Will We See a “Buy Now” Button on Google Soon?
Reports that Google was preparing to add a “Buy Now” button to its shopping platform began surfacing late last year. It seems a natural and perhaps inevitable step in Google’s gradual evolution from a simple search-based directory to an active player in online transactions. It started with Google Shopping. Then the introduction of Google Wallet streamlined the payment aspect of online ordering.
This would change Google’s role from that of a tour guide to a procurement service or at least a shopping mall that provides instant ordering and payment assistance.
It draws obvious comparisons to Amazon, and their rapid “one-click” ordering process. In addition to selling its own products, Amazon serves as a marketplace and storefront for a huge number of vendors ranging from large retail organizations to individual people selling their unwanted items.
In the case of Google, the focus would be more on the latter approach, serving as a conduit that makes it quick and easy for shoppers to make a purchase from a business without going through a long, time-consuming buying process.
Whereas Amazon has its own large network of shipping centers and warehouse facilities, Google would likely stick to its role of matchmaker and middleman. Although helping to streamline the process, Google would still leave the fulfillment and inventory aspects of the transaction to the vendors.
This new “Buy Now” button, if and when it officially arrives, would be a win-win for both companies and shoppers. People seeking to buy products online love anything that can save them time and hassle. This is especially true for those who need supplies for their business, as they tend to need things quickly and don’t have a lot of time to spend shopping. The business-to-business vendors and suppliers, meanwhile, benefit from anything that can allow people to make purchases more quickly, decreasing the obstacles that may kill a sale or give the prospective customer reason to hesitate or reconsider their purchase.
Don’t start looking for that Buy Now button among Google Shopping results just yet, though. Some upgrades and solutions will be required on the part of both Google and participating businesses to make that quick-buying process run smoothly. Google will need a way to obtain and provide real-time information about inventory and availability, as few things are more frustrating to online shoppers than finding the exact item they need, only to later discover it is out of stock.
The vendors would have to consider how much (if any) control over the customer experience they are willing to relinquish, along with how much customer data they will demand from Google.
So there are still some major issues to settle before this can become a staple of the Google shopping experience, but in the end it is likely inevitable that we will see some version of a Buy Now button popping up on Google in the not too distant future.
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