After one of the biggest shopping events of the season, Black Friday, retailers have the latest data deluge to officially launch holiday deals and the much anticipated financial results of the season. Immense planning comes with a holiday shopping event like this, and with it even more data.  Data analytics has been driving retailers’ choices leading up to Black Friday for months – big and small players in the retail space alike were likely donning their Santa hats back in May.   Whether it be the best coupon deal to drive traffic for hours or other marketing initiatives, retailers look strategically at what they can do to boost overall sales and then feverishly watch reports to see how their decisions stack up to others.

Last holiday season was a bonanza for online retailers seeing growth in sales in the double digits with similar trends continuing into 2012. Online sales again grew on the day of Thanksgiving by 17.4 percent, with Black Friday sales increasing by 20.7 percent.

Mobile shopping similarly grew with 24 percent of consumers utilizing mobile devices to peruse retailers’ sites—an increase from 14.3 percent in 2011. Mobile sales in general exceeded 16 percent, up from 9.8 percent in 2011. Consumers showcased a pattern of multiscreen shopping: going in store, online and on mobile devices simultaneously to get the best deals.

One trend that decreased from 2011 was the use of social networks to generate sales. Shoppers referred from Social Networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube generated .34 percent of all online sales on Black Friday, a decrease of more than 35 percent from 2011.