The internet. A vast, sweating digital mystery, it can provide users with infinite supplies of cats, pornography and opportunities to buy stuff.
It's not surprising then that Google, the resourceful librarian of the web, is set to expand its empire to better exploit this final aspect with a 'buy' button.
'Purchases on Google' is a new feature set to be rolled out to Chrome on Android later this month (with the iOS version arriving later this year) that will allow users to buy advertised products that appear in search results.
According to Google, one in five searchers interact with paid-for ads on Google searches, expressing a desire to know more about the product. Google believes the new Purchase function will help cut down browsing time and point users to the products they want more quickly.
In addition to quicker navigation, the function will also introduce new "cards" for products, listing easily-scanned details and user reviews. It'll also help you find local shops where your desired product is currently stocked.
Purchases on Google joins a growing list of web services joining the e-retail space: Facebook has stepped up its own "buy" functions, while Pinterest is set to introduce buy functions to its own pages. As social networks look to broaden their monetisation models beyond advertising, 'Buy' buttons looks to be the way to go.
Expect them to pop up on every other page of the internet within the year.
Click here to buy th... only kidding