Google Buy Now Shopping ButtonGoogle has long had an e-commerce arm; its Google Shopping product lets you buy merchandise online from some retailers using your Google Wallet account, but most wouldn’t confuse it with a true competitor to Amazon.

The latest in an ongoing battle between Amazon and Google sees the media reporting that Google is preparing to take on Amazon with its own unique e-commerce solution. This solution would come in the form of a ‘buy now’ button that may be embedded right into the search engine results pages.

That doesn’t mean Google intends to start opening warehouse and stocking products — the sales would continue to be made through third-party sites. But Google’s plan apparently has another component to battle Amazon: the company is considering its own Amazon Prime-like plan with selected retailers that would offer free two-day shipping for an annual fee.

The inclusion of a ‘buy now’ button next to product pages in search results would allow searchers to put the item in a shopping card and check out with a single click. To be sure, Google doesn’t intend to open its own warehouse filled with products. The sales would be fulfilled through third-party retailers.

Data from research giant Forrester shows that 39 percent of online shoppers in the US last quarter started their research on Amazon, while only 11 percent did so on a search engine like Google. Finding ways to get shoppers to research and buy directly through Google’s search engine could be a good way to grab a little of the market back from Amazon. If this does happen, though, it won’t be in time for the holidays this year.

Another area in which Google intends to compete with Amazon is through a Prime-like subscription service that would offer shoppers free two-day shipping with select retailers for a yearly fee.

Some questions that immediately comes to mind is: If Google is serious about competing with Amazon, does that mean it will down rank Amazon product pages in the SERPs? Will third-party retailers that end up partnering with Google get a boost in the SERPs?

It’s within Google’s rights to do those things in the United States, but I don’t think we’ll be getting answers to those questions any time soon. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google has not confirmed whether or not it is moving ahead with these plans.

According to the WSJ, neither of these plans are confirmed to be moving ahead, but there’s a lot of logic behind such a move.

Google could potentially grab a larger share of that audience if it offered the ability to buy products directly from the SERPs. If these plans come to fruition we certainly won’t be able to take advantage of Google’s buy now button during this year’s holiday season. Maybe in time from Holiday 2015?
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