Back in May, Google announced features to its mobile AdWords to help advertisers determine ROI. Soon after that, Google introduced "Place an order" functionality to mobile restaurant search results, via a select number of restaurant delivery startups.
Yesterday, it announced a baked-in "buy" button for mobile AdWord search results.
Google hopes to enable easier purchasing via mobile while also generating more revenue via mobile AdWords.
"A new link reading 'Buy on Google' will appear in the ads that show up after users search for certain retail items," wrote PC World's Zach Miners (July 15). "Clicking on that link will take you to a retailer-branded product page hosted by Google where you can get more information about the product, like reviews, and select item quantities. A checkout button will let you enter and save payment information, and provide a shipping address, before placing the order."
Google posted full details on the new mobile ad functionality to its AdWords blog yesterday. Some highlights:
- Expanding shoppable ads via swipe: As a user swipes on one of the new ads, Google will reveal prices, product ratings and availability at a nearby store.
- Authoritative rankings and product ratings: Google will display product review cards with ratings and snippets of useful reviews from around the web (see Nike and Fitbit examples in the above photo). Ads will also display product specs when applicable (see Nikon example in the above photo).
Google is no doubt aware that Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are working on 'buy' buttons of their own.
- Local store results: Just as mobile restaurant searchers are looking for local results, mobile shoppers are often looking for local stores. This also incorporates Google's local inventory ads (or LIAs), which launched in 2013.
- Converting sales via mobile: In addition to the "Buy on Google" button described by Miners above, Google introduced app deep linking for selected shopping apps (eBay, Flipkart and Zalando) to enable easier sales conversion (see below photo).
Google is of course motivated to generate more revenue via its mobile search results. After all, the company acknowledged in May that Google mobile searches now exceed desktop ones in 10 countries.
Another motivator is the fact that Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are all working on buy buttons as well, to keep users on their own sites and apps. Eventually, it seems, all online ads will offer a "buy" option. For now, Google hopes to capitalize on your mobile search results and encourage you to buy right there and then.