#BlackFriday TPN Pulse Evening Update

Is #BlackFriday over yet or are there still deals to be had?

We are roughly 24 hours in to the full #BlackFriday fun (and chaos in some cases) and the TPN Live Shopper Pulse team, powered by GroundCntrl, has been out in full force to gain in-the-moment insights into how shoppers’ attitudes and behaviors are changing throughout this marathon shopping day.

At this time yesterday, the mood was completely different. People were lined up in anticipation and with great expectations waiting for retailers to open their doors to reveal the best of the best deals.

Sarah Cunningham, TPN senior managing director, has been paying close attention to the falling barometer of sentiment around getting the “best” Black Friday deals. That didn’t stop them however. “Today, people are on a focused mission: they came, they shopped, they bought and they saved,” said Cunningham. “While they may not be 100% confident they got the best deal, they are not feeling any guilt about their purchases. Overall, they are Black Friday believers.”

As we look at the TPN Live Shopper Pulse, here’s an overview of what we’re seeing:

  • For the Savvy shopper, surviving the marathon-shopping day, isn’t a huge task. These shoppers have acquired super-saving, deal-finding skills they are employing today just as they would any other shopping day. While “excitement” has continued to be the most powerful sentiment throughout the past 24 hours, Black Friday shopping is just another day at the mall for the Savvy shopper.

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  • As the day progressed, the popular shopping destinations are big box retailers, having caught up to department stores and electronics.

#BlackFriday Deal Fatigue Setting In? – TPN Live Pulse UPDATE

Is Black Friday Fatigue setting in? Based on the in-the-moment sentiment trending data she’s being monitoring for the past 24 hours using TPN’s Live Pulse Dashboard, Cynthia Thayer, TPN’s VP Of  Strategic Planning says “it looks like shopper excitement is wearing off”

  • Friday morning shoppers are not as mission oriented as on Thanksgiving night with almost one-third shopping without a list of any kind.
  • As of 12 p.m. CT, the Black Friday deal skepticism seems to be growing as the morning progresses with more shoppers expressing that BF doesn’t always deliver the best deals
  • Compared to 9 a.m., when Black Friday shoppers were true believers!! They felt they are getting the BEST deals of the season today and are finding what they want for a steal!

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Are People Using Tech to Shop or Not? – TPN Live Pulse UPDATE

With so much hype about the hot shopping apps, TPN wanted to know when shoppers are in the moment, are they really turning to their apps to help them shop, or not? Based on the real-time data just captured from our field teams in Chicago, New York, San Franciso, Dallas and Miami. Here’s some of the data we are monitoring from the TPN Live Pulse Dashboard













Scott Shamberg, TPN managing director, says: “It turns out, most shoppers are “turned off” in the store, with about half not having even downloaded any of the popular price comparison or retailer apps before they left the house, nor using them in store (almost 70%)

  • The focus is on the destination and the deal this morning, no time to even pause for the tech helpers!
  • While a popular shopping spot this morning was Best Buy to purchase technology, the shoppers themselves were turned of,  but they aren’t using it themselves while shopping.
  • Most shoppers turn to mobile websites vs. mobile apps while in-store, especially if they don’t have the mobile app installed prior to their visit to the store.

Shopping — It’s the New Post Turkey Workout

TPN Live Shopper Pulse Survey Says … Shopping – It’s the New Post Turkey Workout

For many, a new holiday tradition was born last night, as shoppers poured into their local stores for Thanksgiving night doorbuster deals. For TPN, a new tradition began as well — launching our inaugural TPN Live Shopper Pulse™ real-time consumer sentiment and behavior tracker. What did we find? Tune into @TPNRetail for in-the-moment updates, and here for analysis throughout the day.

Topline Insights from Thanksgiving Night Shopping

Throughout today, we’ll continue to track along with TPN’s Live Shopper Pulse, but here’s an initial glimpse of reportings from last night:

They Came, They Saw, They Bought

The brave shoppers that went out to battle the crowds post Thanksgiving feast found they definitely weren’t alone. It was a spectacle to behold. The shoppers that went out, bought!

