Skip to main content

Report: Google to roll out 'Buy' buttons


Google Inc. is reportedly planning to start providing users with “Buy” buttons in their search results within the next few weeks.

According to theWall Street Journal,Google will initially offer the buttons on mobile search results.

The buttons will only appear with sponsored results, possibly with a “Shop on Google” heading at the top of the page. They will not appear with non-sponsored results. When consumers click a button, it will take them to a separate Google product page where they can select specific product attributes such as size and color (if applicable) and a shipping option, and then execute the transaction.

Retailers will still sell products themselves, with retailers paying per click to their product pages under Google’s traditional advertising model. In contrast, Amazon and eBay take a percentage of transactions retailers perform through their third-party seller programs. Shoppers will be allowed to opt into retailer marketing programs through the Google product pages, although Google will also store and auto-load payment credentials for future purchases.

Google has told retailers it wants to reduce friction for mobile consumers and increase the conversion rates for mobile ads. Mobile searches outnumber PC searches on Google in 10 countries, including the U.S. and Japan.

Retailers including Macy’s are reportedly interested in participating in the program. Google is taking a large step toward becoming a full-fledged digital retailer with this step, and will be part of the growing number of entities directly competing with Amazon and eBay in the e-commerce and mobile commerce space.

Although Google risks alienating some of its retailer advertisers, who may fear in time Google will decide it wants to own sales from its Buy button, the potential upside is huge. The definition of retail keeps evolving, and as customers take more of their business to virtual space, tech companies like Google can more easily and profitably start acting like retailers.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds