INFOGRAPHIC: Small Businesses On Facebook Bullish On 2012 Holiday Shopping Season

By David Cohen 

Small businesses on Facebook are gearing up for the 2012 holiday shopping season, with nearly one-half expecting sales to increased compared with last year, nearly one-half planning some sort of promotion on Facebook, and most that have advertised on the social network expecting to do so again, according to a new study by Facebook commerce provider Payvment.

Payvment surveyed more than 1,000 retailers on Facebook, most of which have pages with fewer than 500 likes, and its findings included:

  • 49 percent of respondents expected their holiday shopping season sales to increase versus 2011.
  • 48 percent are planning some sort of promotion, including free shipping (34 percent), discounts of up to 10 percent (23 percent), and discounts of up to 20 percent (18 percent). Retailers with more than 500 fans were most likely to opt for the latter.
  • 30 percent said they would offer deals on Facebook, and 26 percent said they would offer product promotions.
  • 42 percent of respondents used Facebook ads, up from 38 percent in the first quarter of this year. Of those, more than 65 percent said they would do so again, with 65 percent of them citing effectiveness in acquiring fans and customers as their top reasons.
  • Other reasons for returning included: the ability to start and stop campaigns (61 percent), ease of use (55 percent), and targeting capabilities (48 percent). Interestingly, the percentage of respondents who mentioned ad targeting was down from 59 percent in the first quarter, despite the social network’s recent initiatives on that front.
  • Among the 35 percent who said they would not try Facebook ads again, 61 percent said they did not acquire new fans or customers.
  • 53 percent of retailers with 500 to 1,000 likes have tried Facebook ads, versus just 29 percent of those with one to 10 likes.
  • Nearly one-half of respondents said their favorite part of marketing on Facebook was customers’ ability to like their pages, so they could continue marketing to them.
  • 56 percent liked the ability to promote their products via social marketing, while 54 percent were happy that customers did not have to leave the Facebook environment to purchase their products or services.
  • Nearly 50 percent of respondents said their perceptions of Facebook as a platform for business were unchanged since its May 18 initial public offering, while 20 percent said their confidence in the social network has risen, while 17 percent have taken a dimmer view of the company since it went public.

Payvment CEO Jim Stoneham said:

With hundreds of thousands of small businesses now selling products on Facebook and many planning significant promotions and discounts for the holidays, Cyber Monday could very well become “Facebook Monday” this year. The data also show that Facebook sellers are continuing to invest in promoting their storefronts via Facebook ads, as well as offering deals and promotions and aggressively marketing their stores via other social channels such as Twitter and Pinterest.