Here's how Google wants you to buy stuff on mobile

Users can search for hoodies and buy an Under Armour item from the search results page

A new link in some ads in Google's mobile search results will let users buy products like this hoodie.

A new link in some ads in Google's mobile search results will let users buy products like this hoodie.

Google is rolling out a new service that lets users buy retail items directly from the search results page on mobile devices, in an effort to make mobile search more useful and give advertisers a new way to attract customers.

A new link reading "Buy on Google" will appear in the ads that show up after users search for certain retail items. Clicking on that link will take you to a retailer-branded product page hosted by Google where you can get more information about the product, like reviews, and select item quantities. A checkout button will let you enter and save payment information, and provide a shipping address, before placing the order.

Google had been rumored to be prepping the service, which it calls Purchases on Google. On Wednesday, the company talked a little more about how it will look and work, in announcements online and during a retail-focused event in New York.

Google says it's still testing the feature, with a limited number of retailers participating such as athletic-clothing maker Under Armour, handbag and luggage retailer eBags, and office-supply vendor Staples.

As Google scales the feature, it could help it to invigorate the growth of its service as consumers increasingly spend much of their time using other apps on their smartphones. Google's sales rose by 12 percent in the first quarter, though it was the slowest rate of revenue growth since 2013.

The buy button also arrives as other rival online services -- ones not typically thought of as e-commerce sites -- make changes to incorporate their own buy buttons or help users conduct retail transactions. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are all trying out some form of the idea, in an effort to keep users active on their sites.

In addition to Google's buy button, the company has made other changes to its service to provide more types of information about retail items and stores. The company's Google Now service will display information about stores and their inventory when users are physically nearby. Google has also made other enhancements to its ads to provide additional information like product ratings and store availability.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobile applicationsInternet-based applications and servicese-commerceGooglemobileinternetsearch engines

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?