The Wall Street Journal reports today that Google is considering embedding a “Buy” button in its search results for consumers. With high levels of consumer activity on mobile devices, the ability to shop via Google has retailers worried it will further erode their marketplace traffic.
Noting the concern, Google will allow consumers to opt in to marketing programs as though they made their purchase on the retailers’ own websites. Google also reports, it will brand product pages where consumers will make their purchases, only making further recommendation from that retailer.
Despite Google’s diplomatic assurance that retailers will get a slice of the marketing pie, financial analyst Erika Morphy of Forbes Business believes it will only separate consumers from retailers by making Google the “middle man.”
Google’s competition, Amazon, has become the thriving “it” marketplace with more than two million merchants who sell products on its site and give a cut of sales to Amazon. However, larger retailers do not work with Amazon because they fear price competition.
And eBay worked with retailers to sell items but the end results were lukewarm.
Whole Foods and InstaCart (a shop and delivery service for groceries) have also collaborated for Valentine’s Day weekend. It was a major success, but Whole Food shoppers now lean towards InstaCart for their produce needs for better or worse.
As for Google’s strategy, retailers will still pay the search engine corporation for its advertisements and Google’s “Buy” button will only be available on mobile devices. Since last year Google has been in talks about launching their “Buy” button but there is no word when the new development will release.