Despite the rise in popularity of social networking sites like Snapchat and Vine, Facebook remains king in the eyes of online retailers, new research finds.
Nearly two-thirds of e-commerce businesses said Facebook is the social network that generates the most sales for them, according to a study by cloud-based e-commerce solutions provider ChannelAdvisor.
The research shows that, even when added together, other social media outlets don't even compare to Facebook in terms of generating revenue. Just 19 percent of those surveyed said Twitter creates the most sales conversions, while less than 10 percent said the same about Instagram and Pinterest.
Nonetheless, most e-commerce businesses use a variety of social networks. Nearly 90 percent of the businesses surveyed said they are using Facebook, 70 percent are active on Twitter, and more than 40 percent have Instagram and Pinterest pages.
While converting sales via social media is important to online businesses, it's not the main reason they're trying to connect with customers via these channels. One-third of the businesses surveyed said increasing brand awareness is their top goal for social media use, while 24 percent said their main objective is to try to connect with a new generation of customers. [Facebook for Business: Everything You Need to Know ]
In addition, 20 percent of e-commerce businesses said they use social media primarily to advertise deals and promotions. Highlighting deals, whether it's via social media or other outlets, is part of a larger overall strategy for many online businesses. More than 40 percent of the businesses surveyed said that is the tactic they turn to most to attract customers.
Free shipping is another strategy e-commerce businesses use to boost sales; 24 percent said they use this tactic to to turn potential customers in paying customers. Although e-commerce businesses might not always offer free shipping, they said it's increasingly important to get purchases to their customers as quickly as possible. Nearly 30 percent of the online businesses surveyed are now offering same-day delivery, with 63 percent offering next-day delivery.
The study was based on surveys of 200 online businesses in the United States and the United Kingdom. Nearly three-quarters of the businesses surveyed also had brick-and-mortar locations.