How would a Google ‘buy button’ affect retailers?

By Greenlight | 06 Jan 2015

Online shopping may be about to fundamentally change. Google is thought to be working on a 'buy button' that would allow shoppers to purchase products through its search results pages with a single click. By doing so, Google could take ownership of the entire online shopping experience.

Andreas Pouros, Greenlight's COO, says: "Introducing a buy button could cut out the need for consumers to visit retail websites altogether, making the path to purchase even shorter. If it is introduced by Google, the battle to become the most prominent result in product searches could intensify dramatically."

According to some estimates, 40% of ecommerce orders originate from Google searches. And since Google Shopping introduced a paid listings service in 2012, it has become the premier product advertising channel for retailers.

While many shoppers already use Google to research potential purchases, there is speculation that the search giant is seeking to fight back against Amazon's growing dominance.Pouros says: "Google wants to be the de facto choice for all search, so simplifying the shopping experience with a buy button makes sense. While the move might distance retailers from their customers, it could help smaller retailers to better compete with larger operations."

The potential implications of a buy button underline the importance for retailers of securing high visibility at the beginning of the shopping journey and engaging potential customers with relevant offers.

"The key to success on Google Shopping lies in making campaigns relevant to the audience," says Pouros. "Retailers must understand shoppers' needs and behaviour in order to target them with relevant promotions. Doing so will maximise spend and conversion rates."

N.B. First published in Retail Week

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