What Google’s “Buy Now” button means for conversion rates, customer retention and brand awareness

7 Aaron Falloon

Whether you work in digital marketing or own an on line shop, you can’t escape (or afford to ignore) the news that Google is set to roll out a “Buy Now” button on some paid shopping ads very soon. This could change the face of on line retail as we know it.

The search engine giant have been searching for ways they can make their shopping platform more appealing to marketers and more profitable for them for a very long time. With the introduction of a functionality that allows users to make a purchase straight from a search result, Google may begin to rival e commerce sites like Amazon.

This also provides an exciting opportunity for conversion-rate obsessed PPC professionals. It is predicted that sales from ads will receive a major boost because the button means that customers will have to take one less action (clicking through to the site) to complete their purchase; in turn, meaning there is one less place for them to drop off the purchasing cycle.

You’d think then that this move would be met with universal enthusiasm and acclaim by anyone working in e commerce… Yet that’s not the case – and there’s some valid reasons why.

They mostly stem from the point I wrote about earlier; the buyer doesn’t actually go to the seller’s website. What will this mean for customer retention and brand awareness?

Without actually viewing the site they are buying from, users will not associate a product with a particular brand. This also means there’s little chance for a business to establish a true relationship with the customer and therefore little brand loyalty can be acquired.

This will mean marketers, especially those working within industries like fashion, will have to rely even more heavily on other channels such as social media to create relationships with their audience.

If Google become a shopping centre for on line retailers (the direction that they are taking in my opinion) this could essentially make it even harder for start up businesses to create a loyal customer base. Undoubtedly larger, more established businesses will now flock to shopping ads meaning smaller companies may be priced out of paid search altogether.

What happens remains to be seen but I have a sneaky suspicion this will not be the last time we will be writing a post about this functionality.