Pinterest Is Now Shoppable, But Will Google Be?

Google is rumored to be introducing a Buy button to enable consumers to shop without ever leaving the search engine. The new functionality would work in a similar way to Amazon’s 1-Click ordering service.

At present, the search result links on Google Shopping have always referred consumers to merchants’ websites. But if the rumors are true, the Buy button would keep people on Google’s pages longer and simplify their online purchases with the click of just one button.

And that is not the search giant’s only move. To solidify its space in the e-commerce market even further, Google is also reportedly considering another feature comparable to ShopRunner, which would allow retailers to promote two-day shipping for items purchased therein.

Google isn’t speaking up about the speculation, though a few months earlier, chairman Eric Schmidt did admit that Amazon is the company’s biggest search competitor. Coincidentally, the rumored move comes shortly after Amazon took a more aggressive leap into the search space.

Ryan Urban, chief executive (CEO) of customer acquisition platform Bounce Exchange, can see Google launching a Buy button, though he can’t see it being successful.

“When someone clicks on the one-click button on Amazon, they’ve already gone to the product page, read reviews, looked at images, and seen if it’s Prime eligible,” Urban says. “Google would be taking away that experience of going to someone’s website. It’s a really poor experience from a consumer standpoint.”

While Google may become shoppable in the near future, Pinterest is definitely moving in that direction now, following a series of social platforms monetizing in that manner over the summer. In a span of six weeks, Facebook and Twitter experimented with Buy buttons of their own, and Instagram launched its Like2Buy feature.

And yesterday, visual commerce platform Olapic launched a new service that curates consumer photos from Twitter and Instagram and matches them to the corresponding product pins on Pinterest. The platform also has a complementary algorithm, Photorank, which selects which photos should go with each pin by analyzing 46 different attributes of each photo and ranking them by predicted conversion rate.

“Pinterest is a proven environment where consumers go for style inspiration and to discover products,” says Pau Sabria, CEO of Olapic. “The concept of extending user-generated content onto Pinterest and making it shoppable is a powerful new reality for brands.”

Urban doesn’t think brands will be as keen on the Buy button, should it come to fruition, since the feature would take away a lot of traffic that would otherwise be driven to their sites. Google doesn’t tend to be a destination website for consumers, either, he adds.

“The people that click on those ads don’t even really know they’re in Google Shopping,” Urban says. “They’re getting a lot of that from organic results.”

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