Top Ways to Tap the Power of Consumers’ Tendency to Buy What Their Friends Buy This Holiday Shopping Season

WALTHAM, Mass., November 25, 2013 – Industry analysts are calling for the biggest Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday ever, and retail marketers are looking for ways to reel in consumers and top the sales charts. Pursway, an innovator in big data marketing analytics, today shared key trends based on its proprietary relationships database of more than 100 million U.S. consumers and their social relationships and Pursway Influence Value Order (PIVO) technology, which together identify important social relationships and uncover true influence relationships between people across databases. In addition, Pursway outlined the top ways marketers can best leverage the full value of shoppers’ purchase influence to drive additional revenue during this holiday shopping season.

Where Influence Lies
Harnessing the power of purchase influence has consistently proven 2-5X ROI for primary marketing programs. In general, consumers with purchase influence are not the highest spenders or the earliest adopters. They are typically younger than the average consumer base for that particular product. In retail specifically, they are often distinguished by having a shorter tenure with the brand, meaning newer customers who have gained enough experience with the product to be influential in their social circle.

While Pursway technology pinpoints up to 15 percent of people in a company’s existing base who drive purchase influence for a specific purchase category, those with purchase influence in retail drops to only eight to 12 percent.

The Power of Word-of-Mouth (WOM)
Retail purchase influence changes during the holiday buying season – driving consumers from engagement to purchase faster.

Documented purchase influence spikes by more than 50 percent during the holiday buying season. The average viral speed in the retail space is product-based – it ranges from a few weeks for fashion purchases to 90 days for hardware. However, as purchase influence is closely tied to word-of-mouth (WOM), purchase influence becomes more powerful during the holidays when consumers buy more and talk about what they buy more.

Retail Fun Facts

  • Consumers with purchase influence will usually own more than two categories within a brand – i.e. shoes and dresses for an apparel brand or a camera and television for an electronics company.
  • Meanwhile, consumers with purchase influence will bring six times more friends to shop for apparel than the average consumers.
  • In addition, women’s dresses are the most virulent category, followed by kids’ apparel.

“Marketing techniques may change over time, but at the end of the day people buy what their friends buy. Retailers need to make holiday marketing more powerful by targeting campaigns and messaging that tap real-world relationships and buying patterns,” noted Ran Shaul, founder and chief client officer for Pursway. “The beauty of true influence is that each company has a strong influencer base. And while more events of purchase influence can be identified during the holiday season, it is the same consumer base that drives that activity throughout the year. Relationship-driven marketing should be an ongoing initiative.”

Shaul shared three things every marketer should do:

  1. Look at real-world connections and tap the power of WOM to better target, measure and monetize those relationships.
  2. Use big data analytics to find spheres of influence within existing databases.
  3. Make measureable metrics take center stage to improve customer relationships and better target top consumers – driving sales and increasing customer loyalty.

To learn more, download one of Pursway’s topical whitepapers, case studies or eBooks.

About Pursway
Pursway dramatically improves customer acquisition, cross-sell and retention by unlocking the power of customer and prospect data. Leveraging sophisticated algorithms and its proprietary database, Pursway imprints a social graph onto existing and prospect data, identifying actual relationships between buyers and empowering marketers to better target customers with demonstrated influence over others’ purchasing decisions. Serving customers such as Comcast, Orange and Sony, Pursway consistently increases companies’ marketing ROI by 2-5X. Backed by Battery Ventures and headquartered in Waltham, Mass. and Herzliya, Israel, Pursway is led by a team with a proven track record in advanced machine learning, social network analytics, and consumer marketing disciplines. For more information, visit

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Media Contact:
Erica Camilo
BluePoint Venture Marketing for Pursway