Ordering food on a mobile is an arguably fairly easy task. With so many apps already available and many sites optimised for this process, users can get a somewhat enjoyable user experience. Google plans to make this even quicker though as they release a new feature that gives users the ability to order food directly from their search results.
Now when users search for a nearby restaurant they are presented with a button to “Place an order”. Users are then shown a list of third-party services, including Seamless, Grubhub, Eat24, Delivery.com, BeyondMenu and MyPizza.com, to continue their order through.
Although those who already have food delivery aps will likely continue to use these, Google’s search update makes the user journey that little bit more streamlined for those searching on a mobile.
Google’s search update is currently only available for Android devices in the US, and it’s unclear whether it will become available to users in different countries or using an iPhone in the future. It’s highly probable though that if users respond well to this update then it will be developed for a wider release.
This new feature certainly indicates that search is likely to become more transactional. We’ve previously looked at adaptive content and noticed how certain e-commerce stores are using technology to connect to their users on mobile devices. It’s possible then that we will start to see products or services in search results with transactional functionality applied. Users could, for example, order garments for local pick-up or download an e-book directly from the search results.
Google’s search update could also signify bad news for smaller companies who haven’t partnered with Google. Whilst there’s been no confirmation whether they’re making money from the third parties they are pushing traffic to, it’s extremely likely that this is monetised. This potentially pushes out competing companies who can’t afford to pay, whilst also leaving the fear of Google cutting out the third parties entirely and becoming players in the market themself.
We’ve talked about Google’s latest algorithm update, dubbed Mobilegeddon, that acted to reward mobile optimised sites with a higher ranking for mobile search results. It’s clear that at least for the first part of 2015 Google is focused more than ever on improving the user experience for those on mobile devices.