Purchases on Google Has Arrived! Plus HUGE Shopping Ad Updates for Retail Marketers


With long awaited rumors regarding when the ability to buy directly through the SERPs would arrive, on Wednesday, Google finally confirmed that the buy button has landed. Hallelujah!

Well, marketers actually have mixed feelings on whether or not this capability is beneficial for their e-commerce or local retails store fronts, but there’s no use in moping – it’s time to embrace and profit from this new functionality.

Buy button image of Rachel Green, Friends character, shopping 

But, there’s a twist: the buy button is actually not called the buy button, but rather is being referred to as “Purchases on Google,” and is still in pilot mode for selected global retailers, so don’t jump the gun just yet.

So why buy from the SERPs? Is Google attempting to become a retailer and steal business from shopping brands? Deep breaths, not quite. The main reason Google has decided to release Purchases on Google is because we suck at converting mobile traffic. There’s too many barriers preventing people from buying on-the-go. Think about it, when you’re browsing for a new pair of shoes on the train, are you likely to visit a website, take out your credit card, and type in the information on a tiny screen with a stranger glaring over your shoulder? Probably not. You’re more likely to make the purchase on your laptop when you get home from work or maybe even directly in a store, perhaps with another retailer than the one you originally considered. In fact US retailers’ conversion rates are 2X higher on desktop compared to mobile, according to Google. “We’re working on new solutions to help retailers increase mobile engagement and sales,” says Google.

Are you warming up to the idea yet? Take a look at how this functionality will appear on the search engine results page:

Buy button example of how it'll look on Google 

As you can see, these ads will be tagged “Buy on Google.” When clicked on, the searcher will be taken to a retail-branded product page, hosted by Google, where they’re able to checkout with the click of a button. Retailers will fulfill the orders as normal and provide any customer service follow-up. The shopper will only have to enter payment credentials upon their first purchase, and going forward these will be saved to their account making the checkout process “seamless, simple, and secure.”

Google is also encouraging shoppers to use shopping apps through deep links, which drive shoppers right to their apps as opposed to their website. EBay, Flipkart and Zalando are now testing this functionality. “This is a tremendous new opportunity for retailers and app developers to drive engagement with their shopping apps, and we’ll be expanding it to more advertisers in the coming months,” says Google.

Aside from the new purchase functionality Google announced several new mobile ad updates for retailers including the following:

Expanded Ads when Swiping through the Carousel

Since Google has found that on mobile swiping is big (shocker!), with 1 in 5 people swiping to interact with shopping ads, they’ve released new functionality where the ad is made slightly larger as you swipe. This larger view reveals additional information about the product such as ratings, availability, etc.

 Buy button example of new carousel shopping ad

Newly Designed Shopping Ads and Product Review Cards for Voice Search

More and more people are speaking into their phones to make purchasing decisions while on-the-go. You and I both know that product reviews are important. We check reviews before going to a new restaurant, purchasing our next beach read, and buying a new outfit to make sure the fit is right. Google’s started rolling out ads with authoritative rankings and product reviews for these conversational searches, and they’ve already seen a click-through-rate increase of 11% with these new formats. Google is also showing product review cards to provide additional product ratings and tidbits of information to better inform the purchasing decision.

 Buy button voice update

Google Now In-Store Cards for Nearby Shoppers

How discouraging is it when you search for an item online, go to the storefront to purchase, and it’s out of stock? No shopper enjoys this experience, and Google gets that! In the past few months Google has promised us time and time again that they’d be focusing on these micro-moments, and with this “I-want-to-go” mobile ad update they’re doing just that.

The new Google Now in-store card will appear when a shopper is in close proximity to a store where the item they’re looking for is available. These cards will show useful information like sales, closing hours, loyalty cards, and price drop information, for instance if a product has recently dropped significantly in price.


What are your thoughts on these new mobile shopping experiences? Do you think they will grow or harm your sales?

About the Author:

Margot is a Content Marketing Specialist at WordStream with a background in PPC, SEM, content and digital marketing. Margot is passionate about writing and is also a regular contributor to Search Engine Journal and socialmediatoday.com. Margot was recently named the 25th Most Influential PPC Expert in 2015 by PPC Hero. She enjoys running and eating ice cream during her free time (not simultaneous although that would be impressive). Follow her on:

Twitter: @ChappyMargot

Google+: +Margot da Cunha

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/margotdacunha


Find out how you're REALLY doing in AdWords!

Watch the video below on our Free AdWords Grader:

Visit the AdWords Grader.


Ryan Jacks
Jul 16, 2015

Very interesting / exciting. I wonder if ecommerce platforms such as Shopify will offer an app to sync inventory databases with Google, similarly to what they offer for Amazon and eBay.

Margot da Cunha
Jul 21, 2015

Hi Ryan,

Thanks! I'm assuming so, but it'll be interesting to see how it all plays out.

El Chapsticko
Jul 17, 2015

Google's getting ready to go to war against Amazon gonna be really interesting.
For the in-store cards how would Google know whether that item is in stock at that specific store? Would we have to feed them inventory info from stores?

Margot da Cunha
Jul 21, 2015

Hey there,

Thanks for the comment. Yes, I believe you'd be feeding them inventory through your merchant center so each retailer would just need to ensure their feed id up-to-date.

Oct 14, 2015

Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning
this article and the rest of the site is also very good.

Hemanth Malli
Jul 17, 2015

Now a days for Ecommerce website all are using the ads to increase their brandness.

Margot da Cunha
Jul 21, 2015

Yup! Advertising is super important for e-commerce sites, especially when it comes to differentiating your brand to be more compelling and steal from your competition.

Sam A
Jul 21, 2015

Good facility provided by google which is very useful to buy from search engine. recently google announces to add button to the product which are going to sell.

Leave a comment