Google (NSDQ: GOOG) announced the release of Google Checkout store gadget in Labs via Twitter last Thursday. This should not be confused with the failed Google Checkout Gadget of 2007 that enabled users to browse “Google Checkout-able” products on their iGoogle homepages. According to Google Checkouts’ blog post entitled “Start selling online with the Google Checkout store gadget” the new tool enables online retailers to quickly set up a basic “widgetized” e-commerce store in “3 Easy Steps” using only Google Checkout, Google Docs and the Store Gadget generator. Merchants will be able to embed the generated widget code into any site they want, including Google Sites, Blogger and iGoogle (but of course).
I don’t think Google will expect retailers to exclusively use Google Docs spreadsheets for the ongoing management of inventory and product content as the tool matures. An obvious next step for Google is to let merchants take advantage of the great product data they are already sending to Google Base. In fact, I think this is a must if they want to see the eventual adoption of this tool by large retail merchants. Let me clarify one thing, I don’t expect this to replace any IR 500 websites, but I do see marketers leveraging this tool in their social shopping marketing and distributed commerce efforts.
Distributed commerce should be seen as one of the many future facets of shopping feed marketing. So for this reason alone, I want to give Google a big thumbs up with their efforts related to the Checkout store gadget.
Live Google Gadget Demo
To be honest, the process for creating the following store widget from scratch using Google’s gadget generator was pretty easy.