Technology of the Week: B2C e-commerce (Facebook Buy Button vs Google Buy Button) Team 16

The Internet, as both a commercial and a communication channel, has created opportunities for multiple purchasing channels and interactions, developing into a huge worldwide marketplace for e-commerce. Social media providers and search engines have noticed customer needs for faster purchasing and in the past few years there has been a surge of new technologies to simplify the customer purchase funnel. In particular, this has been the launch of a ‘Buy Button’ that offers a direct purchasing mechanism on Facebook and Google, a one stop shop element. The Buy Buttons have the potential to revolutionize e-commerce and lower search costs and purchasing time for online consumers.



The Facebook Buy Button was officially introduced on September 16th 2015 in collaboration with Shopify (Kanwar, Shopify, 2015). Shopify is a platform owned by Facebook, where mostly small and medium sized retailers can offer their products (Kanwar, Shopify, 2015). The retailers who are registered on Shopify can decide to add Facebook Shop as a sales channel, and only those who register with Shopify are able to use the Facebook Buy Button function (Kanwar, Shopify, 2015). With this option consumers will receive several recommended product offerings on their News Feeds based on their customer profile, likes, and shares. Furthermore, Facebook offers users the option to subscribe to brands. When new products are added by those brands the user gets notified and will be able to click on the Buy Button, allowing them to buy the product directly (Kanwar, Shopify, 2015).



A similar option may be added to Google’s platform, however this technology is still in the beta phase. The new Google Purchase Buy Button will provide customers with the option to purchase goods directly from the search results on Google, based on the specific search words, no longer redirecting customers to the retailer’s website to place an order. During the testing phase, Google will only test the Buy Button on mobile devices (Reader, 2015), as m-commerce still has a huge growth potential for online shopping compared to shopping online on a PC (Robinson, 2015). Google wants to target these customers to also shop through their mobile devices.



Both companies are a perfect example of newly entering the e-commerce market using their own strengths to their advantage, and offering a whole new shopping experience online for online shoppers. 
In essence, the technologies of both Facebook and Google are the same. However, these companies will use the technology in different ways, Google will recommend products based on a direct search call-to-action from the consumer, whereas Facebook will recommend products based on customer profiles, likes, and shares. Furthermore, Facebook users have different goals when entering the social media platform than Google users have when entering certain search words into the search engine.

In conclusion, both companies have collected a huge amount of customer data over the years, which they will use to personalize the online shopping experience, by showing users more relevant advertisements and suggestions. It remains to be seen, whether the Buy Buttons will be able to establish in and disrupt the e- commerce market.

Natalie Jonasova – 356767

Svenja Stein – 370033

Teresa Stacey – 441696

Matilde Zanoli – 437890

Milou Saraber – 366867


Kanwar, S. (2015, 9 16). Shopify. Retrieved 9 17, 2015, from Shopify:

Kanwar, S. (2015, 6 10). Shopify. Retrieved 9 9, 2015, from Shopify:

Reader, R. (2015, 7 15). Venturebeat. Retrieved 9 17, 2015, from Venturebeat:

Robinson, J. (2015, 11 19). Practical E-Commerce. Retrieved 9 17, 2015, from Practical E-Commerce:


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