Computers in a real life Google store / Rex Features

Company hopes that the new tool will 'reduce friction' so people buy more online

Google is to add a “buy button” to its search results, allowing people to buy things that turn up in them without ever leaving the site.

Omid Kordestani, Google’s chief business officer, said that the button was coming very soon and that he hoped it would reduce “friction” for searchers, meaning that they buy more through the site. But the company could also be looking to take on Amazon, which remains the default shopping site for many people online.

Google has long offered a shopping service — currently the subject of a probe by European investigators — but it works like any of the other search engines on the site. Users must click through the results to go to a shop’s page and buy the product.

As well as offering its own shopping search, products also show up in the normal web search.

Kordestani said at the Code Conference that 90 per cent of purchases are still made offline.

The new button could be related to plans for a new payment system. Like Apple and other companies, Google is looking to offer a mobile payment system that doesn’t require old-fashioned debit cards.

The button is expected to appear only on mobile results.