Small businesses may have been fully aware of the digital marketing opportunities of sites like Facebook and Twitter, but they may be less aware of the potential for using social media sites to boost direct sales.
New figures from Ecwid, an e-commerce software firm, show that 15 per cent of small and medium-sized businesses' revenue comes via their Facebook stores.
Facebook-generated revenues shot up by 40 per cent last year, the study also reveals.
The evidence suggests that while f-commerce may not work for large retailers, it holds numerous advantages for smaller firms.
Indeed, Payvment, another e-commerce platform, says 37 per cent of its small business customers that operate a Facebook store report that it is their only sales channel.
The survey also found that 61 per cent of businesses like Facebook because it allows them to promote products via social media marketing.
Joelle Musante, Payvment co-founder and chief brand officer, told eMarketer in a December 2011 interview that f-commerce holds a distinct appeal to small firms with limited resources.
"It would cost a lot more money to drive somebody to a dot-com than it does to a place where there's already 800 million people," she said.