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Google tests hotel booking tool

17 July 2015 - 15:57 by Graham Miller

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The latest part of search giant Google’s attempt to conquer the world of shopping online comes in the form of a feature it is testing at the moment, which allows users to make hotel bookings.

Google seems keen to keep as many people on its own site as possible, rather than allowing them to click, link and head to a third party retailer to complete a transaction. And with a button arriving on its desktop search results, that lets booking be arranged at many different hotels, according to Econsultancy, it could be poised to further enhance its shopping credentials.

The arrival of the ‘buy’ button has already been heralded as a game-changer for the way that people shop online. And if Google wants to corner the market and make itself a one-stop conduit for products and services of all kinds, then it certainly has the financial muscle to achieve this aim.

Of course, the flip side of this issue is that Google could end up angering its advertisers, many of whom are the retailers who use its search engine to promote their e-commerce sites.

If businesses are less keen to advertise with Google because they feel that their services are being usurped, then the search giant could be damaging its own revenue streams.

For consumers, on the other hand, the idea of being able to buy a product, book a hotel or arrange almost anything else, using a single account on a single website, could be appealing. And this is what Google is banking on to make its new introductions a success.

Experts suggest that Google is actually looking to monetise its search engine in new ways because ad income is being stifled as a result of people using blocking software. So perhaps a new era of e-commerce is being forced upon the market.