It has been a couple of months since Google confirmed plans to turn its search engine into a shopping marketplace for mobile devices, but the tech giant has officially taken a step in the buy button direction with the announcement yesterday (July 15) of an experimental rollout for its upcoming Purchases On Google feature.
The service will allow consumers to buy items directly from the ads presented in a Google search result through a payment method linked to their Google account. Shopping ads with “Buy On Google” messaging will appear for eligible products, taking the consumer to a Google-hosted, retailer-branded product page.
According to Google, its new solution is aimed at helping retailers to increase mobile engagement while also boosting sales.
"There are lots of great shopping apps out there, and we want to encourage shoppers to use them. That’s why we’re starting to work with a select group of global retailers including eBay, Flipkart and Zalando to add deep links to their apps right in their shopping ads, driving people straight to their mobile app instead of their website,” Google said in a company release.
"This is a tremendous new opportunity for retailers and app developers to drive engagement with their shopping apps, and we’ll be expanding it to more advertisers in the coming months,” the statement continued.
In general, the confirmation of Google’s buy button really isn’t much of a surprise considering everyone from eCommerce players to social media giants are doing their best to ride out the buy button movement.
While the list of buy button contenders seems to grow everyday, the Purchases on Google feature, which is still in the early stages of experimentation and only available for a limited number of retailers, confirms the company’s commitment to tackling the lagging conversion rates on mobile devices.
Not only does this present an opportunity to retailers whose conversion rates on desktop computers continue to outpace that of smartphones, but it may give Google a chance to further tap into a skill it knows all too well — monetizing advertising.
As MPD CEO Karen Webster pointed out, upping clicks and conversion through ads, which usually run at a much lower price on mobile due to the smaller screens, may be just the motivation Google needs to push a buy button which may bring some significant benefits to its revenue stream.
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