Black Friday 2013 - a social media study by MutualMind

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Part of our MindMeld series, this study reviews Black Friday posts from the following retailers: Walmart, Target, Toys 'R Us, JCPenney, Kmart, Sears, Nordstrom, Best Buy, Costco and Sam's Club. We collected public conversation from across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, forums, blogs, and other news media to analyze the sentiment for each retailer and the overall shopping experience.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
Black Friday mentions peaked at 11am CST for all retailers, as shoppers got into the full swing of the experience, and were sharing what they had discovered from the morning doorbusters.
Walmart led retailers studied all day in both Volume and Share of Voice, but saw negative posts outweigh positive more than 4 to 1.
Target, JCPenney, Sears and Nordstrom led positive sentiment for retailers, with many of these statements directly about the deals being offered.
Kitschy commercials may be backfiring for K-Mart and JCPenney, as these were the primary drivers of their negative conversation sentiment.
Fighting was a significant theme of conversation, but with 96% of these mentions driven by Walmart, this story entirely rested on the shoulders of that brand.

You can read more about this story on Forbes.com, here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/markfidelman/2013/12/01/ranked-by-ibm-and-mutualmind-black-friday-winners-and-losers/

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Black Friday 2013 - a social media study by MutualMind

  1. 1. MindMeld Report: Black Friday 2013 www.mutualmind.com For more information about MutualMind or this study, contact us at: info@mutualmind.com
  2. 2. Executive Summary • Black Friday mentions peaked at 11am CST for all retailers, as shoppers got into the full swing of the experience, and were sharing what they had discovered from the morning doorbusters. • Walmart led retailers studied all day in both Volume and Share of Voice, but saw negative posts outweigh positive more than 4 to 1. • Target, JCPenney, Sears and Nordstrom led positive sentiment for retailers, with many of these statements directly about the deals being offered. • Kitschy commercials may be backfiring for K-Mart and JCPenney, as these were the primary drivers of their negative conversation sentiment. • Fighting was a significant theme of conversation, but with 96% of these mentions driven by Walmart, this story entirely rested on the shoulders of that brand. 2 Company Confidential 2
  3. 3. Introduction & Scope Black Friday has become an unparalleled retail event, and as digital marketers have matured, brands have layered increasing levels social marketing and monitoring on the holiday every year. This year, MutualMind wanted to take a high-level overview of how this marketing trend has continued. To do so, we collected public digital conversations for the following retailers: • • • • Walmart Target Toys ‘R Us JCPenney • • • • K-Mart Sears Nordstrom Best Buy • Costco • Sam’s Club 3 Company Confidential 3
  4. 4. Study Design • For each retailer, we gathered brand mentions using a reasonable set of name variants, based on our previous research. For example, Nordstrom was represented as: (nordstrom OR #nordstrom OR @Nordstrom OR nordstroms OR #nordstroms) • We also applied a filter for Black Friday mentions only (using an AND Boolean clause), identifying the following keywords: (“black friday" OR blackfriday OR #blackfriday) • While this design does potentially exclude relevant mentions related to the event that simply don’t mention Black Friday literally, it gives us a clear focus of study and only captures conversations with explicit topical focus. 4 Company Confidential 4
  5. 5. Overview • There were 69,795 mentions captured for 11/29, peaking at a volume of 5,071 mentions per hour at 11am CST. Twitter has previously stated they see an average of 5,700 tweets per second worldwide, so this is a significant volume of traffic. • Volume was heavily focused on Twitter (93% of total), as would be expected during an event when consumers are primarily using mobile devices. Blogs came in at 3%, with Facebook and News sources tied at 2%. 5 Company Confidential 5
  6. 6. Overview Total Sentiment Total Mentions by Retailer Costco 1% Best Buy 1% Sam's Club 0% JC Penney 1% Kmart 1% Nordstrom 1% Sears 1% Toys R Us 2% Target 13% Walmart 79% 6 Company Confidential 6
  7. 7. Retailer Breakdown Walmart Dominance Consistent Throughout • As expected of the largest company in the U.S., Walmart led volume of mentions for the entire day, cresting with 4,416 mentions at 11am CST, and again with 3,676 mentions at 4pm CST. • While volume was more dynamic for Walmart, Share of Voice was practically uncontested for the day. Walmart held an average SOV of 77.5%, with Target the next closest at an average SOV of 13.5%. 7 Company Confidential 7
  8. 8. Sentiment Analysis: Walmart Overwhelming Negativity Driven by Fights • The negative sentiment spikes at 11am CST for Walmart, then decreases again. Conversations revolve around fighting, the strikers and the employee who was trampled by the rushing crowd. • Walmart's positive sentiment remains relatively stable throughout the day, although greatly overshadowed by negative stories – almost 4 to 1. 8 Company Confidential 8
  9. 9. Sentiment Analysis: Target Balanced Sentiment Throughout the Day • Target’s negative sentiment peaks at 12pm CST, driven by the article The Worst of Black Friday: Guns, Knives and Brawls released at 11 am and was shared several times during the following hour. • While negative sentiment was significant, positive statements also followed suit, driving an extremely balanced opinion overall – much more so than for Walmart. 9 Company Confidential 9
