New Study Explores Importance of Social Media Analytics to Address Major Challenges in the Retail Industry

Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight™ Platform Showcases How Social Media Analytics Help Retailers Combat Showrooming and Maintain Customer Base

BOSTON, MA– September 19, 2012 – Crimson Hexagon, a leading provider of Big Data analysis software that delivers business intelligence from social media and other data sources to global corporations, today announced the availability of its study “Showrooming and Consumer Migration” which provides key insights on how social media analytics can empower brick and mortar (B&M) retailers to manage and capitalize on prevailing consumer expectations and motivations.

The study highlights the case of Best Buy and Amazon and provides a deep analysis of social data; it suggests how retailers can fight back against showrooming reducing customer migration to competitor stores—both B&Ms and e-tailers. Using the Crimson Hexagon ForSight™ platform, the study analyzes over 1.5 million consumer social media posts surrounding Best Buy and Amazon throughout 2011, and provides retailers with actionable opportunities and insightful takeaways to change consumer behavior.  It investigates this industry-wide challenge from two equally important angles – consumer expectations of in-store shopping and competitor store appeal – to showcase the importance of social data analytics in providing retailers with opportunities to improve customer retention.

Key findings include:

  • Social motivations are the largest driver of in-store shopping at Best Buy, with 46 percent of the conversation revealing customers’ prime expectation is a “playground” experience – not to be confused with sampling products on display. These consumers’ expectations are that it is fun and helpful to shop with peers at Best Buy.
  • The risk of Amazon migration is highest during the holidays – in the weeks leading up to Black Friday the showrooming discussion increases almost 6x.
  • Significant customer frustration with lack of in-store inventory and poor online order fulfillment during the holidays reveals an opportunity for improvement and customer retention.
  • Customer service at Best Buy is a minor shopping incentive, despite the availability of sales representatives
  • At 32 percent of the online conversation, the ability to achieve instant gratification (related to purchases) at Best Buy continues to appeal to shoppers


“The retail industry is driven by consumer preference and Crimson Hexagon’s study reveals social media analysis is vital to understanding these preferences in order to make informed, business-driving decisions,” said Crimson Hexagon Vice President of Marketing Wayne St. Amand. “When retailers are in-touch with customers and informed by actionable social media insights, companies can accelerate responses to marketplace shifts like showrooming and discover nuances in customer expectations.”

To learn more about these findings, and discover how deep knowledge of store expectations and consumer migration patterns can improve customer experience and retention, download the full version of the Crimson Hexagon “Showrooming and Customer Migration” study.

Fast Company named Crimson Hexagon as one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies on the Web. Crimson Hexagon provides social intelligence software and services to some of the world’s largest and most respected companies. Powered by patented technology originally developed at Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, the Crimson Hexagon ForSight platform surpasses the capabilities of traditional social media monitoring and expands the capacity of market research.

About Crimson Hexagon, Inc.
Crimson Hexagon, founded in 2007, is the leading provider of analysis software that delivers business intelligence from Big Data sources like social media and other data types for global corporations. Powered by patented technology developed at Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, the Crimson Hexagon ForSight™ platform delivers the industry’s most comprehensive Big Data analysis capabilities for a variety of large-scale data sources. Clients include leading global organizations such as: CBS Films, Microsoft, Paramount Pictures, Starbucks, Simon & Schuster, Twitter, The United Nations, and many more. For more information go to: or read the Crimson Hexagon blog:

[1] Showrooming is a recent phenomenon in the retail industry that occurs when a consumer examines merchandise in a brick and mortar (B&M) store, taking advantage of free staff expertise and other in-store tangibles, and then proceeds to purchase the items online, often at a lower price.

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