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Google confirms imminent launch of ‘buy’ button, set to increase pressure on Amazon

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Google is on the verge of adding a ‘buy’ button to its mobile search results, the company has confirmed. “There is going to be a buy button, it is actually imminent,” Omid Kordestani, Google’s chief business officer, said at Re/code’s Code conference on Wednesday.

The Mountain View company hopes the one-click buy button will help keep Web shoppers on its pages for longer, and deter them from heading off to a third-party e-commerce site to complete a purchase or search out more products.

Google is believed to have spent time seeking permission from sellers to include the buy button alongside paid-ad search returns for their products. The move looks set to upset sites like Amazon as consumers will be able to order an item direct from a third-party merchant while remaining on Google’s site.

When reports first surfaced late last year about Google’s interest in such a buy button, the Web giant was reportedly facing challenges persuading sellers to go with the plan. While some were said to be enthusiastic about the idea, others cautioned that it might result in a loss of control over the image they present to online shoppers. With the buy button now confirmed, it looks as if Google has managed to satisfy enough businesses as to the merits of the idea, though the company will continue with efforts to bring even more sellers on board.

According to earlier reports, Google’s plan does not involve organizing a shipping network or holding an inventory of goods. It’s simply a way for Google to enable faster shopping while holding users on its pages for longer, hopefully resulting in more eyeballs and clicks for its lucrative ad business.

It’s believed that among Google’s myriad of services, it’s the product-search category that generates the most revenue for the company via ads. But data from Forrester Research indicates that more and more online shoppers are beginning their product search on Amazon instead of using a search engine, a trend that Google hopes to change with its new buy button.

With the company’s annual I/O bash kicking off in San Francisco on Thursday, we expect to hear more about its new buy button before the week’s out.

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