Google Inc on Wednesday launched a trial of a feature allowing shoppers to buy items directly from mobile search ads, in an effort to make mobile search more useful and provide advertisers a new way to allure customers.
The introduction of 'Purchases on Google' comes as Facebook and Pinterest have been intensifying efforts to advance location-based technology as consumers spend more time on smartphones, also putting themselves in position to generate revenue from transactions or related advertising.
Google’s buy feature which is being tested with a limited number of retailers, uses saved payment credentials from the user's Google Account for transactions. The retailers participating in the Google trial includes athletic-clothing maker Under Armour, handbag and luggage retailer eBags, and office-supply vendor Staples.
A link that reads Buy on Google will appear in the ads that show up after users search for retail products. Clicking on that link will take the user to a special, Google-built page that shows information about the item, like reviews, and select item quantities. A checkout button will let users enter and save payment information, and provide a shipping address, before placing the order.
The search giant will not be actually selling the products itself, it will instead partner with retailers who will handle orders. Google will make profit on these ads using the same cost-per-click ad auctions that power its traditional search ads.
The announcement comes with several other product launches, such as conversational search for Google shopping and a card that will notify shoppers when a product’s price has reduced significantly. The search giant also provided information about it’s soon to be launched digital payment option Android Pay. The company said that buyers will be able to use Android Pay for both in-app purchases and in-store shopping.
The new feature could help Google strengthen its services and increase growth as people increasingly spend much of their time using other apps on their smartphones. The company’s sale increased by 12 percent in the first quarter, but it was considered the slowest rate of revenue growth since 2013.
Besides the buy button, Google has made other changes to its service to offer several types of information about retail products and stores. The company's Google Now service will display information about stores and their inventory when buyers are physically nearby. It also provides additional information in its ads such as store availability and like product ratings.