Google recently unveiled Purchases on Google, a new feature that allows consumers to purchase items directly from mobile search ads. Specifically, mobile users will be able to see a BUY button in certain promoted search results on mobile, directing them to a page where they can purchase the item being advertised.
Purchases on Google was first reported by the Wall Street Journal back in May earlier this year. Re/code later confirmed a few days later that Google was indeed working on the feature. Fast forward to July and the feature is now being readied for mobile users everywhere.
Just to be clear, the merchants themselves will still take care of the actual product fulfillment, even though Google will be hosting the pages. As explained by the search giant, the Purchases on Google feature is designed to just really simplify the process of mobile purchases by eliminating a few steps in between. But at its core, it is still a transaction between merchant and customer. This is why the purchase page will be displaying the merchant’s name and branding, and in case the customer goes to a product page that turns out to be the wrong product, the user can just search for other related items.
Google also revealed that it is in the process of testing the Purchases on Google feature with a dozen or more retail companies in the next few weeks. After that, the company will be making this feature available to more advertisers starting in the later part of this year throughout early 2016.
In a blog post, Google further explained that 1 out of 5 mobile users swipe to interact with shopping ads, indicating that they may want to access more information about the product being advertised. With the Purchases on Google feature, not only are mobile users given a chance to learn more about a promoted item, they are also given the ability to purchase it outright. Say, a shopper searches on his mobile device for designer jeans -- he may see a shopping ad with an accompanying “Buy on Google” text on it. When the user taps the ad, he will be directed to a retailer branded product page hosted by Google. If the user decides to buy the item, the checkout process should be pretty straightforward as long as he has his payment credentials saved in his Google Account.
As for retailers, signing in to Purchases on Google equals better sales conversions on mobile. Also, retailers who participate need only pay for clicks on the shopping ads to the product page, and all clicks and interactions on the product page are absolutely free of charge. And even though Google hosts the page, retailers can include marketing and promotional materials on the page.
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