by Tricia Duryee on
Google is close to launching “buy” buttons to enable customers to pay and check-out for products without ever having to leave the search engine, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The move will allow the search engine to compete more rigorously with Amazon and eBay, especially when it comes to being a shopper’s first stop on mobile phones. But believe it or not, with this move, Google is not trying to become a retailer — it’s only trying to defend its status as an advertising behemoth.
Here is Google’s plan:
- The buy buttons will first start appearing on mobile devices when someone conducts a product search.
- The buttons will only appear for paid search results, not on items that turn up based on Google’s basic search algorithm.
- If shoppers click on the buy button, they will be taken to a product page, where they can choose size, color and shipping and payment options.
- The products will still be sold by the retailers, and the pages will heavily reflect the retailer’s brand.
From what is known so far, the major indication that the buy button is about maintaining its advertising business — and not about becomming a retailer — is this: Google will be paid by retailers through its existing advertising model. It will not take a cut of sales, which is how most marketplaces like Amazon’s and eBay’s