Holiday Shopping Update

Week 3
Due to a busy week in California, and preparations for Amsterdam, I am going to skip right to Week 3 of the Holiday Shopping Updates, meaning analysis for the dates November 13-20. In our first analysis, we captured nearly 35,000 Tweets using the Twitter API which mentioned “Christmas Shopping.” This week, that number nearly doubled, with the ingestion of 60,000 Tweets. In just two weeks, it is clear that with Thanksgiving 2011 nearly a memory, people are cognizant of the fact that Christmas is just 5 weeks away. Comparing the rule “mall” also reveals a steady tick upward. For the dates November 13-20, 235,000 Tweets mentioned the word “mall”, a 35,000 Tweet increase from 2 weeks ago.

Using our Holiday Shopping Classifier on Tweets emanating from this past week reveals a slight uptick in people who have started Christmas Shopping, but not enough to make a serious dent. The largest gain was in the “other” category. After some digging, I found the “other” category to be overloaded with advertisements for Black Friday sales. This prompted me to start a “Black Friday” archive, which I will analyze after the event. Interestingly, the majority of the advertisements were not from large outlets, but from small, local business attempting to use Twitter to drive traffic to the store on a day usually reserved for the major retail players. Once compiled, the information leads me to believe that the majority of people are waiting until Black Friday to commence their shopping- a theory of course which can be tested as my “Black Friday” archive gets bigger.

Moving to the more granular picture to individual retailers reveals some interesting trending topics. For the past 3 weeks, I have been collecting “Nordstrom” Tweets, which I classified using the codes “Shopping at Nordstrom,” “Official Advertisement,” “Unofficial Advertisement,” and “Other.”  The results turn out to be extremely positive for Nordstrom as the Tweets reveal some excellent free advertising, with 50% of Tweets discussing a shopping trip to Nordstrom, and another 26% of Tweets coming in the form of Unofficial Promotion. At this time of year, this is exactly the type of Tweets which retailers like to see. Personally, trends revealed to me that there is a sale on shoes, and the service in the shoe department is extremely helpful, the perfect type of message to proliferate throughout the Twittersphere.

Check back next week for a special Black Friday edition of the Holiday Shopping Update. If you have any questions, or want to see a specific metric investigated, you can email me at

About Joseph Delfino

Joseph Delfino is responsible for business development at Texifter. He has been working with DiscoverText since January of 2011 when he started testing the DiscoverText user interface in the QDAP Lab. His favorite retired DiscoverText tool is the Splicer. Joe is a big film fan, with his favorites being foreign films, documentaries, and anything set in a future dystopian landscape. You can reach Joe on Twitter @_delfino_ and through email at
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