IBM released a report that found online and mobile sales both saw a boost on Black Friday while social traffic accounting for cyber sales overall dipped drastically. The report found online sales on Black Friday rose by more than 20 percent compared to last year. Mobile sales saw a boost of more than 24 percent year over year, which IBM credited in part to iPad traffic. Meanwhile only .34 percent of overall sales traffic came from social sites, a 35 percent drop from last year. Twitter fared the worst, accounting for zero percent of traffic to online retail sites this year compared to .02 percent in 2011. Facebook drove .68 percent of the traffic.
While none of the major social sites have stepped up to counter IBM’s data – yet – one data firm is saying Twitter conversations about early holiday shopping actually both spiked during Black Friday weekend and saw a bump from last year. DataSift called the report flat out "wrong" and questioned whether IBM was measuring the right thing, for instance factoring in activities such as coupon sharing that drive sales but not necessarily direct clicks to retail sites. The firm said that it measured more than 50 million Tweets relating to Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping this year. The retailers that drove most of the activity were Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy and Apple, owning 85 percent of Twitter mentions.
Separately, Facebook released data to TechCrunch that said retailers were the top 25 most talked about pages during Black Friday week, with Walmart, Toys R Us and Macy’s owning the conversation.