December 7, 2010, 1:12 PM

Holiday shoppers turn to Twitter to share online experiences

A Tealeaf study finds that Twitter conversations increased more than 200% after Thanksgiving.

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Consumers turned to Twitter to share their good and bad shopping experiences, with conversations about online shopping increasing more than 200% on the social network immediately after Thanksgiving, according to Tealeaf Technology Inc.

The vendor, which provides software that helps retailers identify problems on their e-commerce sites, said Twitter conversations about online shopping increased 256% on the day after Thanksgiving—commonly known as Black Friday—and 202% on the first Monday after Thanksgiving—also called Cyber Monday. The vendor and Crimson Hexagon, which provides social media monitoring services, compared those two heavy shopping days with Twitter conversations on Nov. 15.

Some of the Twitter comments were neutral, but 38% of consumers who used Twitter to describe shopping experience were happy with their purchases, while 24% complained.  Common complaints include web site loading issues, problems with online payments, faulty coupon codes and products that were not in stock.

“The holiday sales volumes underscore consumers’ growing appetite for online shopping,” says Geoff Galat, vice president of worldwide marketing for Tealeaf. “However, scratching a bit beneath the surface reveals substantial consumer frustration and missed opportunities for retailers. Behind every purchase is an experience that creates a brand advocate or enemy and social media is now the battleground where shoppers take sides.”

Tealeaf says that 51% of online shoppers report that social media including Twitter has influenced their online transactions.

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