L2’s Department Stores Insight Report: Social Media shows department stores have seen little Twitter growth and engagement compared to the Beauty, Watches & Jewelry, Fashion, and Sportswear categories. Department store followers grew by 48% between July 2013 and July 2014 vs. 65% in the Beauty category. Likewise, the engagement rate for tweets sent by Department Stores is 0.015%, vs. 0.023% in the adjacent category, Beauty.

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Surprisingly, department stores are the most active brands on Twitter. They post on average 24 times a day whereas Sportswear, the second most active category, posts 18 times a day.

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Part of the reason for the gap is that department stores use Twitter mostly for customer service. Sixty-three percent of luxury and mass department stores and all mass department stores actively use Twitter for customer service. Still, customer expectations are not met. While 30% of consumers expect to receive a reply within thirty minutes, department stores take on average 8.3 hours to respond. Furthermore, they respond to just 6% of tweets.

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