Social Commerce

Study Says: Prospects for Google’s G-Commerce Brighter than F-Commerce?

If 2011 saw the rise of f-commerce – Facebook shopping, will 2012 see the rise of g-commerce – shopping with Google? Two new studies find that consumers and retailers alike would prefer selling and shopping with Google rather than Facebook.

The first study by ThreatMetrix and The Ponemon Institute found that consumers believe Google is more effective than Facebook when it comes to shopping security; 53% of consumers do not believe Facebook storefronts are committed to protecting them against fraudsters and a quarter of respondents (23%) were unsure about Facebook’s fraud prevention tactics.

The second study by The Media Kitchen looked at online retailers’ willingness to integrate with Facebook  or Google +1 social plugins, and found that Google +1 appears to be winning the hearts, minds and tech departments of these brands (45% vs 35%).

Wrapping the studies up in an interesting narrative, Forbes magazine suggests that whilst Google is better placed than Facebook to win in the social shopping wars, the big winner this holiday season – after so many false dawns – is neither f-commerce or g-commerce (selling with Facebook or Google), but m-commerce (mobile e-commerce). Shopping via mobile handsets has tipped  this holiday season from Silicon Valley hype to Main St. reality, whilst that the younger f-commerce – that Forbes defines narrowly as” making Facebook fan-pages shoppable” – has yet to go mainstream.

With more news and innovation in t-commerce (e-commerce with Twitter “Twitter is going to be huge for e-commerce, probably even more so than Facebook,” says Christian Taylor, CEO and co-founder of Payvment) what’s our take on all this alphabet soup commerce comparison?

Comparing shopping with Facebook or Google to shopping on a mobile handset is like comparing apple and pears, software platforms vs hardware platforms – like Intel with Windows.  On the race between g-commerce and f-commerce, we think different niches will evolve – f-commerce, like TV shopping, will remain a niche channel, albeit – in our view – an important one for fan-commerce that locks in fan-loyalty and activates fan-advocacy, whilst shopping with Google will evolve towards transactional advertising.

What do you think – which would you invest in – f-commerce, g-commerce, m-commerce or t-commerce?

Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer behaviour, wellbeing and technology. Certified CX professional experienced in Design Thinking. A researcher, writer and speaker, Paul is head of Digital Insight at SYZYGY.