The buy button will only appear for mobile users at first, and only for a smaller subset of items found in Google search ads.
Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr have all had a chance to experiment with buy buttons, and now it’s Google’s turn.
The concept of a “buy button” is nothing new. It’s convenient for users of various social networks, as it allows them to immediately hit up a purchasing screen for a particular, noteworthy item that their friends post. For example, suppose your friend posts or tweets a link to a bracelet or a t-shirt that you immediately fall in love with. Instead of having to go out and find it yourself, you can just tap or click the “buy” button to go purchase it from somewhere (the supported merchants tend to vary by platform).
According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, Google is allegedly planning to launch a buy button of its own. The button will accompany search results, but only on sponsored links that others have paid to put in front of Google’s natural search resultsin other words, AdWords links. The buy button won’t appear for organic search results, nor will desktop users even get one at first. According to reports, Google will first start testing the buy button for mobile searches, and the buy button won’t appear for every potential product. Google is going to start with a small amount of products and grow from there.
When you click on the buy button for these ads, you’ll be taken to a Google-backed page where you can (possibly) customize whatever it is you were interested in: sizing, colors, et cetera. Other retailers will actually sell the products; Google’s page will just handle the processing.
While convenient for Google search users, The Wall Street Journal notes that the move does worry some retailers. They fear that Google will turn into a middleman of-sorts, with these buy button-based listings becoming the primary way people purchase itemsthus bypassing retailers’ sites altogether, and weakening these sites’ relationships with their customers.
It does seem as if we’re a bit of a ways off before every product you search for on Google will be able to be purchased via Google. And Google is planning to extend a bit of an olive branch to merchants by allowing them to collect the same kind of data from Google-based shoppers that they would likely receive if the shoppers went to the retailers’ websites instead. So, if a shopper opts in, merchants will likely be able to receive shoppers’ email addresses and address information to fuel future merchant marketing programs.
Google will allegedly continue to make money from merchants via advertising, as opposed to taking some percent of each sale made via Google.