Thursday, May 26, 2011

Google Wallet and Commerce

Google announced the Google Wallet today and expects to roll out the service this summer. Google Wallet comes on the heels of the Square mobile credit card system and anticipates a wallet service Apple will announce this year.

While the Square service enables small merchants to swipe credit cards, Google has a vision based on existing point-of-sale terminals. The Google Wallet enables merchants to deploy coupon and loyalty programs either online or via in-store. Also, the checkout process can be streamlined so that coupons are presented automatically by an Android device and receipts transmitted back.

As one presenter at the Wallet announcement pointed out, the check-out process is the least exciting part of the retail experience. Presumably the entire check-out process with Wallet and similar technology could be reduced to a visual validation that the shopper had scanned everything going out the door.

Expect retailers to experiment with this technology first as they deploy it in their stores. Product companies will follow quickly with promotions heretofore unimaginable.

Like what?

Since I've been thinking about ebook marketing for my new book Delux, I realized there are great ebook marketing opportunities with this technology. For instance, suppose you write a book about pop music. With Wallet technology, you could place posters that concert-goers scan to buy your book. If it's an ebook, it would download automatically to their preferred eReader. If it's a physical book, you can direct them to the closest bookstore with a copy in stock.

Clearly the Google Wallet technology enables new marketing programs for ebooks, and everything else.

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