E-commerce purchases resulting from Facebook referral links grew significantly during the 2012 holiday shopping period according to aggregate sales data collected by e-commerce platform developer Ecwid, Inc.
Ecwid, a leader in online merchant referral programs collected data from more than 180,000 online merchants. One of the company’s products is a store-builder application that includes a popular Facebook store application.
The survey focused mostly on small-to-medium-sized businesses who are more likely to use the Ecwid platform.
Data was collected from October 30 through December 24, 2012. That period is typically considered the “holiday shopping season” by most retailers.
During the data collection period Facebook referral links resulting in a purchase to Ecwid-powered merchants ranged between 4 percent to 5 percent.
The study also found that from Thanksgiving week through Christmas Eve, the percentage of Facebook referral links to Ecwid-powered merchants resulting in a purchase jumped, averaging between the 6 to 7 percent range.
Referral sales reached as high as 8.5 percent on December 6.
Because Ecwid specifically tracks URL links from its own storefronts the company was able to fully track sales from the point of a referral link click to the end of an actual e-commerce purchase.
Ecwid’s data goes against recent reports which have claimed that social networks provided no measurable amount of useful sales traffic for e-commerce websites during the holiday shopping season.