Google Wallet – Shaking Up Retail In A Big Way

by David Whitehouse
See Dave Speak SMX London

I was just reading a great article on Forbes, written by Gene Marks (you can read it here), in it he talks about the potential to kill off a lot of jobs in Supermarkets. I don’t necessarily agree with what he is saying – Sainsbury’s near me allow people to checkout on their own, as do many other supermarkets – so whether they use Google Wallet to pay or not doesn’t really make much difference – it could however save on checkout queues, which would purely save people time as far as I can see.

The key thing I took from his article was what Google Wallet can make possible. It’s going to allow small businesses to easily run loyalty programs with superb analytics features – the likes of which have only been available to the big supermarket chains and retailers. This is really going to help the little guy compete with the big boys – I think we will find small businesses who take advantage of Google Wallet more lean and nimble and perhaps we’ll see small businesses claw back market share from the big chain stores.

Google Wallet is going to help piece together the fragmented data stored online and offline. You will (hopefully) be able to easily track what % of people who see your AdWords ads and then come into your store and buy something. Even further than this, I imagine it might be possible to track Google Wallet visitors to a store via scanners at the doorway to determine if they make a visit without paying. You’ll then be able to see the full purchasing process, from someone seeing your ad online, coming into your store to check out the product and then ordering it online.

Not only this, but you’ll be able to track multiple purposes over time – meaning more advertisers on AdWords will be aiming for a return based on customer lifetime values rather than the first purchase.

Basically, AdWords bids are going to go through the roof (I can imagine them more than doubling) – and if you’re not into your web analytics you’re going to have a hard time keeping up, for those doing SEO – you’ll probably be worth more :)

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