Google search results as you've come to know them on your phone could soon become the place where you buy your next bedspread. According to a new report in The Wall Street Journal, Google plans to begin testing "buy buttons" that live inside the ads it puts above its normal search results. These sponsored results will reportedly take you to a special purchasing page that's still hosted by Google where you can pick what type of product you want, and how soon you want to get it — all without leaving Google itself. Meanwhile, the company will let you store your credit card information to do it all over again at another time.
You won't see these on your computer
The program's existence was originally reported last December, but a few things have changed since then. Apparently Google will initially be testing this only on the mobile version of its results pages and not the desktop (because more people are visiting from their phones than desktops). It is also said that the feature will only be running on a "small percentage" of search traffic, at least initially.
Google already aggregates product pricing information and offers sellers a way to promote their stores through Google Shopping. However that experience kicks you off the page and elsewhere when it's time to actually buy something. By comparison, you could buy things from this new system without ever actually visiting a store's site — something that's caused worries from companies that want control over customer information, as well as having people visit a site where they might end up buying other things. The Journal says Google is attempting to fend off both complaints by providing an option for shoppers to share their data (including payment credentials) with the stores, as well as for other items from those retailers to pop up on the special store pages. One of the first partners could be Macy's, which sells just about everything.
These new ads could be showing up in "the coming weeks."