Google vs. Paypal — Customer Preference

This is mostly anecdotal but someone asked me for the numbers today.  I figured other people might like them so I’ll promote this to a post instead of a comment.  Note that the sample size is fairly low because I made a major error 2 weeks ago and that resulted in my sales declining about 80% over the period (d’oh!).

From a universe of 29 transactions, 13 were Google checkout and 16 were Paypal.  (This excludes one additional transaction which would have been Checkout if not for Google denying it for, ostensibly, security reasons.)  The presentation of the Checkout and Paypal buttons is fixed and exactly symmetrical unless folks choose to buy directly from lower on the page rather than from the cart.  Most (80%) of my transactions come from the cart.

Interestingly, none of my Google checkout customers had their account prior to signing up to do business with me.  Back when I accepted primarily Paypal, a rather high percentage of my customers had existing Paypal accounts (its inefficient for me to check exactly how high, but I have quoted 60% at previous times so lets call it 60%).  The percentage of Paypal users who have preexisting verified accounts has gone up significantly since I began offering checkout.  My interpretation of this data point is that people who already use Paypal are likely to seek it out as an option when given comparable alternatives.

I should note that my cart interface always presents Paypal and Checkout in the same order (Checkout on the left, Paypal on the right).  If I had my druthers that order would be randomized for every load of the cart.   I suspect many customers are just mashing on any button that they know is in the contextually accurate place for Continue This Transaction Darn It rather than making a conscious decision for or against either provider.  Thats fine by me, incidentally, since I hate having customers have to decide things prior to giving me money.

I should note that my demographics are probably vastly more accepting of Paypal than some demographics.  Many software developers, for example, hate Paypal like the plague for some reason.  I think this viewpoint is rather less prevalent among middle aged ladies, who make up a good deal of my customers.  eBay is a big hit with them, and Paypal acceptance among eBay users is extraordinarily high.

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4 Comments on “Google vs. Paypal — Customer Preference”


  1. Do note that checkout is not available for use outside of the US.
    This means international customers have no choice but to use Paypal. I dont know if that makes a difference to your results. But any european (UK) customers dont have the option to use google checkout.

    cheers
    keep clicking
    Peter

  2. Guillaume Maury Says:

    Since you live in japan, do you happen to know which payment (paypal, or others) system would be the most accepted by japanese customers ?

    Thanks

  3. Patrick Says:

    Paypal works for Japanese people who have a credit card. Many don’t and customer acceptance of them for online transactions is lower than it is in the US (I have a friend who buys $100 worth of books from Amazon a month and he trudges out to the convenience store to pay for his invoice rather than exposing his CC number online).

    There are about five ways to charge people without using a credit card.

    * Accept wire transfers, which are cheap and easy in Japan.
    * Allow people to pay for your product at the local convenience store.
    * Sell stored value cards through conveninence stores.
    * Sign up with a micropayment provider who sells stored value cards through convenience stores.
    * Bill them through their cellphone provider. Penetration of cellphones is essentially 100% here.

    This is assuming consumer software with price points below 10,000 yen.

  4. Guillaume Maury Says:

    Thanks for answering, sorry I didn’t see your answer…. I got busy and ended up not checking back…

    I guess I’ll have to look at the other possibilities…. Is it really easy to use the cellphone provider? I heard that it only works on a case by case basis… but I might be wrong.


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