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Google Piloting Buy Button In Mobile Search Ads With “Purchases On Google”
In a limited trial, Google aims to improve merchants' mobile conversion rates by making mobile purchasing easier for consumers.
The Google buy button in search ads is officially rolling out in an experimental phase, the company announced Wednesday. The new feature is called Purchases on Google and actually isn’t a button at all.
The new feature was rumored about since last year, and Google confirmed last month that the new feature would be coming soon. Purchases on Google is being tested publicly with just a handful of high-volume retailers. “Buy On Google” messaging will appear in eligible product listing ads on Android and iOS devices.
The goal is to make it easier for users to transact on smartphones — and make mobile search more competitive with marketplaces like Amazon that already make it easy for consumers to make purchases on their smartphones. The idea is that consumers will see Google as a place for fast product discovery and purchasing on mobile, and advertisers will be willing to spend more on mobile ads that have higher conversion rates.
That sounds simple, but as anyone who’s worked with e-commerce and payments systems can attest, enabling integrations across multiple systems is anything but straightforward.
CommerceHub is among the few companies involved in the pilot, and they shared details about the process and feature with Marketing Land.
Here’s what we know so far about Purchases On Google.
How It Works
In our keynote interview with Jerry Dischler, who leads Google’s search ad products, at SMX Advanced last month, he said Google had no interest in being a retailer. Google will instead act as the middle-man, handling order intake and payment processing via the new feature.
Retailers first have to integrate their ordering systems with Google to become eligible for the “purchase” button to be displayed in their product listing ads. CommerceHub says it’s not necessary for a site to be verified as a Google Trusted Store, but that it can help speed up the integration process.
Clicking anywhere on the ad takes the user to a merchant-branded gateway landing page hosted by Google where they can buy the advertised product.
Payments can be handled through credit card credentials stored in users’ Google Accounts, or users can add new payment info during the purchase process. This is similar to Google’s current payments test for hotel bookings.
On the back end, Google sends the order to the retailer for processing. Merchants handle all customer communications, including confirmation receipts, just as they would with an on-site purchase.
Merchants will have control over their their customer data for future communication and marketing efforts, not Google.
Once the Purchases On Google feature is enabled, the auction process doesn’t change. Ads eligible to show the purchase button compete with all the other eligible ads.
Advertisers are charged the same market-rate CPC for clicks on purchase-enabled ads as a regular PLA would in the same auction.
There is no additional fee or commission associated with Purchases On Google ads.
In the AdWords UI, advertisers will see all the standard metrics — impressions, clicks, click-through rate, etc. — for Purchases on Google PLAs just as they do for regular PLAs.
Segmenting by Click Type at the campaign level will break out data on Purchases On Google clicks.
This initial testing phase is extremely limited. Google selected pilot partners that span a variety of retail sectors and have the ability to meet the technical requirements for the integration. More retailers and brands will be chosen to participate in a second wave, and the pilot is expected to run through the holiday season.