Within the next few weeks Google will be rolling out a “buy” button that will allow people to purchase certain items directly from its search results pages.
A report in the Wall Street Journal indicates that Google’s buy button will initially be available only in mobile search, and will appear alongside paid search ads — not organic search listings.
WSJ’s anonymous sources have explained how the buy button will work. When you click on the buy button you’ll be directed to a special Google page to fill out the usual purchase. Then you submit your payment information directly to Google, where the order will be passed on to the retailer to be fulfilled.
This marks yet another example of Google aiming to be your one-stop solution from everything to finding web pages, to purchasing products, to ordering takeout. Just last week Google introduced a way for US customers to make delivery orders from local restaurants.
As Google expands into the online retail space it’s sure to pose a threat to current industry leaders like Amazon and eBay. Even smaller retailers aren’t thrilled with this move. Some are privately expressing concern that they will lose their brand identity as more customers place orders on a Google page rather than the retailer’s website.
Through this program, retailers will still have the opportunity to invite customers to opt-in to their marketing campaigns, as well as collect customer information. Google will save all customer payment information before passing the sale on to the retailer.
Instead of taking a portion of the retailer’s sales price, like Amazon and eBay, Google will continue to be paid by retailers through its existing advertising model.
Google has not officially commented on its buy button, so an official launch date has yet to be confirmed.