Google Checkout is now Google Wallet – New Logo’s Included

Google WalletI’ve used Google Checkout, sorry ‘wallet’, for years and I’ve experienced zero fraudulent transactions to date and as a buyer, I tend to use it over PayPal if the merchant accepts it. It just “works”.

Well its official, Google Checkout has today now been re-branded to “Google Wallet” and branding goes in-hand with the new Google Play.

I do actually like the new look & feel to both. However the purpose of this post is to remind you that the logo’s for Google Checkout are now changing and I’ve included the links to the latest versions below:

Big Buy Button

Normal Buy Button

Donate Button

Support Button

Contribute Button

Google Wallet Accepted Button

They’re much more stylish that the previous versions google-checkout-old-buy-button and it’s worth checking your shopping carts are using the latest logo’s for customers as any slight deviation in branding whether its your’s or a third parties could mean the difference between a customer converting and not.

Do you use Google Wallet for your checkout or have you used it as a buyer? What were your impressions? Let me know in the comments box below, I’d love to hear from you.

 

That’s Curious BrightPearl is Releasing a Magento & eBay Integration?

Brightpearl LogoBrightpearl, now that’s a curious one.

It appears they’re adding a Magento & eBay link to their arsenal (see their shhhh page here) and I’m super curious!

If we look at the different SaaS (Software as a Service) providers out there, they’ve all originated from different angles:

  • ChannelAdvisor came from the perspective of eBay
  • And so did MarketWorks too
  • eSellerPro came from an order processing perspective, for which the marketplaces & listing were added later.
  • 247 TopSeller has hefty Amazon slant to it
  • StoreFeeder came from a Fulfilment perspective
  • Linnworks came from an ERP and MRP satellite systems
  • ChannelGrabber from a need to combine eBay & Amazon together

Brightpearl, Where Did They Come From?

As we’ve seen above each of these providers have come unique points of view and Brightpearl isn’t exception. Brightpearl came from two entrepreneurs and co-founders Chris Tanner and Andrew Mulvenna, whom was frustrated with the likes of NetSuite & Sage and how everything from a website (osCommerce) & accounting perspective was not linked and hindrance to his business at the time called “Lush Longboards”.

A years coding bender in 2006/2007 led to the development of Brightpearl, two investments later from Eden Ventures & Notion Capital, Brightpearl have over 6000 customers, a solid product that combines the features of a inventory management system, full-blown accounting (including purchase orders, quotes & invoices), contacts & a CRM tool (which is excellent I hasten to add! They’ve extended the Rapportive extension that links with Gmail), a web-based EPOS system (this is very cool) and an eCommerce offering for integrated websites.

Recently Kate Gover from Lahloo Tea discussed how Brightpearl helps her business. The video is below:

When I met the team at Brightpearl last year (hola!), the irony was that the businesses using Brightpearl felt it so valuable to use Brightpearl for their online channels that they were manually importing sales orders from other sales channels like Magento, eBay & Amazon, so that they can leverage the functionality of Brightpearl to its full potential.

eBay can get deep very quickly and Magento API is pretty poor currently, especially if you want to do complex tasks. I don’t know how far they’ve gone with the integrations yet, but even if they’ve done the basics such as stock control and order aggregation, it could be pretty slick.

Now it’s looking like they are adding a Magento integration and an eBay integration…. From a different perspective, that of website & accounting, that’s why I’m curious.

You can find out more about Brightpearl on their website and Shhhhh page where I found this information is here http://www.Brightpearl.com/shhh.

SOPA & ACTA Explained in Video

There are two agreements being kicked around presently, the first is “Stop Online Piracy Act” or SOPA and we’ve seen a lot of news coverage for this, however the second “The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement” or ACTA and has caused riots over in Poland.

While I agree with the general idea of both of them, what they actually imply is far too reaching for my liking (and a lot of others apparently, including Matt Cutts from Google). Rather than me explaining these both (badly), here are two videos I have personally found useful to bring myself up to speed.

