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The Value of Face Time on Facebook

Survey shows advantages to marketing and selling through the social networking site.

Facebook storefronts are the exclusive sales channel for more than a third of merchants who sell their products on the social networking site, according to a recent survey.

Payvment, an e-commerce platform integrated with Facebook, polled its users in 12 countries to discover how well Facebook marketing is—or is not—boosting sales.

Of the 750 sellers who responded to the survey, 37 percent are using Facebook as their sole storefront, while 63 percent said they sell their products on a company website in addition to hosting a Facebook storefront. eBay, Etsy and Amazon are also top sales channels for Payvment users, the survey finds.

“This data provides a quick snapshot of the current state of Facebook commerce and shows a robust and vibrant environment in which sellers are aggressively marketing their products through many different channels, driving sales for their products and bringing revenue and traffic back to Facebook,” says Christian Taylor, founder and CEO of Payvment.

The biggest challenge to selling on Facebook is acquiring the fan base, with 72 percent of respondents having fewer than 500 fans

Sellers indicated they are attracted to the Facebook storefront because it allows them to both market and sell their products. Almost two-thirds of respondents said they most appreciate the ability to promote their products via social marketing and that customers don’t have to leave Facebook to buy their products. Also, one-third of those polled believe shoppers can discover their products more easily on Facebook.

The poll reveals that 39 percent of those with Facebook stores use Facebook Ads. Among them, 68 percent said they would use Facebook Ads again due to its effectiveness. More than half said they would continue marketing through Facebook Ads because of its ease of use, its targeting capabilities and the ability to start and stop campaigns.

However, almost as many respondents indicated the reverse. As many as 30 percent said they wouldn’t use Facebook Ads again. Of those, 68 percent indicated they didn’t acquire new customers through this marketing campaign. Additionally, 65 percent felt the cost for an Ad was too high for their budget.

Although 84 percent of respondents actively market their Facebook storefronts on the networking site, many also promote through other means: 38 percent link from their business website, 34 percent market on Twitter and 30 percent use email marketing.

The biggest challenge to selling on Facebook is acquiring the fan base, with 72 percent of respondents having fewer than 500 fans. More than one-third of respondents also indicated a lack of understanding about how to market on Facebook, and 31 percent said they don’t have enough time to market.

About the author

Sarah Brown
Sarah Brown is a freelance writer who writes about e-commerce and small businesses. She recently graduated from Chico State with a journalism degree and is also a budding online entrepreneur, having launched two Web businesses and her own line of handmade products. Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

  • Tonya Travelstead

    I have tried FB and have a page there but as you said, very few fans.  I do have a busy Ebay store though and keep the FB page open for anyone who wants to stop by.

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