It’s official; Google have confirmed that a “Buy Button” will shortly debut directly within the search results page for products listed on ecommerce websites. But what will this mean for both ecommerce stores, and online shoppers?
Omid Kordestani, the chief business officer within Google, has stated that the move is to reduce “friction” for users, enabling them to purchase more products online.
Kordestani has said that the launch of the all-new Buy Button is imminent. The Buy Button will help searchers purchase their desired products directly within shopping ads, and the search results page.
Why is Google introducing a Buy Button now?
Traditionally, this shows a big shift in what Google are about, having built an empire based on linking through to websites. Now it seems, they are attempting to keep users on Google for as long as possible.
Google are introducing the buy button due to the fact that Amazon is creeping on their search territory; specifically people searching for products.
Amazon has become the “go-to” place for people to search for whatever product they may desire at a reasonable price, with Amazon Prime membership allowing for quick and cheap delivery, and so Google has decided to up their game. Amazon allow for one-click ordering, and have such a wide selection of products that it’s hard to find something they don’t stock.
For many people, searching initially on Amazon when shopping is quicker than Googling and inevitably ending up on Amazon anyhow. Now Google are giving shoppers a reason to stay with the search engine giant. Even if users end up buying off Amazon, this at least encourages users to use Google to find desired products, and ultimate generate revenue from search ads for Google.
On top on this, Twitter and Facebook have recently introduced their own dedicated “buy” buttons, and so it only makes sense that Google joins the party.
How will the Buy Button work?
Google Shopping has existed for a while now, but works as a more streamlined search engine specifically for shopping. You still need to click the results in order to be redirected to the ecommerce store itself to make the transaction.
With this new buy button in place, Google hope to reduce friction for shoppers, and make purchases directly from the paid product listings in Google Shopping ads, also featured within search results.
Google are also likely to implement their Google Wallet mobile payment system, in order to encourage a more efficient purchasing process, similar to PayPal, and doing away with the input of debit or credit card details.
Google will reportedly be rolling out this new feature on a small number of searches for a start, and then open it up further in the future.
What does this mean for ecommerce merchants and shoppers?
For ecommerce merchants, it means the following:
- Higher conversion rates
Google are removing the funnel in order for retailers to sell more items, and broadcasting products to a wider audience.
- Potential loss of customer relationships
As customers may not be linked directly through to the website itself, the link between customer and brand may be lost. Also, brands may not have access to customer data that would stay with Google.
- Retailers lose out on narrative
Any form of story or impression the brand may have is lost, as the customer never makes it through to the website in question.
- Item descriptions
It’s hard to say quite yet, but it’s likely the Google listings won’t be able to list all the features of capabilities of certain complex products; especially when you consider reviews, related products, specifications, photos, and other such information that comes standard on other ecommerce storefronts.
For shoppers, the Buy Button doesn’t have such a dramatic impact, but it could change a number of important ways about how we shop:
- Quicker transactions
Shoppers will be able to make their purchases directly from search results, without being redirected down a funnel to the necessary website.
- Swift and safe transactions
Google are no strangers to shopping, and so users can shop happily in the knowledge that their details are safe, and will be handled efficiently.
- Google Wallet or Android Pay
Unconfirmed, yet it seems likely that Google will implement Google Wallet or Android Pay for users to pay for goods; meaning that payment will be easier, faster, and keep them under the umbrella of Google products.
Yet again, Google goes mobile
The Google Buy button is currently rumoured to be only set to be available on mobile devices, although this is yet to be confirmed. If true, this would yet again prove just how much preference Google are giving to the mobile platform. Google genuinely believes that smartphones and tablet devices are the way forward for not only browsing the web, but also shopping and ordering goods online.
Whether this is a self-serving move due to the overwhelming popularity of their mobile OS Android, or a genuine belief in the mobile platform as a whole, is fairly irrelevant, as Google can dictate how we conduct our business online.
If anything, this shows that ecommerce merchants should realise the benefits that having a mobile-friendly website can provide.