The holiday season is upon us and ShareThis has distilled five essential rules for reaching socially engaged consumers. Knowing what your consumers are talking about heading into the holidays with pre-holiday shopper insights can make all the difference.
With the digital world being the primary driver of both online and in-store traffic, ShareThis used a comprehensive approach and terabytes of data to discover consumers’ shopping sentiments across multiple verticals and their most preferred social channels. Using data science to identify human sentiments leads to a better understanding of people, which can ultimately lead to a more personal and relevant digital experience.
The data that generated these insights includes 85 percent of the U.S. Internet population and over 4.5 million domains. The recency of this data allows us to accurately capture the widest & deepest sentiments of a large demographic as social shares pour in by the second. Additionally, in order to better suit today’s connected world, data is collected across multiple devices and platforms as well in order to create a holistic view of each consumer and their sharing behavior as it fluctuates throughout the day, week, or month.
This pre-holiday insights report was focused on specific sharing activity around the most socially engaged verticals:
- Consumer Electronics
- Household Goods
- Toys & Games
First, let’s take a quick glance at how social activity is distributed across the U.S. California tops our social sharing chart, with Texas & New York following close behind.
Next, as we look at each vertical, 33 percent of all social activity across these verticals was in Household Goods and had the highest number of unique visitors. In the Apparel category, the term “Clothing Accessories” topped the social signal chart, with “Costumes” following – not surprising given Halloween was approaching! When it comes to Toys & Games, Minecraft was the keyword mentioned most at 7.7 million, while the Online Games category was more than 2x the most popular category within the social signal chart.
Based on the distribution of Age & Household Income for each vertical, the following findings were uncovered:
- Gen X’ers (ages 45 to 55) with a high income are more socially engaged in conversations related to Consumer Electronics and are driving those social interactions up, indicating a strong likelihood to buy.
- What’s more, consumers with an income of $200-$500K were twice as likely as any other income group to share about consumer electronics
- Boomers (age 55 and up) are more inclined to share topics related to Apparel and Household Goods.
- Millennial (ages 18 to 25) and Gen Y (ages 36 to 45) consumers are the frontrunners when it comes to starting the conversation around the “Toys & Games” vertical, leading sharing activity and consequent interest.
Exploring devices, smartphones definitely rule the digital world with 2.3x more when compared to desktops and tablets. With so many mobile devices in the market, our data indicates that the key players, (i.e., iPhone and Android) are often preferred for social sharing activities.
The leading social channel, Facebook, still continues to maintain its strong social presence for sharing across each category overall. However, as we focus in on category specific sharing, we find that Pinterest stands out when it comes to Apparel and Household Goods (2.3x), but drops dramatically in the Consumer Electronics and Toys & Games verticals.
Moreover, dynamic seasonal changes are expected to occur as each holiday approaches and consumers focus in tighter on holiday-specific spending, shopping, searching, and sharing. For instance, one of the top ranked categories, costumes, under Apparel will drop dramatically after Halloween. Perhaps the trends may change as we approach November and December, but only the data will tell.
Looking at the 2014 User Engagement Study, we have analyzed the sharing behavior pattern during December of last year and saw a mid-December peak, indicating the importance of engaging consumers right away after Thanksgiving week. We expect a similar seasonal pattern this year as well.
In summary we have distilled what we believe to be the five essential rules for reaching socially engaged consumers across these four popular verticals and product categories for the holiday shopping season:
- Reach consumers when they are most socially engaged by remembering that the smartphone is the platform of choice, dominating desktop by 2x!
- Expect the highest engagement in mid-December, almost 2x more any other week
- Target Millennials when it comes to Toys & Games, and don’t forget about Minecraft!
- Boomers, especially those with higher incomes, are the most engaged around Consumer Electronics
- Head to Pinterest if you’re trying to make an impact around Household Goods and Apparel
Check out the infographic for detailed results of these pre-holiday shopper sentiments as we head into the holiday season.
Dr. Lakshmi Baskar is a data scientist for ShareThis.
Photo credit: Visual hunt