Google+ has received its share of criticisms over the years, but new data shows that referrals from the social platform might be more valuable to merchants than those from Twitter or Facebook.

The social commerce platform analyzed $5 million worth of e-commerce transactions influenced by social sharing from thousands of retailers. Although Facebook claims the highest percentage of social revenue overall (38.76 percent), a referral from Google+ is worth an average of $10.78.

On the other hand, that average dropped significantly for the current social giants. A referral from Facebook and Twitter are worth $2.35 and $1.62, respectively. Google+ even beat out Pinterest, which has been named a huge driver of sales for retailers in the past. According to the study, a referral from the virtual pinboard is worth only $1.05.

Pinterest, however, did come in fourth at 12.64 percent in terms of social revenue. Twitter was second in most categories with 20.22 percent, but the microblogging platform leads in Holiday and Home categories. In third place was email at 16.28 percent. Email was also found to have the most valuable referrals ($17.93) because it’s a one-to-one share with high conversion rates.

This study might be enough to sway merchants over to Google+, but it likely won’t impact your existing customer base on other social networks. It’s unlikely that they will follow you over to the platform unless you offer exclusive deals of some kind. That said, you should still take advantage of the group of potential customers already active on Google+.

You can see more data from the study in the infographic below, including the most and least popular categories being shared.

[Via: Addshoppers, Image credit: 401(k) 2013]