Don’t Toy Around: Discover Consumer Influence On Holiday Shopping

Ryan O'Neil

Those around us are constantly guiding and influencing our behavior, and with so many new Girl in Toy Storemeans for interaction and communication, it’s often difficult to sort through the noise.

This is especially true in a retail sense, where the power of the consumer as an influencer is no longer just an idea; it’s a reality. Word of mouth travels faster than ever before, and purchasing decisions are often based on social conversation. Social sentiment regarding retail trends, cycles, and products can now be as much of a driving force as traditional big-budget marketing campaigns. As an example, check out this blog to see how the social conversation about Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is shaping up, and what clues it could give us about each gaming system’s opening week.

The role of the consumer in business is becoming a resource rather than a statistic, with social analytics guiding the decision making of major companies around the world. Successful retailers are adapting to this new environment and becoming more reactive in their sales approach.

The most wonderful time of the year

We are quickly approaching the holiday shopping season, and it seems every year that it begins earlier than the last. Companies are trying to establish new ways to extend the holiday shopping season by offering special events, deals, and promotions to propel consumers to start their shopping earlier.

But is this truly what consumers are looking for? What’s really on the mind of the holiday shopper?

To find out, we’ve created a dynamic dashboard based on the Toys”R”Us Fabulous 15 toy list. Using the power of SAP Social Media Analytics application by NetBase, we enable both consumers and businesses to uncover actionable social insights in real time about retail/holiday shopping trends.

The dashboard combs the areas of interaction among consumers and focuses on the conversation around the Toys”R”Us holiday toy list.

On an ongoing basis, the dashboard measures:

  • Mentions – How often are consumers talking about each toy?
  • Net sentiment – What are consumers’ attitudes toward a product?
  • Geography – Where is each toy being discussed?
  • Gender breakdown – Who is talking about each toy the most?

This information can give us insight into questions such as:

What’s the big fuss over The Ugglys in Nebraska?

Why are more Ohioans buying Xbox One?

What is a Minion, and why does my daughter want one so badly?

Answering these questions helps us get to the real benefits that social media analytics provide. When we are able to actively listen and understand the social conversation, we can make better-informed decisions about the world around us.

Making more than just enterprises run

Real-time social numbers and visual intelligence tools can transform the retail world. Tools centered on social analytics, such as SAP Social Media Analytics by NetBase, give you the necessary insight to adapt to the changing world you live in.

And, after you check out today’s trends, take a stroll down memory lane and check out NRF’s articles on the hottest toys from years past (way past, in some cases) – it’s quite the memory jog!

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About Ryan O'Neil

Ryan O'Neil is a growth marketing executive in high-tech focused on driving new audience engagement and penetrating new markets through social, digital, and modern marketing strategies. He is a published author in industry publications and popular digital properties, including Follow him on Twitter @ryanmarketing13 .