In an effort to compete with online retailers, Google wants to make it easier to purchase things directly from search. Instead of going to multiple websites looking for the thing you want, all you need to do is search for it in Google, and if it looks good just click the Buy button next to it.
The Buy button won’t appear with regular search results, but only with paid ad listings. It’s not really about making shopping easier for users, but to “enhance the value of paid ads” that show up in search.
It’s important to note that Google is not planning to become an online retailer, and they won’t be selling things directly, they just want Search to be the hub for everything, which now includes buying, since Google Shopping wasn’t popular.
At first the Buy button will only show up on mobile devices, with the intent of making its advertising partners’ ads more effective. In an article by The Wall Street Journal,
When a user clicks the button, they will be taken to a Google product page to choose between sizes, colors, and shipping options to complete the transaction. Google has found that product search results on mobile devices aren’t as effective, because some users might be uncomfortable with entering payment information on a phone or tablet.
To help with this, Google will let users enter their payment information to their Google login. Some retailers aren’t happy with this move, as the Journal notes,
Google won’t be taking a percentage of sales either, but it’s hoping that it will entice more users to hand over their payment information, which Google can make use of further down the road. Google already sells music, videos, games and more through the Play Store, so the Buy button is really just extending those efforts.