Can Google Outsell Amazon and eBay?
The search giant will start showing the buttons when people search for products on mobile devices, according to people familiar with the launch.
Google Inc. will launch buy buttons on its search-result pages in coming weeks, a controversial step by the company toward becoming an online marketplace rivaling those run by Amazon.com Inc. and eBay Inc.The buttons will accompany sponsored—or paid—search results, often displayed under a “Shop on Google” heading at the top of the page. Buttons won’t appear with the nonsponsored results that are driven by Google’s basic search algorithm.
If shoppers click on the buy buttons, they will be taken to another Google product page to complete the purchase, the people explained. On that page, they will be able to pick sizes and colors and shipping options, as well as complete the purchase, one of the people said.
Google won’t show buy buttons when shoppers search on desktop computers, and the company is starting the program with a small percentage of the search traffic it handles.
But the move marks a major and potentially risky strategy shift that will turn the company into more of an online transactional business, rather than simply a provider of links to information elsewhere on the Internet.