Google to add 'buy' button in search results

Search giant could launch the feature within weeks, according to WSJ report

Online shopping security

Google may be about to make buying products a whole lot easier, launching a 'buy' button on its search listings to enable people to shop with as few clicks as possible.

The buttons will first appear on mobile devices, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. They will only accompany paid or sponsored search results rather than regular results, motivating marketers to consider using Google's advertising services.

If a customer wants to buy the product using the 'buy' button, they will be taken through to another heavily branded page where they can choose extra options, such as sizes or colours and shipping methods. It will give them the impression of being on a retailer's site rather than Google Shopping and when they enter their payment details, these will be stored securely and remembered for next time - much like the way in which Amazon One Click purchasing works.

These branded retailer pages will show related items from that company in the hope customers will fill their virtual baskets with multiple items.

Retailers will still ship the products to customers, but the changes will make the purchasing process much easier for mobile searchers and will mean they don't necessarily need to scout around for the best deal.

Companies will pay Google as if they were advertising rather than the search engine receiving a cut of the money spent.

The WSJ said a number of high-profile retailers are in talks with Google to trial the new feature, including Macy's in the US, although the department store wouldn't comment when it was approached by the publication.

The new feature is likely to undergo some scrutiny from retailers that do not already use sponsored search or mobile advertising, forcing them to spend on the company's advertising platform.

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