Do customers speak their minds? Using forums and search for predicting sales

Tomer Geva, Gal Oestreicher-Singer, Niv Efron, Yair Shimshoni

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


A wide body of research uses data from social media websites to predict offline economic outcomes such as sales. However, in practice, such data are costly to collect and process. Additionally, sales forecasts based on social media data may be hampered by people's tendency to restrict the topics they publicly discuss. Recently, a new source of predictive information-search engine logs-has become available. Interestingly, the relationship between these two important data sources has not been studied. Specifically, do they contain complementary information? Or does the information conveyed by one source render the information conveyed by the other source redundant? This study uses Google's comprehensive index of internet discussion forums, in addition to Google search trend data. Predictive models based on search trend data are shown to outperform and complement forum-data-based models. Furthermore, the two sources display substantially different patterns of predictive capacity over time.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2013)
Subtitle of host publicationReshaping Society Through Information Systems Design
PublisherAIS/ICIS Administrative Office
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781629934266
StatePublished - 2013
EventInternational Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2013 - Milan, Italy
Duration: 15 Dec 201318 Dec 2013

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2013): Reshaping Society Through Information Systems Design


ConferenceInternational Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2013


  • