SAP uses social sentiment to analyze back-to-school shopping

New York -- Parents shopping for back –to-school goods react positively to ads that focus on sales and deals to maximize their appeal to shoppers, according to SAP Retail, and they react negatively to commercials that only serve as a reminder of the season. Using SAP’s social media analytics software, the company gathered social sentiment around the 2013 back-to-school season, analyzing more than 600,000 conversations across social channels, including Twitter and Facebook. The key takeaway for retailers: Analyzing social sentiment can uncover buying trends that aren’t as apparent in sales data. If they aren’t doing their own analysis, retailers are missing out on insights that will help them understand the 360 degree view of consumers.

In addition, SAP analysis indicates that 56% of social media conversations parents have about back-to-school shopping relates to in-store experiences, while 44% refer to online experiences, suggesting that retailers need to offer back-to-school deals across both channels. In addition, families tend to perform in-store back-to-school shopping together.

Other insights include a tendency for social media conversations about more expensive back-to-school purchases like electronics and apparel to slowly grow through June and July and plateau in early August, while conversations about less expensive purchases like school supplies sharply increase through July and early August and then dramatically increase in late August. Consequently, SAP advises retailers to time promotions about different types of back-to-school products according to buying season for a specific category.

View the infographic developed by SAP that illustrates its findings and shows social sentiment analysis can help retailers forecast for the 2014 season:

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