Payvment, Facebook’s biggest e-commerce platform, has released its first ‘F-commerce Facts’ study.

A series of questions was sent to a selection of companies from the company’s 100,000 sellers, spread across 12 countries.

72% of the 750 respondents have less than 500 fans, so this provides a snapshot of the way small businesses view their storefronts.

The research doesn’t show how successful f-commerce has been for them per se, but does suggest strong adoption of Facebook ads to aid selling (39% have used this method) – with most of those surveyed planning to use them again (70%).

More than a third promote their Facebook shop on their company’s website (38%), 34% are using Twitter, and 30% are using email marketing.

A small percentage also use paid media outside of Facebook to attract new fans and customers: 12% run print ads, 9% are using direct mail and 8% are buying search ads on Google.

Facebook is the sole sales channel for more than one-third of sellers (37%), while many also have a website, or sell on Amazon or Etsy.

Christian Taylor, founder and CEO of Payvment said that while a handful of large retailers have put their f-commerce efforts on hold, there are many small businesses that are successfully selling products on Facebook.

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.”

The majority of respondents (72%) point to their small fan base as the biggest challenge of selling on Facebook.

The data also underscores the need for additional tools and support to help sellers grow their Facebook presence: more than one-third of respondents (38%) cite lack of understanding about how to do marketing on Facebook as a top challenge, and 31% say they don’t have enough time to do marketing.

Facebook recently launched a ‘marketing classroom’ for businesses, providing video tutorials, livestreamed events and workshops, which should help to deal with this issue. The time aspect however, isn’t something Facebook can fix.