Yesterday, Google formally announced the pending launch of Google Wallet, an Android app that will allow you to use your phone as a multi-faceted payment card. Google Wallet will store all of your existing plastic cards (debit and credit) on your phone. At its launch, however, you’ll only be able to use Citi Mastercards and Google’s Prepaid Card, and you’ll probably want to check out the list of merchants currently accepting Google Wallet before you head out the door. As stated on Google Wallet’s website, “This is just the beginning, but we believe that, in time, your phone with Google Wallet will be the one thing that holds everything you need to carry.”

While Google Wallet obviously is geared toward consumer convenience, it also has some hefty implications for business owners and internet marketers too. Besides the ability to load payment options into a Google Wallet account, users will also be able to load coupons, offers and even gift cards, not to mention loyalty cards. What does this mean for your business in a product or offer search online through Google? Users searching for specific deals will be pointed to your place of business on a Google map. Google will also be promoting a daily Google Offer, the Google equivalent to Groupon or Living Social.

Google Wallet will bridge online and offline commerce in a very powerful way, and will take the heavy lifting out of online promotion for local businesses. Google Wallet and Google Offers will make it one step easier to reach potential customers. Things like loyalty cards will be more effective if customers aren’t deterred by having to keep track of dozens of cards in their wallet, or needing to print out coupons.

Google Wallet will also help bolster paid search advertising efforts for retail businesses, with or without an e-commerce site. Plus, since all coupons will be available electronically I would anticipate a new range of reporting metrics available to advertisers in Analytics from Google Wallet purchases. Tracking the date your coupon was downloaded from your ad and looking at the amount of time it took someone to actually redeem it, for example, could help you craft ads with stronger CTAs. And knowing how many people have used your coupon beyond clicking on your ad would be good general information to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing as well.

The most notable thing about Google Wallet is that it is redefining e-commerce not as the process of buying products/services online via a website, but rather as a tool to make purchases anywhere, and most importantly to bring the convenient aspects of online shopping (searchability, electronic coupons/payment) to your business offline.

For more reading on Google Wallet, here are some additional articles:

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