this world of pseudo-personalized and artificial everything, real contact is better for business. Pick up the phone, people. Go visit a client. Go to an event. And don’t be afraid to talk to the people you meet there.

Con: Twitter Facilitates Business

At first, I thought Twitter was ridiculous. Who could possibly want to know what I was doing? And why would I want to know what they were doing?

Instead, a year and a half later, Twitter has become an important part of my daily information flow. How?

First, as you gain followers, Twitter can serve as an incredible knowledge network. I’ve found software for my new Mac, good deals on hosting services, recommendations for office chairs, and answers to a zillion other questions I’ve tweeted.

Second, by allowing me to follow leaders in their field who Twitter, the microblog suggests where I should focus my attention. New Web services, products, tools, research—I’ve found all via others who “tweet” about their work. Following media outlets as well can alert you to breaking news. I find myself reading my Twitter stream far more than RSS feeds.

Third, Twitter has connected me to people, face to face. If I go to a conference, a quick Twitter search can reveal who else is there. I’ve met fascinating people—and yes, generated business deals as a result.

Fourth, Twitter has deepened my connections with people I know. I’ve learned about new aspects of their lives. And for home office workers, Twitter can turn into a virtual water cooler that eases the isolation.

Corporations like Comcast (CMCSA) and Southwest Airlines (LUV) use Twitter as a customer service tool (BusinessWeek, 09/08/08). Political campaigns employ it to keep supporters informed. Heck, the Los Angeles Fire Department is even tweeting out fire alarms (useful if you live there).

So is Twitter a nuisance? Like any tool, it all depends upon how you use it. For me, the answer is: No way. Twitter and other microblogging services are here to stay.

Resource: BusinessWeek