SOPA – Stop Online Piracy Act – Video


ACTA – The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement – Video

Your Thoughts

Do you think either of these is a good idea?

“Apples are Apples” or are they? – eSellerPro V’s ChannelAdvisor

Yesterday was an interesting day’s reading. On the one hand CEO of ChannelAdvisor Scot Wingo was elected to Shop.org’s board of directors, which is frankly quite a feat considering there are only five places for non-retailers & is a highly coveted position.

A quote Scot Wingo:

“I am absolutely honored to join a board of such diverse executives and e-commerce leaders to serve the Shop.org members and continue the development of such a prestigious program,” said Wingo. “I look forward to collaborating with these other industry leaders to influence and inform many of the top issues facing the world of e-commerce.”
Source: Business Wire

And on the other hand a few minutes later, this crops up on Twitter:

It really has been a fantastic year for eSellerPro so far. I joined the company as the new CEO in January,and since then we have seen several other key additions to the management team and the sales team has doubled in size. Our annual revenues have grown to £2.4M with more than 100% growth forecast for the current year. If that wasn’t good enough, the business now has more than 200 customers, including well-known brands such as BMW, Dixons Group, JJB Sports, Office Shoes, Maplins and Tesco.

It is a very exciting time for us all at eSellerPro, and as we continue to grow we can only expect things to get even better.

Keith Bird, CEO, eSellerPro
Source: eSellerPro Blog

While at least three of these are 3rd-party clients is almost irrelevant, what is interesting is the ~100% growth and disclosure (see here) that the platform is churning over £1M in transactions per day.

Summary

While some way from the $3 Billion USD ChannelAdvisor processed in a year[2010 ?], £1M appears to be rather small. However apples are certainly not “Apples” when trying to compare two SaaS (Software as a Service) platforms that operate in the same market, one has been around since 2001, the other is just getting started, however could this be where its heading?

Image courtesy of Fir0002

TFM&A & Not-So Light Reading List x7

By the time this is released I’ll almost be in London, its TFM&A time (see t-f-m.co.uk/), I’m looking forward to the Keynotes from Google and Professor Malcolm McDonald. Although I do feel I need to divide myself between those and the other tasty sessions on offer. If you’re there, drop me an email to catch up during the breaks.

The WOM Factor

I’ve been chewing over the ‘The WOM Factor‘ I released on Friday, it received a lot of attention and I had an interesting conversation with a chap studying for his MBA over it.

We’re on to something with it, however as John inadvertently pointed out in the comments, it needs to take into account the sales volume also, because a business that is clearing a mere 400 items is no comparison for a business that clears ten times this in the same period.

Light Reading

I like to share what I’m reading, with the hope that others will share their experiences with their reading material. A recent example of this was from Sue Bailey and “The Tipping Point”, it was brilliant. If you have any suggestions, pop them in the comments section at the bottom

Book #1 – “The Tipping Point”

A stellar read, picked this up and literally did not put back down again. What makes an epidemic happen, why the little things count, why fixing a broken window or removing graffiti can change entire cities. More information on “The Tipping Point

Book #2 – “Smart Retail”

I’ve only just started reading this book, it was one of those books that were a suggested addon in Amazon and it was rated highly, so grabbed it. I’m only a few pages in but can already tell this is going to be a fab read. I’ll have most of this book covered by the time I get to London tomorrow. More information on “Smart Retail

Book #3 – Who Moved My Cheese

Wow, this was the kick up the arse I needed. Quite an amusing short read, put a lot of things in perspective. Wish I read it months ago. More information on “Who Moved My Cheese“.

Book #4 – MBA in a Day

Pfffft in a day, not likely. Part of the ground work I am carrying out, an interesting read and adds personal opinion/views to the MBA program.

Book #5 – Instant MBA

Another pffft, but still I felt was worth reading. I had paid £9 for this, but then was shown that it had gone to free on Amazon the next day. Quite a fast paced read and smoothed over most topics too much, again added a new dimension to the MBA program and only highlights I have sooooo much work in front of me.

