The use of social media sites is increasing, as their effectiveness as strong and viable marketing platforms for internet retail businesses become ever more apparent, according to a new study by online payment facilitator, SagePay.

SagePay’s study reveals that 76% of online businesses currently use Twitter for publicity, whilst the same percentage also have their own Facebook account. The figures represent a significant increase on those for 2010, which stood at 38% and 58% respectively.

Meanwhile, average revenues from online sales in general among internet retail businesses across the UK and Ireland, were shown by the study to have benefitted from an impressive increase of around 49% over the same period.

57% of respondents said they were now also selling to online buyers based outside the UK.

In terms of mobile marketing, however, the findings generated less enthusiasm.

Only five percent of respondents said they had launched a mobile app – a device used extensively on smartphones – with only 30% saying they intended to develop an app in the long-term. Significantly, 30% of respondents claimed there was little advantage to be derived from mobile marketing.

According to SagePay’s managing director, Simon Black, the apparent reluctance of firms to embrace mobile marketing owes much to ‘a lot of businesses’ deciding to ‘play a waiting game while they decide how best to implement their mCommerce strategy’.

Black argues that mobile network companies need to be more flexible in the ways they seek to encourage businesses to make full use of mobile marketing.