June 5, 2015
Back in December, Google stated that “buy” buttons were being contemplated for the company’s search page results. This is no huge surprise considering that social media giants Facebook and Twitter are entering the retail game with “buy” buttons of their own. These are not new developments either. The internet has seen a growing trend of digital platforms enter this arena with either currency processors, shopping options, or all of the above. It seems that this trend of instant purchases is poised to be the next major change across the internet as a whole.
While citing unnamed sources, according to The Wall Street Journal, Google is now taking things a step further than the Google Wallet with the introduction of “buy” buttons alongside search results. There is no official date as to when the buttons will appear, however, the buttons are slated to begin making appearances in the near future. The initial release will take place on mobile devices exclusively, but is sure to spread to desktops and other platforms shortly thereafter.
This move by Google will provide shoppers who are using smaller screens with an easier, more palatable, streamlined way to make purchases on smartphone devices. This truly is a big deal when one thinks about the fact that 48% of the 1.2 trillion searches worldwide each year now take place on a mobile device. This change provides Google with massive advantages to gain traction against competitors like Amazon and eBay. Amazon has also recently been testing a new buy button, entitled “Dash” buttons, bringing the platform’s one-click purchases into a physical dimension.
The Amazon buttons differentiate from Google’s version quite a bit. While Google’s will be digitally displayed on the search engine, Amazon’s Dash button will be a physical button designed to order products that households regularly need, like laundry detergent. Simply stick the Dash wherever you desire, press the button, and it is on its way. A variety of products will be able to be ordered through this device such as bottled water, Gatorade, paper towels, and more. Unfortunately though, the buttons are designated for single products only, and more buttons would need to be triggered for additional types of items.
On the other hand, the way the Google buttons work is that once the “buy” button is clicked, users will be transferred to another Google page where details like size, color, shipping options, and so forth can be selected. From this page, orders can be completed and payment information can be stored for future purchases, if the user chooses. The product units, however, will still be sold by the retailer that carries the items; Google will merely facilitate the transaction.
The Google buy buttons will accompany sponsored search results only, not search results driven by Google’s algorithms, and will appear over a small percentage of users initially. The button itself will be featured near the sponsored search results, beneath a “Shop on Google” heading which will appear toward the top of the page. Eventually, if the project is successful, Google could potentially expand this option to buy into a full-blown digital storefront. This method of shopping could provide shoppers with alternatives to downloading applications like the Amazon app, to mobile devices to shop on.
Because of this alternative and the ability to purchase from Google directly, retailers face the obstacle of maintaining a meaningful relationship and connection with consumers. To counter this and preserve the connection between retailers and the target audiences, according to the Wall Street Journal, Google will allow consumers to “opt in” to the same marketing programs they would be exposed to if the individual were to purchase the product through the retailers’ actual website.
As the digital retail race heats up, all companies are now coming to the forefront with their unique products aimed at acquiring digital retail dominance in one aspect or another. Amazon introduces Dash, Google announces “buy” buttons, and Facebook and Twitter enter the currency processing game alongside Apple Pay and Google Wallet. It seems that the next big revolution that will occur on the internet will be centered on which platform becomes the most convenient for users to search, shop, and socialize without ever leaving the platform. It seems that Google is gearing up to provide some stiff competition with Google+, Google Wallet, and now “buy” buttons.
How do you think Google’s “buy” buttons will affect the connection between retailers and consumers? Will this alternative force businesses to market to audiences in a different way than ever before?
Digital producer, online marketer, community manager, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney-Brown has been managing cross-functional teams for online businesses since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, massively multiplayer games, community management, social networks, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, nonprofit director and spiritual counselor. Learn more at her personal website, or find her on Facebook and Google+.