Google has finally started its long-discussed move to enable direct purchases from search ads. The so-called “buy button” is now known as “Purchases on Google.”
A limited group of online and large chain store retailers were tagged for the pilot program, with plans to scale up for additional retailers in late 2015 or early 2016, as noted in the posting on TechCrunch.
A focus on the mobile experience
Indicating that their aim is to enhance the user mobile experience, Google is going beyond search to facilitate browsing, comparing, and ultimately, making the purchase, as described in a post on Marketing Land. This seamless process will make shopping from a smartphone faster and easier, with the potential to help retailers significantly boost mobile conversions.
Ads from participating retailers take consumers directly to a gateway landing page, where they can make the purchase. The arrangement places hosting with Google—the middleman—while the merchant retains control of communications, confirmations, and all customer data.
Helping mobile users with purchases on Google
The program is all about mobility, both following and anticipating the consumer shift to making more purchases from mobile devices. We know that Google searches from mobile devices outstrip computer-based searches. However, purchases have some catching up to do. Google estimates that retailer conversion rates from desktop computers still come in at twice the rate of those from mobile sources, according to their Inside AdWords blog.
If all goes well, we believe consumers will have a powerful alternative to Amazon that offers a one-stop source for search and purchase, while Google helps drive more shoppers directly to retailers’ mobile apps. Given the recent report by Goldman Sachs pegging Google’s current mobile search revenue at 20% of its total, or about $12 billion, the future of Purchases on Google promises added growth potential in the digital realm.
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