One Button to Rule Them All

The future of mobile ecommerce & how Google plans to own it (and you)…

Remember how much fun it was when you last filled out a bunch of tiny checkout forms on your mobile? Yeah… me neither!

Great news, if you like online shopping. Google has revealed that they are adding ‘Shop on Google’ buy buttons to its paid search results on mobile devices. That means less crappy mobile experiences and less difficult to navigate, slow to load, poorly designed checkouts to fumble your way through. Consumers will be directed to a Google managed ecosystem driven by a product feed (Google Shopping) where you will able to select sizes, colours, quantity, type, and a host of other options.

Best of all, it’s designed for quick and easy mobile purchasing in mind. Pop the champagne and say bon voyage to bad mobile checkouts! It sure sounds like a Google branded fairy-tale, right?

Well, it’s not all Segway’s and beanbags…

As Google positions itself further towards a global marketplace there’s inevitably going to be some friction. Businesses, especially larger ecommerce players, who choose to use the platform, will have less control over mobile user experience as traffic is redirected to Google owned assets.

This could mean no more purchase funnel testing, no more competition engines, and less control over cross selling and online promotion technology for businesses – at least in the beginning. Oh yeah, and that customer payment information that you value so much? Google will be hanging on to that and won’t be passing it through. And as such, retailers valuable relationships will shift from their shop window, to Google’s.

For consumers it means Google holding your purchase information. Google’s increased presence in online retail will mean less anonymity, especially as they work on cross device tracking and the online to offline sales puzzle. With Google wallet and other NFC technology also on the horizon, it seems like a nice fit to also develop a large online marketplace to help with your offline attribution. Clicks to bricks, right?

Despite the above drawbacks, it all makes sense. For many of our clients we’ve seen mobile traffic surpassing desktop in the last 6 months, while mobile sales continue to lag. So enabling a better purchasing experience should only help mobile conversion rates.

For the smaller business owners, it will make it easier to drive mobile sales online without having complex web development and product management take place.

Although a natural step to align mobile purchasing with the continued skew towards consumer mobile behaviour, it will be interesting to watch how it all plays out.

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