Going Beyond the Numbers for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Another Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping weekend is in the books. The time that retailers, both online and offline, wait for all year has passed, and the holiday shopping season is now "officially" underway. But as the media rushes to measure the four-day period's numbers, retailers know there's much more to discover beyond the sales figures.
With that in mind, SAP once again listened for the voice of the consumer and, using its Social Media application by NetBase, analyzed the social sentiment around two of the biggest shopping days of the year.
One thing really stood out to us in our findings: The social conversation surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday has exploded, as the volume of mentions about Black Friday rose 495 percent from 2012, while Cyber Monday mentions increased 292 percent.
This increase could be attributed to a number of things, including the finding that more retailers are joining in social conversations with consumers. Retailers now understand the growing value of social media as a channel to engage and are beginning to interact with consumers not just leading up to events, but throughout the entire buying process. This works in everyone's favor, as the insight gained from these interactions helps to reshape and drive a more personalized shopping experience.
Another contributing factor: Deals and savings associated with Black Friday and Cyber Monday started early this year. Many stores kicked off their sales on Thanksgiving Day, and though consumers may have expressed negative sentiment about this action, that didn't stop them from taking advantage of the early deals. The National Retail Federation (NRF) reports that in-store traffic on Thanksgiving increased 27 percent compared to 2012.
While consumers were struggling with the idea of Thanksgiving Day shopping sprees, their outlook on Black Friday turned more upbeat this year, possibly due to the extra shopping hours Thanksgiving Day provided. Our social listening showed that while low prices remain the big draw for shoppers on Cyber Monday, they're beginning to feel better about time and convenience when it comes to their Black Friday shopping experiences.