The Internet is buzzing with the news of Google’s newest shopping initiative - the buy button. But what actually is the Google buy button & how will it affect your store?

What it is?

The Google buy button is a graphical button that will be added to Shopping Ads (PLAs) on mobile results, which gives consumers the ability to purchase a product directly through Google instead of the advertisers’ site.
The buy button is only being offered to advertisers and will only appear in its paid listings, not in its regular search results. Google is rolling out the buy button slowly. According to reports, the buy button will show up on a portion of mobile results.

Why are they doing it?

Mobile sales often can be tricky. Customers can be reluctant to put in Credit Card information via tablet or phone so they may turn to sites they visit more often, like Amazon, where they have a saved account information. In order to help advertisers combat this and to boost it’s own advertising network, Google is rolling out the Google buy button.

How does it work?

Purchases made through the buy button make Google the middle-man, not just the referrer. While the transaction will happen on Google and not your store, all buy button purchases will be owned by each merchant and will still come through the merchant’s site.

In order to compete with Amazon & eBay where purchases are made easier with accounts with saved account information, Google will allow customers to attach payment information to their Google login.

What are the negatives?

According to most reports, buy button customers’ information will live solely on Google and will not be passed along to the merchant (with the exception of shipping & order information). For those merchants that retarget & remarket to customers, this is a huge disadvantage.

Should I use the buy button on my Product Listing ads?

There are a few things that you need to consider when deciding whether to add the buy button to product listings.

  • Have PLA's been effective for you? If they haven't been, it might be worth testing the buy button and seeing whether it increases your conversions or lowers your customer acquisition cost. If your ads are already doing well, you have less incentive to try something new, but it still might be worth testing on a few select products.
  • Are you competitors already using the buy button in their ads? - If so, it might be a good idea to stay competitive.
  • Does your mobile site offer a good customer experience? Merchants with unresponsive stores or bad mobile experience should consider the buy button as it allows them capture more mobile sales than otherwise possible. For those stores that already offer a a great mobile experience, Google's buy button may not of much value. 
  • What's your lifetime value of your average customer?  Without the ability to capture customer's data, remarketing & encouraging loyalty becomes near impossible.  If your store is great at inspiring long-time customer loyalty, you will need to decide whether it is worth the money to acquire data-less customers.