Analysis: Black Friday/Cyber Monday Shoppers Care More for Convenience Than Deals

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all about deals, right? That's what retailers think. But an analysis of holiday shopping sentiment, as shown in tweets and other social media postings on those two days, revealed that shoppers got more excited about convenience than savings.

The "Online Shopping Social Media Buzz Report," from customer experience management provider Tealeaf, found that the majority of positive tweets gushed about the ease of shopping online as compared to the headache of duking it out with other customers in brick-and-mortar stores. A sample tweet: “I’m so thankful for online shopping and awesome local retailers to keep me out of the shopping blitzkrieg,” says @chantellereganx. Only about a fourth of positive social media comments talked about getting a good deal, the analysis found.

The ratio of positive, neutral, and negative comments on Black Friday and Cyber Monday didn't differ markedly compared to the ratio on any other day, the report found. About a quarter of comments were negative, many of them involving frustrations with retailers’ websites. “I swear EVERY single time i try to buy something online it is out of stock,” wailed @sweetjacobs. “website won’t let me checkout! I keep hitting refresh!” yelled @ambitiouzgyrl.

Tealeaf’s vice president of world wide marketing, Geoff Galat, said he didn’t think the findings would mean that retailers should stop offering deals over Thanksgiving weekend. In effect, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are locked in an arms race over deals. Because of the emphasis that brick-and-mortar stores place on sales, it would be difficult for them to offer different prices on their websites. And competition with the brick-and-mortars means online-only retailers similarly can’t afford to forgo deals.

On the other hand, Galat said, retailers should make sure their online stores are glitch-free when the big days hit. In a mall, a shopper might put up with hassle from a store because it's even more hassle to go to another store with the same item. Online, the next store is only a click away.

[Image: Flickr user David Blackwell]

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