Study: #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday shoppers on Twitter

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Holiday shopping has become a competitive sport for many Americans. Last month, a new study detailed the increasing influence Twitter has on these shoppers. With two of the season’s biggest shopping days just weeks away, we partnered with DB5 to give marketers more specific insights into the minds of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers.

To do this, DB5 surveyed 1,000 US adults about their specific attitudes and behaviors during these major holiday shopping moments. Among those surveyed, more than half were regular Twitter users.

According to the survey, 7 out of 10 of our users will rely on Twitter to enhance their Black Friday and Cyber Monday experiences. Here’s what else we learned about the shopping habits of Twitter users:

Twitter users are more likely to shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

85% of Twitter users shop on Black Friday and 81% shop on Cyber Monday. While 54% of all adults plan to shop on both days, that number jumps to 68% among Twitter users.

Black Friday andTwitter users

Twitter users are prepared shoppers who research early.

Tweets are a critical resource as shoppers gear up for the “Super Bowl of shopping.” Sixty percent of users say that Twitter plays an important role in their Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. One survey respondent shared, “Twitter is invaluable for planning my strategic attack: for [finding out] about deals, where friends were shopping and whether the lines were too long.”

Twitter users tend to create a plan of attack earlier than other shoppers. Eighty percent of Twitter users start to plan for Black Friday at least one week in advance (versus 69% for the average shopper). For Cyber Monday, 72% of Twitter shoppers plan at least a week in advance.

How do shoppers use Twitter to prepare? Fifty-six percent say Twitter is one of the first places they go to research products. These shoppers also expect to hear about products and special promotions from brands. In fact, 78% say if they saw a Tweet for a sale at a nearby retailer they’d visit the store on Black Friday.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Twitter

Shopping on Black Friday is fun and social for Twitter users.

The top reason Twitter users cite for shopping on Black Friday may be saving money (82%). But the day isn’t just about discounts; it’s an enjoyable, social experience. Fifty-nine percent of Twitter users say they shop Black Friday to “have fun” and 39% say it’s a tradition with loved ones. Some of the reasons survey respondents say they enjoy Black Friday shopping included “Being the first one to get a product” and “Having fun with my family.”

Braving combative crowds is part of the Black Friday fun for Twitter users. In fact, 70% of Twitter users say they wait in Black Friday lines at stores compared to 61% of all Black Friday shoppers. One shopper who responded to the survey likened the thrill of Black Friday to the “running of the bulls” and called it “an extreme kick off to the shopping play-offs.”

Twitter users value the ease of shopping on Cyber Monday.

While saving money is still the top motivator for Twitter users who shop on Cyber Monday (80%), convenience is a close second. The survey revealed that 57% of Twitter users appreciate avoiding the crowds and not leaving the comfort of the house or office on Cyber Monday.

That doesn’t mean Twitter users aren’t willing to sacrifice a little comfort to snag the best deals. A little over a third of Twitter users get online at midnight on #CyberMonday (38%) with another third shopping between midnight and 6 am (34%) to snag popular products and special promotions.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Twitter

Smartphones give Twitter users a competitive shopping advantage.

Twitter users aren’t just early risers and planners; they’re also on the go and smartphone savvy. We found that 87% of Twitter users say they will rely on their smartphones during Black Friday compared to 66% of non-Twitter users.

Smartphones are constant companions throughout the shopping experience: 22% of users say they check Twitter while in line on Black Friday. While they shop, Twitter users use their mobile devices to stay in touch with friends and family who are also shopping (54%), find out about different sales (57%) and check prices (49%). Forty-one percent of Twitter users make purchases directly from their mobile devices on Black Friday or Cyber Monday – compared to 22% of non-Twitter users.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Twitter

Twitter users spend more than other shoppers on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Despite all their planning and research, only a third of Twitter users strictly stick to their shopping lists on both days. That may be one reason why Twitter users spend 19% more than the average Black Friday shopper and 14% more than Cyber Monday shoppers. Among respondents who shop on both days, Twitter users averaged a total spend that was $700 more than non-Twitter users who shop on both days.

Electronics and clothes are the top items Twitter users purchase on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They visit an average of 4.6 stores on Black Friday. They also share what they score on Twitter: 18% tweet photos of purchases and 23% tweet about great deals they got.

Follow the hashtags #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday to check out what shoppers are buzzing about in real time and how smart brands use Twitter to connect to these conversations throughout the season.