Google Buy Button – Is it Right for You?

It’s rumored that Google’s Buy button could be introduced to advertisers in only a matter of weeks. With all the hype, it’s important to take a step back to ensure the Buy button will work for your business. In this article, we’ll discuss what the button is, how it works, and if it might be a good fit for your business.

So, what is this fancy new feature, you ask?

The Google Buy button will essentially be a button added to advertisers’ Shopping Ads (PLAs) on smartphones, which will give searchers the option to purchase a given product directly through Google instead of checking out through the retailer’s site.

Now, Google won’t be storing a warehouse full of your products – no worries. The purchase will still come through your site, making Google not only the “referrer,” but also the middleman in the transaction. Retailers will continue to own all orders and shipping arrangements.

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Why all the hype?

Over the last several years, a remarkable amount of searchers have switched from searching for products on Google to directly searching for products on Amazon and other similar sites, which takes a portion of a retailer’s revenue as a “transaction fee.” Google appears to believe that making purchases simple, directly in their engine, will allow them to gain back some of the traffic they and their retailers have lost to Amazon over the years. Instead of charging a transactional fee, Google will continue to charge per ad click.

Another part of the hype is that a growing number of users are now searching for products on smartphones versus traditional desktops. Many retailers are having trouble measuring cross-device conversions accurately since so much of the “research phase” is happening on smartphones and only later transitioning to hard sales on desktops or tablets. Though measuring cross-device is inevitable for advertisers, giving users an easy way to shop on their smartphone is a step in the right direction.

What’s the drawback?

According to reports, payment information will not be passed onto retailers, and will live solely with Google, who will offer multiple payment options for users. Through Google, users may be allowed to save their details for future purchases, but that information won’t be transferred onto a retailer’s database.

How will you know if it’s right for your business?

Though the Google Buy button will only be available for select retailers during its initial launch, it’s worth considering whether adding the Buy button to your shopping campaigns will be beneficial. Before pitching the idea to your executive board, consider the following (in no particular order):

  1. Have you put a lot of time and effort into your mobile site, especially the checkout process? If so, adding the Buy button may detract users from actually visiting your site at all. Conversely, if your mobile site is a disaster, the Buy button may be your saving grace.
  2. Does the look and feel of your mobile site work to encourage product purchase and engage your audience? All retailers aim to drive sales through their sites, but smart retailers understand that buying should be an “experience” and build their sites to support that methodology, using engaging content that will bring a user back time and time again. If your site is about more than just hard sales, using the Buy Now button could lessen that experience for select buyers.
  3. Are you having trouble measuring mobile traffic cross-device? If you haven’t figured out how mobile is driving hard sales for you yet, testing the Buy now button could make this a bit more clear for you.
  4. Are your wholesalers, resellers, or competitors using the Buy button? If you get wind they are, you should consider testing to ensure you are staying competitive and offering customers a similar experience.
  5. How well can you integrate your brand experience into Google’s Shopping Landing Page? Though there haven’t been any mock-ups released yet, it’s rumored that Google will allow retailers to “customize” the Google Shopping landing page that a user will land on after clicking the Buy button. As those are released, consider if the type of branded content would work for your business – Does it link out to other products? Can a user still get to your site if they chose to? Does it integrate other links to Club pages? etc.

As Google continues to roll out the new Buy button, keep a pulse on all the latest. 

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