Google’s I/O developer conference starts this morning in California and we’re expecting some pretty big announcements including Android M 6.0, the breaking out of Google+’s Photos app into a standalone entity, new Android Wear hardware, a new Chromecast, and perhaps some news about Google’s VR initiative.
However, the big news that’s broken already is that Google is to introduce a “buy button” to its search results. The button would give Google Search users the option to purchase products directly from the search giant without needing to visit a separate website. “There’s going to be a buy button. It’s going to be imminent,” said the company’s chief business officer, Omid Kordestani on stage at the Code Conference in California on Wednesday.
He said he wanted to reduce “friction” for users so they buy more things online. Google faces significant competition from Amazon, where many people now begin their search to buy products.
The change would make it easier for shoppers to buy products featured in its shopping ads that appear alongside search results. Mr Kordestani also noted that about nine out of 10 purchases are still made offline.
He added that the number of location-based searches to help users find something close to them had doubled in the past year.
Getting users to buy products as a result of searching is a key revenue earner for Google which currently charges retailers a premium to appear in a prominent position on the results page following a relevant search query.
“With Google Buy set to only be available on mobile devices and the search giant recently changing its algorithm to favour mobile optimised sites, it’s clear Google believes that smartphones and tablets are the way forward for e-commerce,” Kevin Dallas from Worldpay eCommerce told the BBC.
More announcements will be made at the Google I/O developer conference which starts today. Last year Google showed off its Cardboard DIY VR project with some analysts predicting that Google may even announce an Oculus Rift competitor and a new part of the app store dedicated to VR.
Here is the link to the live stream.