Reports are surfacing that Google may soon add a buy button to the results displayed from conducting an internet search using the search engine. According sources cited in a Wall Street Journal report, the buy buttons would be introduced by the search giant in the next few weeks. Clicking on the buy buttons would transport the searcher to another Google product page where they could pay for the item selected and choose a shipping method to have the purchase delivered to their home or business.
The buy button will only appear for mobile users at first. A small number of paid search results in the “Shop on Google” section would reportedly be the first to have the buy buttons displayed beside them. The buy button won’t appear for organic search results, only on sponsored links that companies have paid to put in front of Google’s natural search results, like AdWords links. The products would still be sold by independent retailers and Google is reportedly not planning on taking a percentage of the amount of the purchases made from its web pages. Google’s page will just handle the processing.
Transporting the searcher to a Google page instead of the retailer’s website is likely to streamline the purchasing process, making it easier for consumers to buy the items that they desire. Google is reportedly planning to allow merchants to collect the same kind of data from Google-based shoppers as they would if the shoppers had gone to the retailers’ websites, including shoppers’ email addresses and address information. If Google is successful with its new endeavor, many Internet users may find that they prefer to do their shopping right from their Google search results instead of navigating the various webpages of different retailers.
A buy button could make for a more consistent shopping experience, but many retailers will be eyeing the changes warily. Some retailers fear that Google will turn into an intermediary for consumer transactions, weakening these retailers’ relationships with their customers. The addition of the buy button could increase Google’s clout as an e-commerce force in the industry, but the popularity of Google’s buy button could take a considerable amount of web traffic from other retailers.