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Naughty Or Nice? Consumer Holiday Shopping Trends Revealed In 2.6+ Million Social Conversations

New Digitas and Brandwatch Social Analysis Shows Robust Holiday Shopping Buzz

NEW YORK, Nov. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Attention, retailers: as you stock up for the holidays, a new social analysis from Digitas, a digitally-led, global integrated brand agency, and Brandwatch, a social media monitoring and analytics company, reveals insights into what consumers across the country are buzzing about.

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In anticipation of what's expected to be a robust December shopping season—U.S. holiday sales are predicted to increase 3.5-4% over last year to $920-925 billion—Digitas and Brandwatch analyzed over 2.6 million holiday shopping conversations on social channels between November 20 and 26th. Of those 2.6 million social shopping conversations, more than 550,000 occurred on Thanksgiving Day alone—confirming previous Digitas research that predicted the holiday as a big day for digital shopping.

"Social has had a profound impact on the consumer shopping experience," said Jordan Bitterman, SVP, Social-Mobile-Content Lead, Digitas. "While consumers use these channels to source product recommendations, share excitement, and vent frustrations, retailers can use the information to analyze consumer sentiment and predict market trends. If harnessed properly, brands can then use that data to accelerate their efforts this holiday season."

Most buzzed about in-store destinations

Of 84,966 mentions naming shopping destinations:

  • Consumers point to Walmart as their top in-store shopping destination (24%), followed by Target (21%).
  • Best Buy comes in third (14%). Macy's follows closely in fourth (12%).

Gadgets top shopping wish lists—but don't count out books

Of 24,042 mentions naming products of interest:

  • Mobile rules. The most buzzed about items are tech gadgets (34%), specifically smartphones and tablets.
  • Culture-related items and experiences—such as books, movies, and show tickets—rank second with 22%. Clothing follows in third, with 20% of the social buzz.

Of 12,245 mentions identifying personal demographics and interests:

  • The majority of holiday shopping chatter comes from car enthusiasts (36%), followed by tech lovers (33%), and then parents (20%).

With their economy rebounding, California leads the way in holiday shopping chatter

Of 545,576 mentions identifying location:

  • California leads with 29% of the social shopping conversations—aligning with recent reports of job growth and a resurgent housing market in the state.
  • Texas comes in a distant second with 8%. And despite New York City's ranking as one of the world's top three shopping destinations, the state comes in third with only 6%.

Who's naughty, who's nice?

Of 9,315 mentions identifying who people are shopping for:

  • 58% of holiday shopping chatter shows people interested in shopping for themselves, vs. 42% of those who were excited to shop for others

This research is the first in a new series from Digitas and Brandwatch focused on providing social analyses and real-time snapshots of a variety of consumer trends and preferences. The research also comes on the heels of a Digitas survey conducted prior to the holiday that focused on the transformation of Thanksgiving into "Mobile Thursday"—showing a marked increase in shopping done via smartphones and tablets on that day.

About Brandwatch

Brandwatch is a leading provider of social media monitoring and analytics solutions.  More than 600 global brands and agencies use Brandwatch, relying on a broad range of social coverage and highly reliable, spam-free data to monitor online conversations. As a result, organizations can glean insights around their brand interests, conduct market research, predict market trends, and more actively engage influencers, customers and prospects.

Founded in August 2007, Brandwatch is headquartered in Brighton, UK and has offices in the United States and Germany.  For more information, please visit

About Digitas

Digitas, a digitally-led, integrated global brand agency, builds brands for some of the foremost companies in the world. In 2012 Digitas was named OMMA Magazine's Agency of the Year and The Drum's London Integrated Agency of the Year. Digitas was also the winner of nine Cannes Lions in 2012. The agency also counts Agency of the Year honors from the Festival of Media, BtoB Magazine, and Les Agences de l'Annee, France, and has been named to the Advertising Age Digital A-List among its many awards.

Digitas also operates the brand content platform, The Third Act:, producers of first and most well renowned event on digital content, The NewFront and Prodigious Worldwide, the world's only standalone, global digital productions company.

With sister agencies Starcom MediaVest, ZenithOptimedia, Denuo and Razorfish, Digitas is a member of Publicis Groupe's VivaKi—a global digital knowledge and resource center that leverages the combined scale of the autonomous operations of its members to develop new services, new tools, and new partnerships.

Publicis Groupe [listed on the Euronext Paris Exchange - FR0000130577 - and part of the CAC 40 index] is the world's third largest communications group. With activities spanning 104 countries on five continents, Publicis Groupe offers local and international clients a complete range of advertising services. Web site:| Twitter: @Digitas | Facebook: Digitas Fan Page | Blog: Digitas Distillery

SOURCE Digitas; Brandwatch

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