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‘Purchase on Google Shopping’ allows users to purchase advertiser’s products directly on Google via a ‘Buy Now’ button, without having to visit their website. The product launched as a test back in 2015 for Android devices for selected US advertisers and in recent months has been rolled out to iOS.

It’s fair to say it’s been a slow rollout. But there is so much riding on this product for Google Shopping so there is no room for any mistakes. We explore why this is and as always we’ll leave you with some actionable insight.


What do ‘Purchases on Google‘ look like?

When initially launched in 2015, Google overlayed the Google Shopping ad with a ‘Buy on Google’ extension. In May 2017 the ads looked like the below:

Credit: Search Engine Land, 2015

Recent screenshots of the test out in the wild look slightly different with an ‘Easy Checkout’ extension overlaying the Google Shopping Ad:

Credit: Search Engine Land, 2017


Why is Google expanding the test?

For the customer, they won’t ever have to leave Google

I do a search, I find a product that i like through Google Shopping, I click to purchase and that’s it. Eventually there will be no need to go to a website to make a purchase, i’ll stay within the Google Shopping interface.

Google is integrating more product information into more of it’s services

We’ve seen how Google in recent weeks have continued to integrate the information that we provide in the feed via the Merchant Centre into the Knowledge Graph.

Google is now displaying more product information than ever in search results

We’ve also seen how Google has now expanded product ratings on Shopping Ads across all markets that have Google Shopping.

As well as all of the above, the Google Merchant Centre now gives us more opportunity and tools to highlight your products’ best features and benefits.

PPC hubbub - Purchase on Google

Credit: Inside Adwords, 2017

Doesn’t all of this look familiar?

Credit: Dribbble, 2017


Google are taking the best of Amazon

By providing Google with more product information, it can create richer ad formats and a more “Amazon” like shopping experience

All of the above is a move to continue the growing success of Google Shopping. By keeping users on Google, it means that they wont’t need to go to Amazon.

There’s no denying that Amazon’s popularity is continuing to grow, and with new ad formats being available on Amazon it’s creating amazing opportunities for advertisers to target the in-market customer right at the point of purchase.

When we look at the share of consumers searching for top product groups on either Amazon exclusively or on Google exclusively during the last quarter of 2016 you can see how powerful they have become and how much of a problem they have become for Google.

One of Amazon’s selling points for consumers is the easy payment options. Does the ‘Buy Now’ button give Google a competitive edge?

This is a real issue for Google. Currently the only way to purchase via Google Shopping is to go through an Ad to an advertisers website. This, despite it being the way things work on Google, can cause Google some issues:

  • Inconsistencies in user experiences on websites breaks the consumer journey
  • Despite Google’s best efforts, a lot of advertisers still haven’t nailed their Mobile site
  • Consumers may have to type in their payment details which causes roadblocks to purchase

If Google had some more control over this, even more consumers would be able to do their whole journey on Google; without having to leave Google at all. This can benefit advertisers in the sense that they may see more sales and it also gives a more level playing field for smaller advertisers on Google.

However, advertisers will see less traffic to their websites which isn’t ideal. In this situation, who owns the customer relationship? Could this also limit your remarketing audience pool?


Paves the way for Google Home to take on Amazon Echo Voice Purchases

Credit: smarthome.com

Amazon Echo owners can make purchases using their smart home device no problem. According to Business Insider, Q3 saw a +14% increase in the number of purchases of consumer products such as paper towels through voice search, with confidence growing for higher ticket items too. Amazon even offers Voice Only offers which are being used to entice even more voice search purchases.

Surely if Google is able to keep payment details from it’s users to purchase products via Google Shopping, if it’s able to gather more product information, and if it’s able to rank the best products using Product Rating; it’s only a matter of time when we will see Google Home being able to take on Amazon head to head in this area.


What can you do?

Keep an eye out for further expansion of the Beta into other markets

It’s only launched to selected advertisers in the US currently but this could change over the next year. As Google plays catch up in this area with Amazon, i’m sure this will continue to accelerate in 2018

PPC hubbub - LightbulbWill we see Voice Search ad formats in 2018?

With Voice Search becoming ever more important to Google’s future plans, could we see a specific ad format to target voice searches next year?

Make sure that your Booking Flow to purchase is up to scratch

Are you seeing any issues? Be sure to fix any of this and to make it as simple as possible for users to purchase from your website. You can find some top tips here.

Dan Roberts
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Dan Roberts

Founder & Author at PPC hubbub
Dan has worked in agencies for over 5 years and was awarded Rising Star at The Drum Search Awards for the work delivered for his clients and wider industry. Dan founded PPC hubbub after becoming frustrated with the lack of actionable insight from blogs.

LinkedIn - https://uk.linkedin.com/in/siondanielroberts
Dan Roberts
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