Google is preparing to roll out special “buy” buttons alongside some of its search ads, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The move, which the report says is expected in the coming weeks, is the latest sign of Google’s ambitions to expand its search engine from being a mere provider of Web links to a one-stop shop where consumers can directly buy whatever strikes their fancy.
It could also be a strong counter against Amazon’s pull as a online destination for all things retail, which threatens Google’s most lucrative source of search advertising money.
The buy buttons will initially be available only on mobile searches, according to the report. And the feature will appear alongside paid search ads, but not “organic” search results.
Google is reportedly in talks with a small number of retailers, including Macy’s.
Here’s how it will work, according to the Journal’s anonymous sources: Click on a buy button, and you’ll go to a special Google page (rather than to, say, Macy’s website) where all the regular purchase options can be filled out (size, colour, shipping options, etc). Consumers will give their payment information directly to Google, which will pass along the order and the money to the retailer.
Google has said for years now that it sees itself as more than a place for consumers to get “ten blue links.” But the need to do this has become increasingly important as mobile apps that let consumers do everything from order food to cabs, increasingly compete with Google for consumers’ attention. And
Earlier this month Google announced a feature that lets US consumers order restaurant food directly from its search results, thanks to a partnership with six companies including GubHub and MyPizza.com.
And with Google expanding its same-day delivery service, Google Express, some believe it’s just a matter of time until Google search results all have a one-click option to have something delivered to straight your doorstep, courtesy of Google.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.