How Google's latest e-commerce product intends to capitalize on the booming mobile paid search market


With smartphones and tablets accounting for a larger share of paid search spending, Google is modifying its mobile products to better woo search marketers. Most recently, Google unveiled a plan to enable consumers to purchase products from mobile search ads, reports TechCrunch. A new feature, aptly called Purchases, will bring a "buy" button to select promoted mobile search results. When a user clicks the "buy" button they'll be brought to a page where they can purchase the product advertised. Google is testing the feature with about a dozen retail partners now and plans to roll out the service throughout the US between late 2015 and early 2016.


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google purchases flow

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The timing of this product release is opportune, as mobile has been dominating paid search spending gains. Paid search spending on tablets grew by 22% YoY in Q2 2015 and smartphone spending grew by 71%, according to a new report from IgnitionOne.

The new feature is also likely aimed at helping Google maintain its share of the mobile search market against encroaching competitors like Bing. Yahoo's Bing search engine has seen major growth in mobile search impressions and spending.

  • Bing impressions grew 98% on tablets and 30% on phones YoY, whereas Google tablet impressions contracted -26% and smartphone impressions grew by only 1%.

  • Similarly, smartphone search spending on Bing rose by 78% and smartphone cost per click (CPC) was up 73%. Smartphone spend on Google rose 69% and CPC was up 18%.

bii smartphone paid search metrics growth
This quarter marks the end of a 3-quarter streak wherein Bing was able to steal share of US paid search advertising spend. At the end of Q2 Google finally stabilized to account for 75.5% of all paid search advertising on the two services, compared to Bing's 24.5%. Google's rebound was likely catalyzed by the numerous mobile-friendly search products it's been rolling out, which are improving the mobile search experience. Google will likely keep improving its mobile search offerings, and competing search engines that want to stay relevant in the mobile space will have to make similar enhancements to win market share.


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