Internet giant Google is readying to take on e-commerce majors such as Amazon, Flipkart and Alibaba with a new “buy” button on its search pages. The button will allow consumers to directly buy products they are looking for from the Google’s search page.
At present, a query on Google’s search engine will lead you to a page which has offers from other e-commerce sites. For example, if one were to search for an iPhone, the Google search engine throws up various options on where to buy the device including links leading to Amazon or eBay. Once Google launches the ‘buy’ button, users will be able to buy the phone from the search page itself.
While it is still not clear on how Google plans to tie up the back-end logistics, the move is aimed at stopping users and advertising revenues from flowing into rival e-commerce sites.
“Users are slowly moving towards niche e-commerce sites while searching for specific things. For example, when looking for short duration accommodation, consumers generally go directly to aggregator sites like Agoda or Airbnb. But if hotel owners can directly sell on the Google search page then the search engine site will start driving e-commerce revenues,” said a market expert.
Google is likely to roll out the new feature first in the US in the second half of this year and then expand to other countries, including India.
The move will also give advertisers on the Google platform a more reliable matrix to measure the impact of its campaign. As of now the impact of advertising on Google is measured through click through rates with no real way of knowing if those clicks are leading to actual sales. A ‘buy’ button will ensure that the advertisers get full return on their investments.Ad revenues
Online retailers like Amazon have been eating into Google’s advertising revenues as consumer traffic moves to e-commerce sites. Last year, Google chairman Eric Schmidt admitted that almost a third of people looking to buy something started on Amazon – that’s more than twice the number who went straight to Google.
Online retailers in India said that the impending move from Google is not a big threat for them.
Rohan Bhargava – Co-Founder of CashKaro.com, said, “While it is being speculated that this might compete with Amazon and eBay, we feel that is unlikely to be the case. Retailers like Amazon are also among the largest clients for Google, so competing does not seem prudent. Our guess is that the ‘Buy Button’ implementation will have a synergistic integration with e-commerce sites rather than being competitive.”
Analysts at Motley Fool, a financial services company which tracks stocks of Google and Amazon among other companies, said that Amazon may not be losing its sleep yet.
Navneet Singh, founder of Hyper-local grocery app PepperTap, said the impact could be on smaller players. “Bigger players will have an upper hand as they have more spending power. So smaller players have to improve and invest on technology. E-commerce firms will have to optimise the structure of their websites or mobile sites in a bid to match Google’s search algorithm.”
(With inputs from Priyanka Pani)