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  • 1 Jun 2015

Google’s buy button “imminent”: what does it mean for retailers?

Recent reports on Google’s buy button have generated quite a storm in the retail world. Google’s Chief Business Officer, Omid Kordestani, announced that the introduction of the buy button to Google’s shopping ads is “imminent”, which will allow users to purchase directly from its search results without ever leaving Google.

The reason for the innovation, according to Kordestani, is to reduce “friction” for users, so that they buy more things online, more easily. This is of course similar to the theme our blogs have centred on recently: reducing the consumer’s “desire to acquire” time. Google’s buy button reduces the physical steps between the initial desire, and the final purchase stage, by providing a simple one-click shopping experience.

With the search engine giant set to host the online experience in this way, should retailers be worrying about the longevity of their brand websites, as they drop off on the search results?

We will probably see many big-name brands investing more in paid ads, to place themselves in line for Google’s magic button. Retailers are currently the biggest spenders on Google’s search ads, and though the buy button may have been a difficult pitch to them, it certainly won’t stop Google cashing in on retailers’ fear of being “cut out” of the shopping process.

The buy button will also only be launched on mobile, as the number of mobile searches has begun to outnumber those made from desktop. In fact, the one-click experience Google will provide is well-optimised for mobile, for users on-the-go requiring a more streamlined and convenient shopping process. Talking of optimisation, the focus on mobile for the buy button also aligns with Google’s recent prioritisation of mobile-optimised sites on the search engine.

However, despite retailers’ qualms, it’s not to say that the experience of browsing online will cease to exist, perhaps a saving grace for the website as a shopping channel. If retailers can provide a seamless, exciting shopping experience with a fairly hassle-free, short purchase process, they should not become back-end retail channels.

Convenience is king, but for the consumer that demands product choice, they might not be ready to make a purchase from Google’s limited display of buyable options. Furthermore, the lack of detailed descriptions, reviews, customer ratings, photos and other information that usually features on a retailer’s own site, may be a barrier to making an impulse one-click purchase decision.

Do you have any opinions on the buy button, or its impact on retailers? We would love to hear them. Tweet us @RetailAssist.


2 Responses

  1. Alex Broxson says:

    Hi there, great blog!

  2. James says:

    It will mean less and less people to your site.

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