  • 72% of respondents shopped on a mission to buy. But 1 in 5 admitted to being out for the experience of the event as well
  • 4 in 5 shoppers went to stores on a mission—they either had a list or knew exactly what they were looking for
  • The majority of shoppers FOUND and PURCHASED exactly what they wanted OR found deals they simplythought were too good to pass up
  • From last night’s respondents, consumer confidence is high—72% of respondents were spending the same or more than last year. It will be interesting to track along today to gauge if this will still be the case – a possible indicator that shoppers may be feeling better about shopping now that they are in-the-moment.

Black Friday Magic (Deals)

As a whole, shoppers found that burning off their feast calories while running through stores was totally worth it. And, not just at Walmart. Target, Macy’s and TJMaxx/Marshall’s all were top destinations for post-Thanksgiving shoppers.

As TPN’s Manolo Almagro traveled through Best Buy last night looking for a new TV, he felt the same excitement that TPN’s Live Shopper Pulse tracked from respondents—optimism and belief in the Black Friday magic. Shoppers were truly believing that they were getting the BEST deals of the season.

It’s not too late to register for TPN’s Live Shopper Pulse – send an email to pr@tpnretail.com to receive your registration instructions!

Dashboard Screen Shots from TPN Live Shopper Pulse

Black November: What Are Shoppers Really Feeling & Doing?

Media are invited to register for the retail industry’s first-ever TPN Live Shopper Pulse™, an online dashboard created by dynamic retail marketing agency TPN to monitor real-time consumer sentiment and behaviors during the new Black Friday shopping frontier, which now begins Thanksgiving night.

“TPN designed this retail anthropology study to gain unprecedented access into shoppers’ minds and modes when they are ‘in-the-moment’,” said Sharon Love, TPN’s chief executive officer. “We want to understand what is in the shoppers’ psyches while they are engaged in the sport of holiday shopping, and what spending or social behaviors they exhibit during THE major shopping event of 2013.”

The TPN Live Shopper Pulse aims to measure the pulse of approximately 2,000 “out-and-about” shoppers in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas and Miami, capturing the heartbeat of this vital shopping period. Located outside big box stores such as Walmart, Macy’s, Target and Best Buy, pollsters will ask shoppers questions, which will immediately upload to the online dashboard, in five key areas:

PPlanning or spending?  Are shoppers planning to spend more or less this holiday season? Are they prepared with a list of items and the people they’ll buy for?        

UUsing technology or turned-off?  Have shoppers downloaded mobile apps, powered up their device and checked it twice? Once in-store, did their mobile device help or hurt their shopping plans today?

LLooking or buyingAre shoppers braving the crowds simply to browse, or are they on a mission to buy? What are the most popular retail destinations around the country?

SSentiment in the moment?  Are shoppers excited, stressed, or feeling guilty for spending too much? Does this feeling change depending on when they are out? Are they shopping with friends or family as part of a tradition to combine holiday cheer – or is it considered a holiday chore?  

EExpectations being met?  Did Black Friday deals live up to shoppers’ expectations this year?  And did retailers stock what shoppers wanted at the prices they were hoping for?


TPN’s technology partner, GroundCntrl, is the real-time mobile and data analytics platform that powers TPN’s Live Shopper Pulse Dashboard.

Field teams will be positioned outside stores beginning Thanksgiving night at 6 p.m., through Black Friday. They will use a mobile app to survey shoppers around the country as they leave the stores.  This structured data is gathered in real-time, and aggregated into easy-to-understand charts that will be accessible via an online dashboard.


TPN is offering special access to the Live Shopper Pulse dashboard so reporters and editors can visit regularly and view how shoppers’ attitudes and behaviors evolve during these two critical shopping days.

To register, send an email request to pr@tpnretail.com. Users will then receive an email with simple instructions on how to log in and access the live dashboards.


The real-time data will be complemented by analysis from TPN experts who will provide “in-the-moment” insights live on Twitter (@TPNRetail) and scheduled analysis every two hours via the TPN Love of Retail Blog (www.loveofretail.com).

To schedule interviews with TPN experts for holiday shopping predictions or to analyze Live Shopper Pulse data throughout Thanksgiving evening and Black Friday, please contact Laura Muma at 773.960.3960, pr@tpnretail.com or laura@lmprinc.com.

‘Tis Not The Season for Procrastinators

Thanksgivikah, huh? Why not Hannugiving? Guess it doesn’t have the same ring does it? Not since Bradgelina has the combined entity of two separate entities had such an impact. Really, though, what is the impact?

