Vaccines, Scams & Mobberies Top Consumer Conversations

Monitoring online buzz this holiday season reveals a population talking about shopping safety in its many varieties. More specifically, vaccines, scams and mobberies top consumer conversations about shopping safety, and brands will want to keep these topics in mind as they message out in the coming weeks!

People have been sharing their wants and needs, as well as their challenges and fears online for a long time now – and understanding the specifics of these feelings – what drives these emotions to surface – offers super valuable intel for any brand. With “safety” revealing itself as a common theme, we can see that although posts have leveled off, the engagement and reach of these consumer conversations have exponentially increased around the topic of safety since COVID hit in March of 2020.


Posts are leveling off, but engagement and impressions in consumer conversations around safety have increased steadily since the start of the pandemic. April 2020- November 2021

This makes sense from a healthcare standpoint, but we’ve found that it also ties in closely to fears around being scammed, particularly during the holidays. And there’s also a competing sense of dread around potentially getting caught up in a “mobbery” if deciding to shop in-store instead. We’ll explore these safety conversations, as well as some brands’ responses to each, below.

Sentiment Drivers Found Within Consumer Conversations

As we enter prime gift giving season, we see indicators signaling these consumer conversations shifting. We can see this by exploring consumer conversations in-depth in NetBase Quid by analyzing the sentiment drivers behind consumers’ social web activity. Below, we’ll share the attributes, emotions, behaviors and things this analysis uncovers, along with the granular insight available to us with a few clicks inside the platform. And we’ll also share some ways brands are incorporating this intel in their messaging – and how your brand should be too!

Understanding Attributes & Emotions

“Attributes” (right) give us a sense of the overarching conversation happening around shopping safety. There’s a lot going on there, with shoppers’ minds all over the place, which is illuminated in the “Emotions” (left) where we see ‘worry’ and ‘concern’ figuring prominently. They do not displace ‘enjoy’ and ‘happy’ they’re significant enough to pay attention to, particularly with ‘scared’ coming up in that word cloud as well:


Attributes (left) give brands a sense of the overarching consumer conversation; and Emotions (right) provide context around these conversations and the emotions behind them.

We know that COVID protocols will be important, that’s a given considering the new variants cropping up – but the smaller and significant conversations mention ‘criminal activity’ and ‘robbery’ creating ‘additional concern’ for shoppers.

The conversations here aren’t huge, but they may result in a good number avoiding big stores and malls, and reconsidering in-person purchases in general. We may see them opting for online purchases again this year, even as businesses rush to bolster safety with added security.

This can present a welcome opportunity for brands to connect more deeply with their online audience by designing messaging that avoids scary topics and instead speaks to of the heart of the season. Nordstrom does this well:


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A post shared by Nordstrom (@nordstrom)

Whether shopping online or in-store, Nordstrom gives back – and that’s a huge draw for today’s values-based shopper.

Paying closer attention to authentic and relevant messaging can also be beneficial to stores facing worker shortages and shorter hours, or less foot traffic than anticipated. These businesses may not have consumers fearing robberies, but they just may not be coming into short-staffed or smaller stores to shop. With more consumers online, connecting in a personalized manner, at scale is crucial.

We look to Behaviors and Things to sort this part of the insight out!

Strategizing with Behaviors & Things

When we examine “Behaviors,” (left) we see shoppers seeking to “avoid” becoming a “victim” of scams. This is a timely fear, of course. As the world rapidly transitioned to working, learning and making purchases online, the online fraudster population exploded to meet this lucrative payday opportunity.

And the “Things” (right) that shoppers are talking about reveal an interest in safe shopping, which includes avoiding scams which abound online – and mobberies – but also has an unlikely entry: crypto. With the market wildly fluctuating, investors feel confident about buying, and are posting their thoughts around it being a “safe” bet to do so right now.

behaviors and things

Behaviors (left) and Things (right) round out our understanding of what consumers are doing or plan to do and the specific things they’re talking about in the context of our “safety” conversation.

Brands that are making online shopping experiences safer – and messaging that out to consumers will win big this holiday shopping season.

It may feel obvious, but consumers are searching for deals and seeing something that’s just a little bit too good to be true, or something that sounds like it could possibly be accurate – these scams pose a threat. Showing consumers that you’re looking out for their interests by taking a moment to educate them about typical scams in your category can set you apart and spread brand awareness. Consumers will share your post with their friends and family and you could be the hero of the day, generating a smidge of long-term loyalty, which is never a bad thing!

Reach out for a demo and we’ll show you how to dig in and discover the critical conversations your specific consumers are having right now. Armed with this intel, you can design messaging that helps them find and relate to your brand – moving them along your purchase path and redirecting them away from competitors!


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