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Google to add buy buttons on smartphone trials

16 July 2015

Google wants to make it easier for people to shop while using its website and is trying out a new feature allowing smartphone users to make online purchases from their search results.

The introduction of 'Purchases on Google' comes with Facebook, and Pinterest also trying to make it easier for people to shop while using their sites, and profit from transactions or related advertising.

"Although we're still in early experiments with a limited number of retailers, we see 'Purchases on Google' as a big step towards helping retailers drive more mobile conversions and win more customers," Google shopping product management vice president Jonathan Alferness said in a blog post.

According to Alferness, mobile devices, typically smartphones were increasingly consulted before or during shopping trips in the US, influencing nearly a trillion dollars in in-store sales last year.

When people made shopping-related searches using Google, results might include ads featuring 'Buy on Google' buttons that could be clicked to jump to pages where they could check-out using payment credentials stored in Google accounts.

"Purchases on Google will simplify our customers' ability to search for items on Google and then buy with Staples," Staples executive vice president of global e-commerce Faisal Masud said in the blog post.

If Google were to prove a convenient one-stop shop on mobile devices, it could pull customers away from Amazon, the giant of e-commerce.

Staples and Under Armour were among the companies that had embraced the feature, which debuted yesterday.

If shoppers tapped on items promoted with Google's ''Buy'' button, they could transfer to a product page hosted by Google and pay with information already saved to their account.

In the past, shoppers would be directed from search result listings to retailer websites, forced to navigate new, and not necessarily user-friendly, shopping interfaces.

The feature was among a number of upgrades revealed in a blog post on the search company's AdWords blog, which helped companies place ads on Google's search result pages. All features targeted mobile devices, and included ads that got bigger when swiped.

''Fewer people wait to head to the mall on Saturday to go shopping,'' Alferness. ''Shopping now happens anytime and anywhere.''

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