Google to eBay, Apple, Dell, Amazon: Ecommerce is a 'disaster'

Google gives a firm thumbs down to the payment processing systems used by its strategic partners, by its key advertising clients and even by a company where the Google CEO is a member of the Board of Directors.

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Google gives a firm thumbs down to the payment processing systems used by its strategic partners, by its key advertising clients and even by a company where the Google CEO is a member of the Board of Directors.

The Google-centric view of the world does not always reflect the world’s reality. In touting Google’s latest underperforming initiative, Google Checkout (see “Google miscalculates with Google Checkout”), at an investor Q & A in New York City yesterday, Alan Eustace, Google SVP Engineering & Research, characterized payment right now on the Web as a “disaster.”

While Google CEO Eric Schmidt is fond of saying “don’t bet against the Internet,” the company appears to be betting against payment systems widely used on the Internet.

In a fear-mongering diatribe trashing online commerce and casting doubt on consumer financial safety online, Eustace disparaged ecommerce players on the Web:

Payment right now on the Web is a disaster. Everybody who has ever tried to buy anything on the Web right now, you don’t know who the person who is selling the goods are, you have to input your credit card to a thousand different places out there, who knows what those people are doing with my credit card. It takes a long time to get through a transaction process, honestly if it took as long for you to get through the checkout at your supermarket, as it takes to do an ecommerce transaction right now you may never do it.

Especially when the prices of items are very low. Things like videos, 99 cents and things like that, you are not going to go through a full transaction cycle as a consumer to do that kind of thing.

Also there’s Privacy issues here, you may not want to give your information to all those different places.

It is striking that Google talks publicly in a manner that suggests ignorance about online commerce. Ecommerce, of course, is thriving on the Web, thanks in large part to key strategic partners to Google, to Google key advertising clients and to a company where the Google CEO sits on the Board of Directors.

eBay CEO Meg Whitman, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Dell CEO Kevin Rollins and Apple CEO Steve Jobs are sure to take exception with Google’s declaring “Payment right now on the Web is a disaster”:

  • $5 billion ecommerce player eBay: Google strategic partner and key advertiser account
  • $9 billion ecommerce player Amazon: Google key advertiser account
  • $57 billion ecommerce player Dell: Google strategic partner and key advertiser account
  • $18 billion ecommerce player Apple: Google CEO member of Board of Directors and key advertiser account

Google’s wanton public disrespect for ecommerce facts and its ecommerce partners ought to give pause to any company and any individual that does business with Google or uses Google services.

If Google can not be trusted to accurately portray industries in which it seeks to do business (all the industries of the world), how can it be trusted to accurately account for click fraud, data records, search query streams…

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