  10. 10. Sentiment Analysis: Toys R’ Us Viral Tweet Spikes Negative Sentiment • Negative sentiment for Toys R’ Us peaked at 11am CST with a snarky tweet going viral, but no strong brand damaging sentiments. • Positive sentiment also followed, albeit not as much as for Target. Good news for the brand: most positive statements were directly about the deals offered. Company Confidential 10 10
  11. 11. Sentiment Analysis: JCPenney Positive About Deals, Negative for Commercials • JCPenney saw a strong level of positive sentiment throughout the day, albeit at erratic levels due to the low overall volume of mentions. • Negative sentiment focused strongly on the latest round of Black Friday commercials from the retailer, meaning these may be backfiring instead of driving commerce. Company Confidential 11 11
  12. 12. Sentiment Analysis: Kmart Commercials Showing a Marked Negative Effect • Negative sentiment was consistent throughout the day, primarily focused around the Black Friday commercials from this retailer. Many wished Black Friday would be over so they wouldn’t air. • Positive sentiment was extremely deal driven, particularly by this press release from Savings.com citing Kmart’s 70% off doorbusters as one of its top 20 deals for Black Friday online shopping. Company Confidential 12 12
  13. 13. Sentiment Analysis: Sears Positive Conversations from Successful Press • Sears enjoyed a strong level of positive mentions, driven primarily by a release published on Black Friday: “Sears Reports Thanksgiving, Black Friday Trends and Insights.” The informative nature of this content made it more useful than typical self-serving brand messages, and thus found widespread sharing. • Negative sentiment was primarily attributable to a viral hoax that “42 million were killed over Black Friday” that mentioned Sears among other retailers. Company Confidential 13 13
  14. 14. Sentiment Analysis: Nordstrom Viral Mentions Outside the Brand Drive Sentiment • Positive sentiment for the brand is somewhat inadvertent, as they were mentioned in a release from PandaCashBack.com that was shared frequently. More organic positive sentiment was about the shopping experience of Nordstrom in general. • Negative sentiment spiked around a frequently-shared tweet from the band One Direction, and wasn’t materially related to the brand. In fact, direct and material negative sentiment about Nordstrom was extremely low throughout the day. Company Confidential 14 14
  15. 15. Sentiment Analysis: Best Buy Erratic at the Edges, But Predominantly Neutral • Mentions of the electronics retailer were predominantly neutral – in fact, this retailer had the most neutral mentions of all in our study. • While minimal, positive and negative mentions were impassioned – most often about the in-store experience, which may have had inconsistent quality. Company Confidential 15 15
  16. 16. Sentiment Analysis: Costco Limited Mentions Overall; Positive Deal Mentions • Mentions for Costco were extremely limited, especially so when compared to other retailers – only 1% of the total volume for this study. • Positive mentions were primarily driven by dealfinder sites, as Costco had a number of attractive price points on clothing; electronics. Company Confidential 16 16
  17. 17. Sentiment Analysis: Sam’s Club Extremely Limited, But Extremely Positive • Sam’s Club was essentially silent as a brand during Black Friday, and posted the fewest social mentions of any retailer in our study for the day. • However, CNET gave them a huge boost in a sweepstakes for an LG home theater system from the retailer posted that morning. Company Confidential 17 17
  18. 18. Deeper Dive: Fighting Walmart Mentions Lead this Damaging Theme • • • Company Confidential With customers rushing to get the best deals and retailers having a limited amount of inventory, it’s not unusual to hear about fights that break out on Black Friday. We used our post collection filters, to search for all mentions of “fight”, “fought” or “fighting.” Walmart led conversations regarding fights with 96% of all mentions within this search – in fact, this represented over 10% of all Walmart mentions, and nearly 25% of their negative sentiment. “#WalmartFights” even showed up in our topic cloud for this query, demonstrating the frequency and ubiquity of these mentions. 18 18
  19. 19. Deeper Dive: Commercials Strong Negative Sentiment for Retailer Ads • Post-collection filters were used here to identify conversations mentioning any of our studied retailers + Black Friday + “commercial OR commercials”. • Sentiment for retailer ads during Black Friday was extremely negative, with 53% of all mentions expressing disapproval. • Walmart again led this category, but much less clearly – Kmart, Target and JCPenney each received a significant volume of mentions in this vein. Company Confidential 19 19
  20. 20. About MutualMind Want to reach us? Info@mutualmind.com • • • • Company Confidential Founded in 2009; based in Addison, TX SaaS enterprise platform for collecting, analyzing and responding to social interactions Unique architecture built from the ground up for integration with OEM partners via whitelabel or our “fly-by-wire” API Proprietary IP for social shopper and commerce analytics (patents filed) Analytics and Response Management workbench with intuitive, free-form segmentation and integrated sentiment analysis Real-time visualization of social conversations for the big screen with drag-and-drop editor and rapid-deployment secure launcher 20

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