August 9, 2012, 2:15 PM

Some U.K. consumers are ready to buy on Facebook

25% of Brits say they could see themselves buying on the social network.

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A quarter of U.K. consumers say they’re ready to make purchases on Facebook, according to a survey by consumer market research agency TNS Omnibus commissioned by e-commerce software company Ecwid, (read about more TNS research ) which sells technology that merchants can use to buildFacebook stores.

While only 4% of respondents say they’d ever bought something from a Facebook store, 25% say they could see themselves doing so in the future. When asked how much of their online purchases they expect to make via Facebook over the next three years, 35% say they’d make more than 10% of their purchases on the social network, with 4% expecting Facebook-based purchases to account for more than 20% of their online purchases.

If Facebook purchases make up 6.1% of all online purchases in the United Kingdom, as the research suggests it could, that would amount to U.K. sales on Facebook of 3.1 billion pounds ($4.84 billion) in 2015, the report says.

 “As f-commerce is still in its relative infancy, we were not necessarily surprised with its low consumer uptake to date,” says Eugene Kaznacheev, product manager at Ecwid. F-commerce refers to purchase consumers make on the Facebook platform.

The report also found that 15% of the survey’s respondents said that they get value out of Liking a brand’s Facebook page. However, 57% said they’d be more likely to Like a page if that would get them a discount code to use in that brand’s online store. 

“Many businesses could be doing a lot more with their Facebook pages,” Kaznacheev says. “It isn’t enough to just get your customers to Like your page. You need to engage and communicate with your fans to convert Likes into sales.”

TNS surveyed 2,046 U.K. consumers ages 16 to 64 who filled out an online questionnaire between May 22 and 28.

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