Update May 27: Google is indeed launching a "buy button," the company's chief business officer revealed today.
Speaking at the Code Conference, Omid Kordestani said this: "There's going to be a buy button. It's going to be imminent."
The button will appear in Google shopping ads, though not much more of how they'll work exactly or when consumers will start seeing them was revealed.
According to Kordestani, the majority of shopping is still done offline, so the button will serve as a way to boost online shopping.
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Google wants to help you spend your money. The Wall Street Journal reports the company plans to add "buy buttons" on its search results pages, a major move in stepping up to the plate against eBay and Amazon in the online marketplace.
With nearly 65% of people already using Google for searches, the ability to store your credit card information and order a brand new Snuggie in one fell swoop may prove to be more enticing than navigating to Amazon and eBay for similar shopping experiences.
Through its new buy button, Google will sell through retailers, rather than its own store, and will fund itself through its existing advertising model. By offering its new in-house process of searching and buying, Google could set itself up to undermine a portion of Amazon's traffic, by making it possible to simply buy where you search.
Google reportedly plans to exclusively test its buy buttons on mobile devices. The buttons will be part of the ads that exist currently above organic search results and will take users to another page hosted by Google to finish buying that special something.
Search and shop
Those of us who do our holiday shopping from the comfort of our pajamas know that Google has offered a "Shopping" tab for years. Although its integration was a good start down this road, it is no more than a directory for other retailers, where the virtual transaction happens.
Since the report, some retailers are apparently airing out their displeasure that they will lose control over their customers' information, making it harder for them to market to their existing customers. Google has reportedly combatted this by offering the ability for customers to share their info, such as name and email, with the retailer themselves, but will never share credit card info.
Google has long been the middleman to the likes of Amazon and eBay, and this could be a bold move by the king of search. Google's buy button concept isn't exactly groundbreaking or that different from what other shopping sites offer, but the convenience of staying in the search engine will likely be its biggest selling point.
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