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The new e-Commerce feature ”Purchases on Google” is released for Beta testing

Two years after Google officially announced new feature named ‘’Purchases on Google’’, it finally came through the back door. When the rumor came to light 2015. many agreed that it represented a full-scale attempt for Google to impose as a serious competition to e-Commerce platforms such as eBay, Alibaba, and Amazon. But what will be the impact on e-commerce, seeing that there are over one billion users using Google Chrome?

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This feature hasn’t been officially released yet, but advertisers on Google merchant reported that Google allowed them to request access to Purchases on Google beta through the Merchant Center Programs section. The shopping process via Google is conceived very simply. When users type the query, Google shows them ads with requested products. Adds are tagged with ‘’Buy it on Google’’. When users click on it, they’ll be redirected to Google hosted site, where they can proceed with shopping and payment. The option to buy on Google will only appear to Android users who have Google Wallet enabled. Truth be told, as popular as Android has become, Google Wallet is far from being so prominent. It was reported that only 14 percent of Android users were paying with Google Wallet in 2016.

For now, test version of this feature is available on mobile platforms only. Tablets are next in line if it’s to beleive in Google’s time estimates. Even though it’s still in beta version, with a limited number of sellers and brands, ‘Purchases on Google’ could be a significant change in online shopping. Google has a potential winning combination – a vast number of daily users with the ability to purchase and the method to break into the e-Commerce market and take advantage of the biggest rivals.

This advantage is reflected in the number of users using mobile applications. Statista predictions show that in 2017. there were 1,7 billion people buying on the internet, and this trend is expected to grow up to 2 billion people in 2019. Worldwide. About 80 percent of internet users in the U.S. are expected to make at least one purchase online in 2019. so this might be the last chance for Google to engage as a major player in the e-Commerce market.

Google- The online Imperialist

According to Google statistics, their search engine/platform now processes on average over 40,000 search queries every second, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Big numbers..huh? Exactly! Maybe the first one does not sound impressive for allmighty Google, but, but when compared to the competition that’s 1.17 billion Google users, as opposed to 293 million users of Baidu and 292 million users of Yahoo’s search.

mockup mobile phone

This confirms that Google is the absolute leader as the most used search engine. With that, it’s right to ask what will happen with buying habits of people who are shopping online. Almost every act of online purchase is the same, if you don’t start with a query in search engine, you type the thing that you’re looking for in the browser. If you don’t type the exact link/web address, the query opens in your search engine. Over 60 percent of users use Google as a search engine, so they will definitely be exposed to this feature when it comes into widespread use. It is important to note that this will be the first thing customers will see in their search results.

Simplified mobile shopping/purchases

Over time, the process of online shopping gradually simplified and pushed itself to the present extent, when everything is integrated and connected. This is mostly due to mobile users. They overwhelmingly dominate tablet and desktop users, so a large part of daily life takes place on mobile devices. Precisely because of this, the buying process must be simple and intuitive.

The usual process of desktop platform shopping is well-known to everyone. It involves lots of searching, gazillion opened tabs, browser windows and unnecessary bookmarks saved…Simply put – bad UX! On mobile platforms, this process is more or less impractical. This feature could be significant from the user interface (UI) side, as well as for user experience (UX). The Purchases on Google feature successfully coped with the problem of getting the information, photos, customer reviews, price, ratings, and similar products in just one box. Let’s not forget about the most important characteristic of this feature, searching for products and buying them in the same place – the Google search engine.

No multiple tabs, no endless scrolling, and no product searching sessions that last for hours. Just one visually practical tab with Ad, which contains all the needed information. Much of this depends on the algorithm that will Google use for searching and displaying the results. Since this feature is in the beta version, interested merchants and users should wait for the testing phase to end so they can see how it will function in the official version.

Once users click on the ‘’purchase item’’ button, a new form is opened with just form with just three fields to fill in – paying/payment method, shopping address, and shipping method. Once you fill in the required fields, the purchase, the purchase process is complete. As a confirmation of payment, Google sends you an email with purchase confirmation and receipt. Again, you don’t even have to scroll or open new tabs. This affects the user experience (UX) while shopping, which may differ significantly from the current purchasing methods.

Another important aspect of this feature is the conversational component, which allows users to search for wanted products with voice commands. Imagine this as a shopping scenario – you tell your search engine what to rummage through, Google finds it for you, you tap 2 times with your finger and the purchase is executed. You can quietly begin to stand by the window and wait for the courier with your shipment.



It’s early to say what kind of changes will happen in e-commerce market with this feature and whether will it give customers a simpler and faster way to buy products. This can result in increased traffic and completed transactions via Google Wallet, and surpass this year predicted ad revenue which was estimated at over $73.8 billion.

From the merchants’ and brands’ perspective, it’s an opportunity to be highly visible and available to over one billion Google Chrome users, many of them participating in online shopping. This could cause a drop in the popularity of certain mobile shopping applications, But only time will tell. We have to wait for ‘Purchases on Google’ to get out of the beta phase and see if will it become our favorite shopping assistant.

Petra Filip
Petra Filip Copywriter and Content Maker

Skilfull content creator always on the hunt for tech trends

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