Monday, 13 January 2014

Social Media and retail Christmas in London

The analysis I did below shows me the limitations of extracting data from social media activity.  From November to December the UK retain sector saw strong growth, that I could not see in the Twitter and Foursquare data.  Either I missed something or the information was not captured.  But trend line analysis after analysis showed no significant rise in tweeting from shopping areas in London.

This chart shows hourly tweeting for Oxford Street from through November, December, and early January.
Analysis of the levels of tweets coming each hour from a KM around Oxford Street through November and December fail to give an evidence of a major surge in foot traffic on London's main high Street in the run up to Christmas or even on Boxing Day.  This does not establish casual evidence that the recovery is in any trouble, but there is a lack of social media data coming from London.

Beyond the lack of a bump in Tweets coming from Oxford Street there is a dramatic lack of Foursqaure  checkins to major retailers in London, with only Selfridges & Co, Apple Store and Liberty showing significant foursquare checkins.

Most Foursquare activity were at public spaces and events, leading me to wonder if people were looking for cheaper days out.  Tate Modern, Covent Garden and public Markets were major locations for Foursquare.

It is very hard to draw conclusions from Twitter and Foursquare public data, but these numbers do not indicate a large surge in Christmas shopping at the end of 2013 in London.

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