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Google Confirms 'Buy Button' Is Coming

"There’s going to be a buy button. It’s going to be imminent," said Omid Kordestani.

Asa Mathat for Re/code

Google’s next commerce effort will be a “buy button” to help people purchase products featured in its shopping ads, said chief business officer Omid Kordestani.

“There’s going to be a buy button. It’s going to be imminent,” Kordestani said onstage at the Code Conference Wednesday.

Kordestani described the product launch as a way to remove friction for users so they buy more things online. Some 90 percent of commerce is still offline, he noted.

Kordestani was Google’s first business hire and last October was tapped by CEO Larry Page to return to the leadership after a five-year break.

News of the buy button was first reported by the Wall Street Journal earlier this month. As Re/code’s Jason Del Rey described it, the button would appear on Google’s paid product listing ads. Shoppers who click on the ads on their phones will be directed to a Google webpage to make a purchase of that single item.

As Del Rey wrote,

A nagging issue for online retailers paying for PLAs is conversion — getting someone who clicked on a product image to complete the purchase. Google is positioning the experiment as a way to help retailers fix that by reducing the number of steps between viewing the ad and completing an order. It arrives shortly after Google introduced a series of ad enhancements inside mobile search in a bid to claim more of the transactions and ad dollars that have gravitated to rivals like Amazon and Facebook.

Kordestani also noted onstage that people are more frequently making mobile searches that lead to offline purchases, too. He said the number of Google queries that include proximity — where users try to find something near them — has doubled in the last year.

In her annual forecast presentation earlier in the day, Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers predicted that so-called buy buttons would be a quickly adopted feature for Google and other companies, helping close the mobile monetization gap.

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