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Google taking on Amazon with search result “buy” button

Google looks set to launch its own “buy” button, allowing users to make purchases direct from its Shopping search results.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the feature will be introduced to prevent Amazon from eating in to its market share.

Read more: Facebook tests Buy button offering direct purchasing on the social network

At the moment, Google Shopping redirects users to a retailer’s website in order to finalise a purchase, but the web giant has reportedly sounded out businesses to see if they will back the new feature. The “buy” button would operate in a similar way to Amazon’s “one-click ordering feature,” which appears in its off-site commerce ads.

As Google looks to increase its online shopping presence, the firm is reportedly also launching a marketing programme that would enable partner retailers to provide a two-day delivery service for items bought via Google Shopping. While that doesn’t quite match Amazon Prime’s next-day delivery, perhaps the search engine doesn’t want to tread on the toes of its own express delivery service, launched in the US in October.

Despite Google’s attempts to win over retailers, rumours indicate that many are reticent to agree to the buy button or marketing scheme, citing price competition and lack of control as key factors. It is also likely that buy button would see ad prices increase, as Google would have information relating to how advertisements translate directly into sales.

While Google’s e-commerce push may come as a surprise to some, the firm’s CEO Eric Schmidt has previously identified Amazon as its biggest search competitor. Many online shoppers now research their purchases on Amazon and by-pass traditional search engines entirely. According to a survey by Searchmetrics, 61 per cent of UK shoppers have found Christmas gift ideas on Amazon this year, compared with 50 per cent from Google search results.

Read more: Twitter is experimenting with a new ‘Buy’ button to allow purchasing via tweets

Google may still need to convince retailers and consumers that it can be trusted as a shopping service, but it will need to do so quickly, particularly with Facebook and Twitter readying “buy” buttons of their own.