The popularity of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook opens up interesting research opportunities for understanding the interplay of social media and e-commerce. Most research on online behavior, up until recently, has focused mostly on social media behaviors and e-commerce behaviors independently.
In our study we choose a particular global ecommerce platform (eBay) and a particular global social media platform (Twitter). We quantify the characteristics of the two individual trends as well as the correlations between them.
We provide evidences that about 5% of general eBay query streams show strong positive correlations with the corresponding Twitter mention streams, while the percentage jumps to around 25% for trending eBay query streams. Some categories of eBay queries, such as 'Video Games' and 'Sports', are more likely to have strong correlations.
We also discover that eBay trend lags Twitter for correlated pairs and the lag differs across categories. We show evidences that celebrities' popularities on Twitter correlate well with their relevant search and sales on eBay.
The correlations and lags provide predictive insights for future applications that might lead to instant merchandising opportunities for both sellers and e-commerce platforms.