Experian Introduces Holiday Hot Sheet; Joins Growing Group of Vendors Reporting Consumers' Holiday Habits

have to first understand their customers," Tancer says. According to Experian's research, Ugg boots are the top searched-for product across all retail sites. Searches for health and fitness trackers such as FitBit are also on the rise, especially among consumers that don't necessarily consider themselves fitness aficionados.

With this monitoring, Experian joins a growing number of marketing solutions vendors, such as Oracle and Salesforce.com, which have been following consumer behavior to better anticipate what their customers will need during the busy season. Oracle's most recent Pulse of the Online Shopper Report, for example, dives into the consumer electronics space and reveals the top five consumer electronic categories that shoppers will be in the market for this holiday season (smartphones, HDTVs, cameras and camcorders, eBook readers, and MP3 players), and provides buyer profiles for each category. The report also provided insight into the social conversation

surrounding different brands.

"I was surprised that while the Kindle dominated in share of voice in the category of e-book readers, the sentiment dialogue indicates that Nook customers are an equally satisfied fan base," Tara Roberts, vice president of product management at the Oracle Data Cloud, says. "The other piece of insight that I thought was interesting is the fact that out of all the social conversations around Samsung smartphones, more than half of those also include mentions of the iPhone. I think this is reflective of a group of people who may still be brand-conflicted and from a marketer's standpoint, still marketable," she adds.

Salesforce.com has been tracking consumer conversations online too. Data scientists at the Salesforce Marketing Cloud have tracked more than 1,574,834 social media conversations to see where people are shopping and spending this holiday season. The research revealed that with 57,000 posts, Walmart mentions are dominating the conversation in anticipation of Black Friday deals. With more than 72,000 combined posts announcing extended hours or teasing promotion, other retailers are getting in on the action as well, but it's not necessarily enough to get consumers through the door or onto the Web site, Kyle Lacy, senior manager of marketing content and research at the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, said.

"There has been a 36 percent increase in social conversations around holiday shopping this year, so consumers are clearly looking to shop and spend. But to see success this holiday, brands will need to connect offline and online experiences for a complete customer journey. It's more than simply alerting and re-alerting customers about deals and extended store hours. Brands must personalize the journey at every touchpoint along the way," Lacy said in a statement.

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