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Leveraging Twitter for Retail Holiday Conversions


mobile, retail, holiday, people counting, in-store analytics, twitter, conversion, shoppertrakTwitter has come a long way since Ad Age revealed in a 2010 study that the presence of most brands were considered irrelevant by the majority of users. Fast-forward a couple years later and things have certainly changed. Now that retailers are figuring out how to best optimize this platform, especially with its targeted display advertising and real-time relevance, Twitter has proven to be one serious social channel.

Just how influential has this platform grown to be? Richard Alfonsi, Twitter VP of Global Online Sales, revealed at the 2013 NRF Convention that retail and shopping conversations on Twitter increased by 60% from 2011 to 2012. Another study found that holiday shopping conversations alone increased by 30% over this same time period. With mobile devices catching up to desktop computers as the preferred mode of shopping, Twitter use should only grow higher this holiday season.

If retailers haven’t discovered Twitter’s impact on conversions, they will now. This same study found among its respondents that Twitter affected every stage of the shopping process, from product awareness to post-purchase evaluations. As Alfonsi puts it, “Twitter is the place where people gather to talk about products, retailers and shopping.”

Not only did two-thirds of the respondents learn of new products from Twitter, but almost two-thirds bought a product because of what they saw on Twitter. It influenced shopping patterns by helping over half of its users determine which stores they should visit, and serving as an important tool to almost half while they were shopping in the store. Two-thirds finished their shopping trip by tweeting about their purchase decisions.  

If retailers know their target audience can be found on Twitter, it’s imperative they take advantage of this platform during the holidays by developing a methodical campaign to effectively engage its users. One research report encouraged brands to align their strategy with the three social media traffic peaks found during the holiday season – the pre-, during- and post-holiday periods. Each of these peaks calls for “different tactics and message styles,” so retailers must understand which ones have already proven effective for their brand and implement them at the right time.

Brands are also encouraged to develop their campaign message with a clear holiday theme. Consumers have been especially responsive to social media campaigns that tie into the holidays, and those not capitalizing on this holiday sentiment were ineffective at engaging consumers. However, retailers must find the right balance of good will and promotion. Using the holidays to over-promote could backfire when consumers are looking for meaningful holiday messages from their brands.

With mobile on the rise, planning and executing an effective social media strategy is crucial during the holiday season, and retailers must get it right. ShopperTrak understands the importance of not only getting traffic into stores, but ensuring that traffic results in conversions. Through our people-counting technology, we help retailers determine the prime factors that drive store performance.


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