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woman holding black friday purchasesAnother year of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales has come and gone. The crowds have subsided, the makeshift campgrounds at retailers around the United States have vanished, and traffic, physical and online, is slowly coming back to normal.

New ways to monitor and analyze this annual shopping frenzy tell us more about the modern consumer than you may think. Technology has revealed a new breadth of social information that gives us the opportunity to dig deeper than the sales figures. To better react and create long-lasting effects, understanding consumer experience and sentiment is key.

How did shoppers feel about holiday shopping promotions creeping earlier into Thanksgiving? Did the Internet keeping them from door-busting? What, if anything, changed in their sentiment or behaviors from year to year?

SAP listened to the social chatter surrounding this year’s holiday shopping in order to gain a better understanding of shopper sentiment and its impact on the retail business.

Building a tradition out of social trends

In 2012, using a sophisticated social media analytics platform, SAP discovered interesting insight into the sentiment and trends that surround Black Friday and Cyber Monday events, including that consumers are placing more value on personal time and convenience. For the complete picture, have a look at our 2012 results.

We reprised this analysis in 2013 to see if there were any significant shifts or new trends emerging. It’s clear that the opportunity to share thoughts and opinions socially is now more available than ever before, and both consumers and companies took advantage of being able to connect in social conversations this year. We also discovered an uptick in positive social sentiment surrounding Black Friday this year, perhaps due to the fact that retailers were opening earlier on Thanksgiving. With more time to find the deals they wanted, consumers may be beginning to see Black Friday in a brighter light.

What does it all mean?

Using the power of consumer sentiment as a resource is rapidly increasing in importance for retailers. Understanding the social conversation enables retailers to better craft promotions and events, and to personalize the shopping experience based on consumers’ likes, pain points, and values.

With the use of the SAP Social Media Analytics application by NetBase, the goal of understanding the mind of your tech-savvy, outspoken consumer is more attainable than ever. The ability to follow a social conversation based on keywords, brands, or products enables retailers to react in real time to changing consumer sentiment and make better decisions as a result.

The effect of this realization is already showing itself on a number of in-store retailers. With online vendors now controlling 47% of the holiday retail market, according to an October report from Deloitte LLP, storeowners are using the power of Big Data analytics to manage key inventory, receipts, and customer databases in order to keep stores running smoothly for holiday shoppers. The hope is that in-store retailers can provide the convenience and speed that consumers desire in an effort to combat the Internet’s growing retail share.

Click the screenshot to view the full infographic:

social sentiment infographic

If you want even more holiday social analytics cheer, check out SAP’s interactive holiday dashboard, which dynamically analyzes the social sentiment round the Toys“R”Us Hot 15 Holiday Toy List in real time.

Join us at Retail’s BIG Show beginning January 12, 2014, in New York City to learn more about holiday analytics and why right now is the time to leverage a single real-time retail platform from SAP.