You’d think that something that hasn’t happened in almost 100 years and won’t happen again for at least 50 years would be big news during the busiest retail period of the year. Realistically, though, the Thanksgivikah movement caught on late, after all kinds of reports came out about sales this year (some up, some down, no one really sure). What we can say, for certain, is that one core demographic will be effected by the result of Thanksgivikah, that effect being a shopping season that starts earlier because of Hannukah while at the same time providing fewer actual shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

That demographic is procrastinators.

Not typically known as a great target audience for marketers, procrastinators abound will have to take the bull by the retail horns and get shopping sooner. Marketers know it, driving Black Friday sales out earlier. Best Buy launched some sales for elite members as early as Monday of Thanksgiving week. They also ran holiday ads the week after Halloween. For the first time, large national retailers like Macy’s will be open on Thanksgiving day, a sure sign of the need to drive revenue early as well as often.

The 2013 holiday retail season is not made for the procrastinator. Its made for the savvy the shopper, the digital guru who uses technology to aid in finding deals and that hard to find gift. Its made for the Amazon Prime member who can order Monday night and have it in time for Hannukah.

So if you are one of the procrastinators, I know what you should be thankful for this year…  The fact that this won’t happen again for a long time.

The Retail Update: New York City

I’m not a native New Yorker nor have I been living in this city for a very long time.  I still gawk at tall buildings and think “street-cart hot dogs” are an acceptable snack.  As a marketer, I also get excited every time I stumble upon a staged PR or experiental marketing experience.  But as a shopper marketer, it’s the numerous retail flagships, pop-up stores, and cutting edge boutiques that NYC attracts that make this a fascinating place to live and work.  This past weekend, while walking around near the Flat Iron district, I stumbled upon two shops that caught my attention.  Check out the photos and summary below.

The Nomad: Wondering Fashion Boutique (www.thenomadtruck.com).  Mobile retail, but in the physical, not digital sense.  While the idea of “mobile commerce” isn’t new, this example was done very well.  Much like the food truck movement, The Nomad relied heavily on social media to update followers with schedules and location details (follow @thenomadtruck).  I also can’t help but point out that the other kind of “mobile commerce” has enabled the growth of this type of retail model.  Mobile commerce apps such as Square have made it easier for pop-up stores to get economic scale by moving beyond “cash only” transactions.

Divine Details: A shop for the [extra]ordinary (www.facebook.com/divinedetailsshop).  I found this space really interesting.  Billed as part art gallery, part pop-up store, Divine Details celebrated the art of design with functional, minimalistic products for the everyday (think MoMa Design Store www.momastore.org).  This was also every copy-writers dream with each item displayed accompanied by an eloquent back-story that would make J. Peterman proud.  Every item was also available for sale-just flag one of the associates walking through the gallery with tablets to order.  In the photos below you will also notice the lone “branded” product-a cup of Chobani yogurt.  This gallery was sponsored in part by Chobani.  An interesting tie-in by the Chobani brand, who clearly wants to be viewed as a design focused company.

Seen something cool in the retail world in NYC or elsewhere?  Leave a tip in the comments section and let us know.


Facebook To Launch Game Changing Video Option

Facebook has been beta testing an autoplay video feature for users’ Newsfeed recently. If adopted, this could create a whole new ad platform for marketers, creating virtual commercials that would run side by side with your friends’ daily updates and pictures of funny cats. Adweek continues:

Facebook is tip-toeing into a potentially disruptive new digital advertising medium. If users accept autoplay video—not just for friends’ pet videos but for the likes of Pepsi and Crest spots—then marketers get a prime-time ad placement in what COO Sheryl Sandberg calls Super Bowl-sized audiences, daily. “Any time there is a new ad product on a platform the size of Facebook you would be shortsighted not to want to lean in.

Facebook will have no problem selling these ads,” said Alexandra Shapiro, head of digital and marketing at USA Network, where she handles social campaigns for syndicated shows like Modern Family.
In fact, some advertisers have been frustrated with Facebook’s video delays, as big movie and auto brands had hoped to employ them as part of key launches this fall.

Privacy issues abound, as do questions over what kind of control users will have once they opt-in to receiving this new feature. Read the full scoop at Adweek.