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Google To Check Out On Cyber Monday

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Now that we’re over last year’s holiday marketing trickeryCyber Monday my big toe!it’s time to accept what the marketing gods have lain before us, and make the most of it. Google is leading the charge this year, aggressively pushing its new Google Checkout product with Cyber Monday special promotions.

Last year, in a three-part series, I explored Cyber Monday and the days after. For more information, check out An Online Christmas Carol, Parts I, II, and III.

Google seems to have abandoned the long-standing practice of feeding its own product ADD, whereby the company churns out products on whims and leaves them out there on the Net for feast or famine. Google Checkout, dubbed from its beginnings as the PayPal killer, will be pulled front for everyone to, um, check out.

Coupons have been sighted beneath the Google search bar, an appearance that may be more reoccurring as the Christmas holiday nears. These coupons began appearing today, the same day Google announced that Checkout users would receive $10 off purchases of $30 or more, and $20 off purchases of $50 or more through December 26. This happens just after Google made Checkout transactions free until December 31.

A Google-commissioned Harris Interactive poll reveals that 40 percent of employed US adults will be doing some of their shopping online. Twenty-five percent will be perusing the virtual aisle on the so-called Cyber Monday (there were four of these last year), the Monday after Black Friday. Up to 57 percent of these said they’d be shopping during coffee breaks and lunch hours.

Google says its online payment service eliminates an average of 15 steps from the online checkout process, and sometimes reduces the process to a simple login, saving shoppers time as they explore an average of 5.5 websites each. Since its launch in June, Google has forged partnerships with Buy.com, Starbucks, The Sports Authority, Ace Hardware, Timberland and others.

“We understand that more and more holiday shoppers are looking to beat the crowds by heading online to cross items off their list,” said Troy Brown, senior director of e-commerce at Timberland.com. “That’s why we’ve partnered with Google Checkout to offer our customers another fast, easy, and secure checkout process to help them take advantage of our online holiday offers.”

On Cyber Monday, Google will launch a holiday site listing participating merchants, special promotions, and gift ideas from the most sought-after categories. These include clothing, gift certificates, toys, electronics, DVDs, and music.

But don’t expect eBay to accept it. eBay’s recently instituted policy, a policy that mysteriously appeared when Google Checkout was just a gleam in Google’s eye, bars the use of payment services without a longstanding history of customer service.

Until the holidays are virtually thrust upon us, let’s not forget the interim Thanksgiving, or the cornucopia of keywords that may be good to remember for driving traffic. Let’s not forget the turducken (a gluttonous flaunting of affluence and abundance, which makes it almost as greedily wonderful as the Krispy Kreme bacon cheeseburger), and of course, last year’s search champion, the butternut squash.

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