Smart marketers are sharpening their focus on insights from social impressions ― the ultimate source of customer sentiment. As reported by Retail TouchPoints in a recent feature article about data buildup and social analytics, 85% of organizations surveyed by The Aberdeen Group believe social media and other customer sentiment information is critical to their efforts to address Big Data.
Recently, SAP analyzed the wealth of social impressions made during and about Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2012. For these and other insights, SAP used the SAP Social Media Analytics by Netbase platform to monitor conversations across 165 million different web sites, including Twitter, Facebook and other major social media hubs. Subsequent data points revealed by SAP in the “How Do Shoppers Feel?” infographic were based 100% from these consumer conversations.
SAP specifically tracked four key topics as part of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday conversations: customer service, convenience, time and price. When comparing the shopping experience between this year and last, customer service, time and convenience faired positively, but there was a 27% decrease in sentiment about price.
Other findings include:
Consumers mentioned time and price more often than customer service and convenience;
Black Friday sentiment dropped to its lowest level of the day at 4 a.m. (eastern), indicating that frustration of waiting in lines, being up early, etc., may be a detractor of the shopping day;
Big Box retailers won the volume of tweets by retail category, but the sentiment of those tweets was the lowest of all categories;
Online retailers were third in overall volume of tweets on Black Friday, but the sentiments expressed were the highest of all categories;
While Black Friday had the highest volume of mentions, Cyber Monday was the definitive winner when it came to consumer favorability;
More people cited “impatient/tired” when commenting about Black Friday, while more said “excited” when mentioning Cyber Monday; and
Black Friday is decreasing in sentiment year over year, across the board.
“As retailers evaluate number of shoppers, dollars transacted and similar metrics, sentiment is where the rubber meets the road,” said Carol Mackenzie, VP of Retail Solutions for SAP, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. "Even if those metrics meet goals, if customers aren't feeling connected and passionate about the shopping experience, retailers will be facing definite problems — which are really opportunities.”
Mackenzie noted possible retailer responses to the results: “If people feel more positive and have better retail experiences on Cyber Monday, retailers can shift more resources and promotional activities to this period. They can counter bouts of frustration and/or fatigue with a coffee and hot chocolate service, or increase investments in online activities to address consumers’ more positive feelings about personal time and convenience.”
On the broader perspective of customer satisfaction and CRM solutions, “when retailers detect their best customers having bad experiences, it’s time to reach out with a coupon, personalized note or other gesture,” Mackenzie reported. “There are myriad ways for retailers to respond, but the key is listening to and understanding the customer voice.”
Mackenzie added that merging unstructured social comments with structured corporate data such as customer history and loyalty records is where the true value of social analytics becomes most evident.