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Are Google and Amazon In Competition For The Next Buy Button?

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Google Wants to push Amazon’s buttons a little further — this time with its own retailer-driven buy button.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Google is ramping up its eCommerce efforts to compete with Amazon’s buy button on its own shopping site that’s similar to Amazon’s “one-click-ordering” option. Google has approached retailers to create this button, the report said, which would allow for Google to keep shoppers on its site instead of sending them to the merchants or other third-party sites. Google Shopping previously would refer shoppers to merchants’ websites through its search function but now that’s going to change.

Here’s how the new feature is said to work:

“Google wouldn’t sell or ship products itself. It aims to streamline shopping for Internet users so they keep searching for products on Google instead of switching to Amazon. The move comes as Amazon has bolstered efforts to snag a slice of Google’s search-advertising business,” WSJ said.

On a separate but connected project, Google is also reportedly working to team up with merchants to promote two-day shipping for products bought through Google Shopping, Wall Street Journal reported. The program sounds a bit like Amazon’s Prime membership, but WSJ also indicated these plans are preliminary.

“The program would resemble ShopRunner Inc., which offers unlimited two-day shipping from retailers including Neiman Marcus Group Inc. and Toys “R” Us Inc. for a $79 annual fee,” the report said. “The people familiar with the matter said the discussions are preliminary and Google might not go ahead with either plan. Several retailers Google approached were cool to the “buy” button, because they fear price competition in an online bazaar and don’t want to lose control over the image they present to shoppers.”

Still, Google hasn’t come out with an official word about the button. According to WSJ, a Google spokeswoman said: “We continuously explore and test many ideas for improving the experience for consumers. We don’t have anything to announce.”

If Google advances its presence in the space, it may continue the eCommerce competition between Amazon that it’s struggled to keep up with. In recent years, Amazon has taken over online shopping searches, but google wants to reverse that trend back to search engines.

“In the third quarter, 39 percent of U.S. online shoppers began researching their purchases on Amazon and only 11 percent started on search engines like Google, according to Forrester Research,” WSJ reported. “That’s a reversal from 2009, when 24 percent started on search engines and 18 percent on Amazon.”

“Amazon is increasingly running away with online retail in North America, which poses a huge problem for Google,” Jeremy Levine, an eCommerce investor at Bessemer Venture Partners told WSJ. “Google has to get in front of this and create a reasonable alternative.”

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