What Googles Entrance to M-Commerce Means for Merchants


mobile shopping

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Google’s gearing up to enter the mobile commerce game. The search giant will begin showing buy buttons in mobile search pages which will redirect clickers to Google’s own product page where the purchase can be configured and even completed using stored payment information.

Google’s reportedly working with a small number of pilot retailers including Macy’s and buttons will appear with a small percentage of commercial search traffic. Though the product may be fulfilled by retailers, Google will own the landing page and checkout experience.

What Google Entering Mobile Commerce Means to Merchants

While this could be an exciting new ad format and customer acquisition tactic for retailers, and though it affects only paid search results, it’s a major threat to a brand’s relationship with its customer. Handing over customer experience to Google eliminates the ability to cross-sell, upsell, surprise and delight and build an email or social list to remarket to.

This is, at least for now, a pilot. Like Facebook and Twitter, Google wants to experiment with direct calls to action in the mobile stream. Consumers will vote with their actions whether it’s a hit or miss, and ultimately it’s Google’s ball to drop if the experience is bad, or if retailers don’t see good ROI.

Google’s move does highlight some trends that merchants should consider:

  1. Mobile is its own animal.

Mobile use context and user goals are not always identical to desktop, and warrant their own user experiences. Cutting out steps and points of friction, whether in the search experience on your own website, and rethinking design and process is worth time, attention and testing.

  1. It’s not all about your website.

Google, Facebook and Twitter all believe that purchase decisions can be made without viewing a product page.Merchandising beyond the storefront is a mobile and social reality, and the puck is moving towards online shopping happening directly through Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and now Google Search.

Michael Kors’ #Instakors campaign sends fans directly to product pages

As microblogging is to blogging, micromarketing is to mobile commerce. Think about how this impacts your business and how you will take advantage of this as the trend becomes convention.

  1. Becoming a destination is the goal.

Google owns its search platform and just lets you play in the sandbox. It’s earned its users’ trust as a destination, and now perhaps it will be successful as a shopping platform (and your competitor).

What is your business doing to become a destination in its own right? A site or app that customers launch without going to search, Amazon or similar marketplaces, social networks or shopping engines? An Instagram presence that customers consult first?A trusted content resource?

Don’t be disrupted by disruption. Think ahead.

If you’re a mid-sized to large enterprise generating more than $20M in digital revenue annually, request access to the 2015 Advanced Commerce Maturity Scale assessment kit from Elastic Path. The Advanced Commerce Maturity Scale is a new way to measure the ability of your company to deliver omnichannel, experience-driven transactions across touchpoints, highlights areas of the business that constrain your ability to succeed, providing both descriptive and visual results to help you fully understand your level of commerce maturity relative to the current standard of excellence.


Reprinted with Permission.

Image credit: CC by Yahoo

About the author: Linda Bustos

As Director of Ecommerce Research at Elastic Path, Linda Bustos works with some of the world’s largest companies to help improve conversion rates and profitability on the Web. In addition to writing the Get Elastic blog since 2007, Linda’s articles have appeared in Mobile Marketer, CMO Magazine, E-Marketing + Commerce, and Search Marketing Standard. She is a frequent speaker at industry events, including XCommerce, Conversion Conference, and Affiliate Management Days.

In 2010, Linda earned a spot on the DMNews Top 30 Direct Marketers Under 30 list. She has served as faculty for the Banff New Media Institute’s Career Accelerator Program and Marketing Profs University, and has appeared as one of the Top 100 Influential Marketers of the year in 2008 and 2009. Prior to joining Elastic Path, Linda worked agency-side, specializing in usability and SEO.

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