In Fall 2006, Google released Google Checkout, an alternate payment technology. Aeropostale was among the first retailers to offer the payment system as a checkout option for its e-commerce customers. As part of the launch, the apparel retailer partnered with Google Checkout on a joint promotion, offering customers $10 off a $30 purchase paid for via Google Checkout. The results were phenomenal. During the first week of the promotion, 20 percent of all Aeropostale's online transactions were via the promotion. "The following week it doubled to 40 percent," says Christina Callas, vice president of e-commerce at Aeropostale.
Though the promotion has long since ended, Callas says approximately 15 to 17 percent of all transactions continue to be made through Google Checkout. The stunning aspect of these figures is that 93 percent of these customers are new to Aeropostale's Web site. According to Callas, these customers had not shopped on the Aeropostale site before Google Checkout was added to the site.
Aeropostale implemented Google Checkout after its Web platform vendor, GSI Commerce, approached the retailer with the technology. Two key benefits were foremost in the minds of senior management: the ability to reach new customers and the ease of the shopping experience for the customer, "especially the simplicity of the checkout process," says Callas.
Reaching new customers has clearly not been a problem. "Knowing that 93 percent of these customers (those using Google Checkout) are first time shoppers at Aeropostale speaks to an increase in traffic," Callas says. The traffic increase also speaks to customers' comfort levels with the technology. Google Checkout "gives them a sense of comfort with only housing their credit card information with one source as they shop." In addition, the checkout process is faster for customers as it's a one-click process. Customers choosing to checkout through Google simply click on the Google Checkout button and confirm their order, which is charged to their Google Checkout account.
Looking foreword, Callas hopes to partner more frequently with Google Checkout on special promotions. "Google are experts in online marketing and our partnership with them allows me access to their expertise," she says. Additionally, "they're driving nice, qualified traffic to our site."