Book #6 – Permission Marketing

The precursor to the “Purple Cow”, I’m sooooo much a Seth Godin fan, his view and take is so fresh compared to the stuffy writing and views that are about. This was definitely a pick up and read till the end.

Book #7 – Tribes

Another Seth Godin book. Understanding how tribes work, fits in well with the reading of “The Tipping Point” as they are both skirting the same idea, instead of 10 loyal parties, you need 10 groups of loyal parties and that’s when magical things happen. Not to make my role any harder or anything, just shed some possible light on the tasks in hand.

And More…

There are few others kicking around, I normally have four or so on the go and an audio book or two on the iPad/Shuffle while training. I have become quite a reading junkie as of late.

I seem to be going through one of those learning streaks (this is the third or fourth time I’ve been through one now), where all input of a certain kind is being taken in, but with anything, its the ALL in the application. Knowing is only one part, the application of knowledge is a completely different ball game.

Skype Premium: Poorly Marketed?

Skype, pretty much revolutionised the way people and businesses work forever. Its in-ground into my daily work as a major form of communication and for chats with friends & family in the evening too, as I strongly suspect, this is the same for you.

But I just don’t get their latest offering, Skype Premium, its all a bit flakey. Based on a single core offering and what’s extra, really is not that ‘great’.

The Offering

Lets look at what they are offering:

  1. Group video calling
  2. Live chat customer support
  3. A Webcam offer

All for £5.74 (£4.99 ex VAT) per month.

Bargain?

I’m not so sure that people really want group video conferencing, we’ve all managed rather well up until now without it and on poorer connections its far from a good experience and to be quite frank, half the time I do not feel that I am in any publicly viewable state.

Yes, this might be different for connecting the Atlanta office to the Berlin Office, to the London office, where colleagues from across the globe who have never and will never likely to, meet up and be able to see each other. I see value in this service for this purpose.

skype-premium

Only one subscription is needed

Interestingly, only one person needs the Skype Premium account (or group video subscription) to be able to start a group video conference. This is a cunning idea by Skype, as it does not force every party to have the subscription to use it.

In an traditional office environment, it could be easily deployed to key departments, so at least one team member can invoke the group call.

The Extras

There are two other ‘extras’ as part of the group offering, live customer support and a discount on a HD webcam.

Support

The live customer support, I do not see a huge amount, if any value in, email customer support is fine and to be honest, I have never had a need to contact Skype in the for-however-many-years I have been using it. Yes, I have had problems, but each time I have its been global issues, which there is no point adding more tickets to what is a probably over-whelmed support system. If this is different for you, I’d love to hear your feedback on them.

logitech-touchcam-hd-webcamWebcam Discount

The webcam discount, well, the camera is £120, that’s right ONE HUNDRED and TWENTY POUNDS. Its probably a great product but at £120 smacker-rooney’s I’ll be passing and I do not see the uptake being that huge, when the average price for a HD webcam on Google shopping is around £30, see here.

Can you suggest a different path?

Tough one this and I have been pondering this exact question since I saw the offering. The only take that comes to mind is that Skype actually offer a free 7 day trial of this subscription, however they’ve neglected to use this on the offering that is be promoted.

skype-premium-7-day-trialSo why not leverage this as part of the offering, if it really of use to the ‘office’ or to show off puddles the new kitten to the family via a video conference, then people will take the offer up, its its not, they at least know what its about and have actually used the product, which is obviously better than never having done so?

In Summary

In understand that Skype have a new product and need to innovate to make more revenue, subscriptions are a bread and butter line for Skype, but this one I’m not so sure.

I can see value in the upgraded subscription, especially as it has been sensible packaged just one member of the call needs the subscription to be able to start the group video conference. It might be handy for joining up offices in remote locations and for a family chat it might also be pretty cool to show puddles the kitten the new edition to the family to granny and mum.

But, at almost £6 a month, with no hint that there is actually a 7 day trial, I’m personally not willing to take it up (on face value) and the extra offerings are really quite weak, with support rarely used and a discount on a web camera, that is already heavily over priced.

