Would you like it if people could purchase your products by clicking a “Buy” button on the search results? There’s an app for that.
The app is called “Google.”
This past week, Google introduced a Purchases on Google beta program. Merchants who qualify for the program will effectively have a call to action (CTA) in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
And that’s bad news for Amazon.
No Official Announcement Yet
Apparently, Google is launching the program very quietly. As of this writing, there’s been no formal announcement.
So how do we know it exists? Because the option now appears on the Merchant Center.
Under the “Merchant Center Programs” section, users will now see a “Purchases on Google” block. That block includes the following text: “Help shoppers easily purchase on Google, so you can grow conversions and drive new customers.”
It seems like Google wrote the copy as an afterthought, so you know the company isn’t keen on marketing it aggressively. As of yet, anyway.
How It Works
Merchants who participate in the Purchases on Google program have the option to display a “Buy on Google” button on top of their product ads. It’s a great way to save customers a step when they want to make a purchase.
Right now, though, the button only displays on Android devices. Users with Google Wallet who click on the “Buy on Google” button can purchase the product directly from a Google-hosted landing page.
As you can see, there are plenty of qualifiers in the program. It’s restricted to mobile devices with Google’s operating system and it looks like only customers with Google Wallet can take the shortcut to make a purchase.
Still, Purchases on Google is just starting out. So let’s cut the company a little slack, shall we?
The Purchases on Google program is nothing new under the sun. It’s been around since July of 2015.
However, the company just opened the beta program. Once Google has the bugs worked out, you can expect that it will be available to countless e-commerce webmasters.
The program will likely eat into Amazon’s bottom line.
A Battle Between Giants
Amazon is still the most popular e-commerce site in the world. Unsurprisingly, Google wants a piece of that market share.
That’s understandable. Amazon grossed $136 billion in sales last year.
Net income? A cool $2.4 billion.
Still, that’s a pretty thin margin. So Amazon doesn’t have a whole lot of cash to compete with Google if it wants to keep investors happy.
Clearly, Google management is aware of that and senses blood in the water. That’s why the Big G is launching an e-commerce program that’s designed to challenge, although not necessarily eliminate, Amazon’s dominance in the space.
Google’s strategy is clever. After all, one of the main attractions of the Internet is that it makes our lives easier.
So why not make shopping easier as well?
Google is already a trusted brand name. Countless people rely on it for information every day. A study by Forrester from found that 93% of all internet traffic comes from a search engine. This has not changed.
There’s no reason to think that too many Google users will be reluctant to shop directly on the search engine platform. In fact, Google search already returns e-commerce results, so a “Buy” button is just the next logical evolutionary step.
It’s also going to eat into Amazon’s market share, because people love the convenience of one-stop shopping. If they can find what they need on Google, evaluate it, and buy it without hopping around from website to website, they’re going to do that.
On the contrary, Amazon is often viewed as just one site with products.
Other sites, such as eBay or Overstock, might have better products and/or lower prices.
So a “Buy” button in the SERPs is a particularly effective marketing strategy for companies that target people who are into comparison shopping.
Essentially, what this could do is put Google much more front and center in the product sale, e-commerce space, which has lately been dominated by Amazon.
Test The Google Buy Button Fast
Although Reddit currently calls itself the”front page of the Internet,” it’s clear that Google wants the title. That’s why the search giant offers a portfolio of online services that people use every day.
Now, Google is adding a shopping cart. That’s going to offer some very stiff competition for e-commerce sites like Amazon. I recommend all those looking to sell a product online test this new feature, ASAP.