Social Media Buzz Analysis – Retail (Part I)


Stage set for online retail rivalry: Social media buzz analysis to identify top performing brands in retail industry

In today’s rapidly changing and ever-evolving retail industry, conventional business models & customer segments cannot be taken lightly. Technology has distorted the lines and shaped a retail sector available anywhere, anytime and in any fashion the customers wish to shop. Today, all retail brands have realized that technology is of utmost importance in driving growth, thereby improving customer engagement. Mobile technology and social media are having a considerable impact on retail industry as customers are more and more utilizing these channels for price checks, online promotions, coupons, shopping, information and product comparisons. Also, retail executives are enhancing their usage of these channels to reach out to greater number of customers, exploring newer ways of doing business and enhancing their customer experiences.

Retailers are increasingly adopting the value of data and analytics to better appreciate customer preferences and profiles, and trying to forecast future customer purchases. By investigating and mining loyalty data, analyzing traffic patterns in stores and monitoring consumers’ social and online media behavior, retailers can drastically augment their connection to customers.

The competition between online retail giants is hotting up with close competition between Kmart, and Walmart. As Walmart tries to move ahead in its quest for dominance, the rivalry for the top slot is bound to intensify in years to come.

In the current post, Fusion Analytics World have tried to track these online retail brands on social media and analyze the buzz around them. For the deep dive analysis, we have focused on three key factors –

  1. Share of Volume,
  2. Sentiment Balance, and
  3. Top Topics of Discussion about these brands in social media conversations.

Let’s see the performance of the brands on each of these metrics:

  1. Share of Volume:

Share of volume is the relative share of a brand in all the buzz happening on social media about the industry. Though, it does not indicate popularity of a brand or lack of it, it is a great indicator of awareness about the brand on various social media channels.retail-social-media-share-of-volume-fusion-analytics-world

Above chart shows share of volume for various players in online retail space with respect to each other. It is clear from the chart that Kmart and lead the pack and closely followed by Walmart on share of volume related to the buzz generated online.

  1. Sentiment Balance:

Sentiment balance shows the proportionate balance of positive and negative sentiments expressed in conversations from social media. Fusion Analytics World automatically categorizes data under positive, negative and neutral sentiment using advanced text analysis and natural language

The chart clearly indicates that has the best sentiment balance followed by Home Depot and Costco. Positive sentiments for is the highest whereas its negative sentiments are almost nil, Home Depot has the next best sentiment balance with very low negative sentiments in comparison to its healthy positive sentiment score.

Kmart with high volume and high negative sentiment indicates most of the conversations are not what their PR and Marketing teams would like to see. Insights like these help brands take immediate actions before things go out of control, especially by knowing the topics of discussion elaborated in the next section.

  1. Key Conversation Topics:

Now that we have understood where things stand in terms of volume and sentiment, we need to put that information into action. Improving a negative buzz or maintaining a positive buzz is only possible if one knows what are the hot topics people are buzzing about. The below analysis, helps to determine what topics a brand needs to concentrate

The key topics of conversation are:

  • Music
  • Pricing
  • Coupons
  • Parking
  • Customers

The chart highlights relative importance of each topic for both brands from the point of view of their customers. Interesting to note that Kmart leads on topic of music while Walmart leads on topic of parking, customers and pricing. sees conversation surrounding music, customers, pricing and website.

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Kalyan Banga224 Posts

I am Kalyan Banga, a Post Graduate in Business Analytics from Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta, a premier management institute, ranked best B-School in Asia in FT Masters management global rankings. I have spent 14 years in field of Research & Analytics.


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