How Google Saw 2010

So, this is how Google Saw 2010 eh?

Barclays ‘Ready For Growth’ Seminars

Barclays LogoI got a call from a client asking if I would attend this with them, sounded interesting and I gladly accepted (to be honest I was thinking plush sandwich spreads and my sole addiction coffee, but hey!).

After getting the awkward ‘everyone stand around and chat crap session’ or ‘networking’ to the professionals. We were ushered in and were presented with our local (will explain more in a mo) and very competent host for the evening.

It was explained that we’ve have a chat with a local Bristol business that had been going through success and that the two main sessions would be hosted live from London.

An interesting note from the Bristol host was that a whopping 89% of the businesses that attended the seminar expected to grow in the next year, this was amazing considering the most gloomy outlook we were presented with Heck & the big wigs in London.

Their MD did a very good job at batting some very awkward questions from the audiences. But after we were greeted by far too much blusher (personal joke), the real star of the show was Paul Lindley of Ella’s Kitchen.

Paul was bursting through the dull-ness of the others and a firm favourite amongst everyone in the room. The funniest moment of the entire night was the gasps that that of his team of 30 he has one full time person to look after web PR. They seemed shocked by this, it seemed only natural to the people I was sat with…

In short, the second session lags, but its worth attending for the Mariot Hotel spread before and after, but just to listen to Paul from Ella’s Kitchen.

On a side note, it was interesting, after getting home, scanning the fridge I spied two pouches from Ella’s Kitchen, when quizzing my partner of this, she replied with ‘Yea she ate a whole one of those tonight’, which was ace considering my youngest has only just started eating ‘real food. 10/10 for market identification Paul *claps*

For anyone wishing to join, you can visit if you’re ‘up North’ on the 8th or listen live from the web, see http://www.ready-for-growth.co.uk/our-seminars.html for more information and yes its free.

Google TV, How Neat

Google Does TV

Google Does TV

Only nerdy me would think the idea of Google TV would be fab? Perhaps not, lets look at what they’re up to and possibly why.

Before we begin, lets look their flashy website, its here:
http://www.google.com/tv/

Lets get the the key features together and spot where they are could make money:

  1. Set top boxes or integrations
    Although I very much doubt they’ll make the kit themselves, just provide the ‘software’ for the hardware to run on. Kinda like Android; maybe Android 3 ?
  2. Advertising!
    Doh, web browsing, custom application platform, hmmm… this is just another platform to deliver adverts, great. I get enough of this from channel 5 in the mornings, I really want the dumpster truck, ignoring the amount of ads that still slip through adblock.
  3. Affiliatation.
    This one really gets my goat, Mr Google apparently does not like affiliates for their ‘flakey’ sites. I’d argue differently on these, content is always king and if you got a fab site with unique content, I don’t fancy being penalised for making money from it.
    Back to the point, if you watched the slides, you notice Amazon? I bet those links are laced with affiliate links or a contractual agreement is made somewhere on conversions, hell , I’d want that.
  4. Tidy Deals with Networks
    Think about it, if I was CNN or SKY, I’d want my company promoted and I’d probably pay a fair market price for getting my company promoted at the top of the list. I see some back handers being done here.
  5. ‘Apps’ Marketplace
    Wow, what a no brainer, make some apps for use on the TV. Hell the input device cannot be any worse, using an iPhone a remote, like the screen isn’t small enough and have you really tried using it for large data input?
    I’m whittering, apps make money (ignoring their cool)
  6. TV + Web = Final use for YouTube?
    I cried when I read how much YT costs Google everyday, thats some serious wonga. But it makes utter sense now, putting the ‘Web’ and the black box in every house x 3 is a monumental idea. Everything net based (including money making schemes) in your lounge for all the family to be converted.

In a nutshell, what a neat idea. Nerdy me can get my mail on the TV, while the kids are watching some freaky animals (thats kids TV to everyone else). Will it work? Even if it partly works, it’ll be huge and probably be in beta for 10 years :D

So what do you think? Comment below for your say.