In 2015 social networks and tech giants are shedding off the tag of just being platforms of awareness for brands, they now want to be known as platforms that drive commerce. At the recent Code Conference Google’s chief business officer Omid Kordestani had shared onstage that Google’s next commerce effort will be a “buy button” to help people purchase products featured in its shopping ads. News of the buy button was first reported by the Wall Street Journal earlier in the month of May.
According to a latest blog from Google it has now officially rolled out the same feature under the name of Purchases on Google, which will make it easier for consumers to buy products directly from mobile search ads.
Google informs that when a shopper searches on mobile for a product such as “women’s hoodies”, she may see a shopping ad with ‘Buy on Google’ text. After clicking the ad, she’s taken to a retailer-branded product page hosted by Google. Checkout is seamless, simple, and secure, thanks to saved payment credentials in her Google Account.
Additionally, Google is also working closely with a select group of global retailers including eBay, Flipkart and Zalando to add deep links to their apps right in their shopping ads, driving people straight to their mobile app instead of their website.
For retailers partnering with Google means improved mobile conversations. “Participating retailers only pay for clicks on the shopping ads to the product page; all clicks and interactions on the product page are free.”
Advertisers are charged the same market-rate CPC for clicks on purchase-enabled ads as a regular PLA would in the same auction. There is no additional fee or commission associated with Purchases On Google ads.
However Google has made it clear that while it hosts the product page and provides purchase protection for customers, retailers will own the customer communication and can offer customers the option to receive marketing and promotional messages. Retailers will have control over their customer data for future communication and marketing efforts, not Google.
The goal is to make it easier for users to transact on smartphones and make mobile search more competitive with marketplaces which are anyways driving commerce via smartphones. In a recent report from Q2 Digital Marketing Report from IgnitionOne it was stated that search advertising growth continues to be driven by strong mobile device trends.
Today more or less eCommerce sales is driven by mobile – 41% of total eCommerce sales was driven by mobile in 2014 stated the recent Mary Meeker report. Additionally, 95% of Indian Retail find mobile important for marketing communication stated the extensive Indian Retail e-Marketing study.
Google, which dominates search, wants consumers to see the company as a place for fast product discovery and purchasing on mobile. Additionally, it is also trying to get involved in the space of mobile payments which isn’t a straight forward job in any market. While it is a closed pilot project as of now but if someone can pull this out it will have to be Google.