Google has been putting serious effort into making Search more mobile-friendly, from prioritizing mobile-optimized websites to revamping ad units. Now, the company is further upgrading the platform by diving deep into e-commerce.
Google will soon be adding buy buttons to search-results pages on mobile devices, a report by The Wall Street Journal revealed. The search giant raised controversy last year when it announced these plans, which will now be implemented over the next few weeks.
This move will essentially turn Google Search into an online marketplace, challenging giants like eBay and Amazon. Like Google's previous changes to mobile search, the new buy buttons aim to make Search more functional and user-friendly for the increasing number of users searching on their mobile devices. [Google for Business: A Small Business Guide]
The Google buy button will appear on paid product listings on search-result pages that are viewed on mobile devices.
When users perform a search, relevant products will appear above search results in the "Shop on Google" box. Sponsored listings will have the buy button, while nonspored products won't.
To make a purchase, customers just have to click on the buy button and finish the transaction on a designated Google product page. Google is said to support different types of payments, but payment details remain confidential and will not be sent to retailers.
Although this essentially turns Google Search into an online marketplace, note that Google does not directly sell to consumers; its role is limited to increasing visibility for sponsored products and processing transactions. Retailers remain as merchants and are also responsible for fulfilling orders.
The service also works a lot like the Google Ads system. Unlike other marketplaces that take commission from each sale, retailers pay on a per-click basis like the current ad pricing model.