There’s no question that smartphones and mobile technology play a huge role in our daily lives, whether it be browsing the app store or surfing social media. From 2013 to 2014 alone, mobile internet usage increased by 67 percent. Thanks to the new “Purchases on Google” feature, currently in a testing phase, it looks like the role of the internet on our phones is only going to keep growing.
If you’ve been doing some online shopping on your phone recently, you may have noticed a new aspect of the search engine result page (SERP) for select brands and products on Google. The long-awaited “Buy Button” is now in an experimental phase as of two weeks ago, allowing mobile users to buy products without leaving Google using shopping credentials already stored on an account.
According to marketingland.com, Google does not wish to become a retailer, but rather will act as a middle-man handling orders and payment information. Clicking on a Google ad that is integrated with this new feature opens a small site hosted by Google but branded by the retailer. Once an order is complete, the retailer receives the order from Google and handles all confirmation and messaging with the customer.
Opening the World of Retail Online
Despite an increase in shopping-related searches, most retail transactions still take place in the brick-and-mortar environment – over 90 percent according to Google. Therefore, this move from the search engine giant is not simply a profit-seeking venture, but also an attempt to make online shopping more efficient.
Mobile shopping sits poised as the consumer’s ticket to buying wherever and whenever, saving you the time that comes with traditional shopping. At the moment, though, it’s frustrating to deal with all of the clicks and window pop-ups that come with making purchases on your phone. This “Buy Button” feature looks like the first step in making Google even more convenient.
As far as pricing goes, it’s reported that this addition to Google will not affect the cost-per-click process for retailers’ ads. Google will, however, most likely charge retailers for a share of the transactions that come with Purchases on Google.
Additionally, this option should enable more conversions for a retailer as customers recognize how much quicker one can find and buy products on mobile devices. Advertisers, therefore, may be more willing to bid and spend more on PPC ads as Google becomes a more viable place for commerce.
Other Reported Changes to Mobile
Google rolled out this announcement along with several other planned changes related to e-commerce. They also reported a new “Conversational Search for Shopping,” which would give users cards with relevant data and commerce-related answers in reply to a question about shopping. Additionally, Google is providing users with product review cards that compile reviews from major sites and let consumers see what experts are saying. Lastly, there will be a card in results pages that lets searchers know when the price of something you shopped for has fallen.
Google, it seems, is very intent on redefining the way we shop on our phones.