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2009/12/19 - Google Checkout Gadget Expands E-Commerce Capabilities

posted Dec 19, 2009, 12:27 AM by Rick Anderson   [ updated Dec 19, 2009, 1:15 AM ]
Google engineers believe in iterative and rapid product enhancements based upon user feedback - the Google Checkout gadget is an example.

Two weeks ago on December 7th, I explained how the Checkout gadget was converted into a wizard for ease of use and added the functionalities of inventory control and variable shipping costs based on zip code.

This week the Checkout gadget was enhanced to include pop-up image zoom and custom message/data capture. I have added a second e-commerce site for my miniature figures. This site has all the new features - inventory control, variable shipping costs based on zip code, image zoom, and custom message collection.

Pop-up image zoom allows the buyer to zoom in on the image of the object being purchased. When the image is clicked, a new window with a much larger (zoomed) image is displayed. No additional settings are necessary in the spreadsheet other than entering a path to the image. What a difference this makes! This is great for selling all products - particularly miniature products that are one inch high!

Custom message capture provides the capability for the buyer to provide a message - maybe it's the names of the ticket holders, or perhaps the lettering of custom embroidery on a shirt. I've used it to capture the buyer's character name which I'll use to customize the miniature. A new column needs to be added to the spreadsheet called custom_message. In the cell of each row is the description for the data input. No entry in the cell causes the input box not to be displayed - in other words, some items may have a message captured while other items do without.
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