What Google’s ‘Buy’ Button Means for Your Customer’s Journey

Every day more and more opportunities are cropping up for consumers and marketers in the mobile world. As consumers grow more comfortable with making purchases via their mobile devices, marketers are developing more creative ways to target messages to them. We’ve been talking about this transformation in our blog posts, looking at the various strategies that companies have found to be successful in mobile, the importance of adopting a mobile and local search experience, and the value of location data. This week I read a Wall Street Journal Report announcing that Google is now taking a big step into this arena by launching “Buy” buttons when people search for products on mobile devices. This initiative would take the search giant into the online marketplace and put them in direct competition with companies like Amazon and Ebay.


What are the Google “Buy” buttons?
The buttons will be a part of sponsored (or paid) search results, as part of the “Shop on Google” function that appears at the top of a results page. This image from Business Insider demonstrates:
Business Insider Google Buy Button Image



This means that as a consumer, you could buy the product directly from Google through a landing page, rather than having to navigate to the retailers’ websites. According to WSJ, many retailers fear that such an addition could risk the relationships they build with their shoppers, giving them more of a role of “back-end order taker” than anything else. The landing pages, however, would still be heavily branded and the same marketing programs consumers would be exposed to on retailers websites would be present, giving consumers the opportunity to opt-in the same way they could through the seller. The payment would go directly to the retailer, but the payment details (such as credit card numbers) wouldn’t be shared with the stores. Google would profit from this the same way they do with their current advertising, with retailers paying the company per click-through, rather than as a percentage of the price of the product, similar to Amazon and eBay.


So what does all this mean?


For the marketer and the brand:
The addition of the button could provide a direct measure of ROI on mobile ad spending. If consumers end up purchasing products via this added function, companies would know that investing in paid search has a direct (and evident) impact on sales. Not only that, but the more data that Google obtains about consumers’ spending behavior, the better they can accurately and specifically target ads, giving marketers even more of an opportunity to increase their company’s discoverability with the appropriate paid search investment.


However, this addition makes it even more critical to be found online at the local level. As consumers become more reliant on their mobile devices and trust more purchases to such a medium, the buy button could be just the thing that gives companies the leverage over the ever-competing Amazon. This is only true, however, if companies make the effort to be seen when their products are searched. As a marketer, investing in the appropriate measures that put your brand in front of the consumer when it counts the most is critical to increasing conversion.


For the consumer:
The button has the potential to make the journey to purchase faster, smoother, and more helpful. Google would store payment information the way Amazon currently does, reducing the hassle of having to type in credit card information or addresses on different retailers’ websites every time. It would also result in recommendations based on your purchases, but only from that retailer.


The addition of the buy button has the potential to add a smoother and more peaceful detour to the customer journey in the mobile purchasing space, but only if marketers take the appropriate steps during “the last mile of modern marketing.” To learn more about how to do this, download our National Marketer’s Guide or view our latest webinar about Best Practices for Local Paid Search.