Google Checkout may not be the successful payment processing platform Google hoped it would become, but the company keeps trying to leverage it in other ways.
Yesterday, the search engine brought us the Google Checkout store gadget from Google Labs, mashing up Checkout with Google Docs to let anyone create an online store using a Google spreadsheet.
Google says users must sign up for Google Checkout here and then list products they want to sell by creating a copy of their spreadsheet and replacing the sample inventory with their own.
Finally, users must load the Google Checkout store gadget onto their Website, or their Google Sites wiki, Google Blogger or iGoogle home page. It will look like this—a relatively innocuous button that gets dropped into your e-commerce sell-through page.
Google says Checkout will help users snag new leads and convert more sales in a secure environment that protects people from fraud. I’ll take them at their word for it. I don’t personally know anyone using Checkout, but some businesses apparently do, including clothing retailer Aeropostale. Here are detailed instructions on how to embed the gadget.
The gadget leverages new spreadsheet data APIs Google Apps guys launched in May at Google I/O. The APIs provide a structured table for creating, reading, updating and deleting records and tables in a spreadsheet.
Users with technical know-how could have used the APIs with Checkout to set up e-commerce shops back then, but the gadget makes it easy for non-geeks to get a store up an running quick and dirty.
Just another way Google is making life online easier.