Is Twitter Driving Your Holiday Sales? - eMarketer

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Is Twitter Driving Your Holiday Sales?

Twitter users spend more—and like to impulse shop

November 20, 2014

Retailers hoping to find their next best lead for the holiday season might want to consider Twitter, if they haven't already. Data from a study DB5 conducted on Twitter's behalf unveiled the ways in which Twitter influences its users to purchase gifts over the holiday season.

Ways that Twitter Influences Holiday Purchase Decisions According to US Twitter Users, Aug 2014 (% of respondents)

Over half of the 2,100 Twitter users ages 13 and older who were surveyed said that the promotions they learned about on Twitter motivated them to purchase an item they otherwise may not have. Fifty-two percent also reported learning about a product they later purchased for the first time on Twitter.

When ranked among other potential holiday influences, in-store purchases are still driven mostly by ratings and reviews, paper catalog, email promotions and Google search results, so long as the retailer features that product's picture. Just before the 2013 holiday season, Baynote and the e-tailing group surveyed over 1,000 online adults in the US and found that Twitter was one of the least influential factors driving in-store holiday purchasing decisions, falling behind search, Facebook and Pinterest.

Twitter was able to drive in-store sales primarily among millennials—13% of respondents ages 18 to 34 said Twitter influenced their purchase decisions over the holidays in 2013.

What makes Twitter users susceptible to influence on the social media platform, DB5 and Twitter indicated, is that they start holiday shopping earlier, spend more and might be more prone to impulse purchases. The study claimed that Twitter users spend more over holiday season than non-users, as 24% plan to spend $1,000 or more vs. 10% of non-users.

Respondents indicated clothing and shoes ranked highest among the products they were most likely to buy because of Twitter's influence (75%). Gift certificates; movies, music and video games; and electronics also topped respondents' lists.

Because Twitter's often used on mobile devices, impulse shoppers can be lured into purchasing anywhere—so long as they have their credit card information on hand and the path to the checkout page isn't too involved. Either way, 39% of respondents said that Twitter was so easy to search—anytime, anywhere—that it served as an all but indispensable research tool for those undecided about what they should gift loved ones over the holidays.

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