Google recently announced plans to introduce a Buy Now button to its mobile search results, allowing shoppers to purchase products directly through the search engine without having to visit a separate advertiser site. It has been tested in the United States for the past year and is now planning on launching in Canada very soon.
This change, allowing internet users to bypass other sites, will hold significant implications for the future of retail (especially in the mobile landscape), and Google's dominance of the search engine sector. Additionally, as mobile search continues to gain importance in search volumes (now represents over 50% of search queries), the “Buy on Google” messaging will appear on both iOS and Android devices for eligible product listing ads.
When users click on the Buy Now button next to a shopping search result, it will link to a Google transaction page to complete the purchase and enter specific details. Merchants will still retain customer information including email addresses, and handle delivery themselves.
Google has emphasized that it is trying to increase mobile purchases by improving the relationship and user experience between merchants and mobile customers. The purchase page is customized to the brand in question, and will have the merchant’s branding and messaging. If the product in question isn’t what the shopper is looking for, they will still be able to search for other products within the google transaction pages. This option simplifies the amount of steps a user traditionally needs to go through to purchase thanks to a “one click” to buy conversion path.
The implementation process is currently lengthy for advertisers, however as this product develops it will become an easier process for brands to go through.
The news comes in the wake of Amazon's introduction of its “Dash” Button, which is a physical plastic tab designed to be placed around the home to facilitate the easy online ordering of common household goods. The tab allows users to easily reorder common household products, like paper towels, detergent, toilet paper, diapers, personal care items, as well as groceries and pet supplies with one click.
Considering that both Facebook and Twitter have introduced Buy Now buttons in recent years, Google is definitely feeling the increased competition and needed a solution for mobile conversions and attribution.
With Google recently changing its algorithm to favor mobile-optimized sites and search ads, it is clear that Google believes that smartphones and tablets are the way of the future for e-commerce sites. Despite still not being able to have mobile specific campaigns.
This move from Google might worry some merchants. However, companies should see this as a positive; encouraging retailers to acknowledge the benefits for customers, when they invest in making their site mobile optimized.
As Google fully rolls this out in Canada, we will monitor the effect this has on results, especially compared to ads that are not opted-in to this new Google product. This will be very telling, as the implementation process for this product is advertiser’s main concern at the moment. Rumors say that it will be fully rolled out to Canada in early 2016.
This article was originally written by Matthew Gangnier.