E-Commerce and Retail on Twitter: A Month-By-Month Guide on Engaging Customers in Q4

15 November 2015

It’s a crucial time of year for e-commerce and other online businesses to engage their customers and prospects in the run-up to Christmas. Twitter has worked with Conversion to analyse tweets sent between September and December last year, to look for patterns in the ways customers and brands interact.

This kind of research can be incredibly valuable for brands that want to understand their audience and get the best results from their social media marketing in Q4 this year.

Here’s what they found:

September and October

Through these months, Twitter users started to talk more about shopping than previously. 30% of the conversation around shopping is focused on saving money to buy gifts, which could indicate that this would be a great time of year to promote discount codes and special deals.

80% of the relevant tweets sent in September and October are described as ‘pre-purchase conversation’, so e-commerce stores and other retailers can also use this time to suggest gift ideas and be generally helpful to potential customers looking for planning or inspiration ideas.


In November last year, the conversation about the upcoming holidays intensified. Just over a quarter of this is focused on the experience of shopping, so this is a time when it is important for retailers (both e-commerce and brick and mortar) to prioritise customer service. During this month in 2014, customers were more likely to send tweets to retailers to find out information about products, and 77% of those who received a response were reported to ‘feel more positively towards the brand’.

Additionally, as the rise of Black Friday in the UK is set to continue, make sure your offers and deals are compelling and well publicised.

December 1st – 24th

December is the month that really, really counts for e-commerce and retail stores in Q4. You have to get it right.

Thanks to this study of last year’s patterns, we can tell you that shopping conversations about fashion, electronics and gift cards go up throughout the month, and 55% of all discussion of the holidays is focused on shopping.

It is also the time when running out of time or money, or stores running out of stock, provoke frustrated and angry tweets (20% of the ‘holiday’ conversation total). Can your brand make positive suggestions to assist consumers in these situations? This could build goodwill as well as sales!

December 25th – 31st

The sales start and Christmas shopping is done. Twitter recommends encouraging gift recipients to tweet about your products and driving traffic to your mobile app, especially to people who have received a new smartphone or tablet for Christmas.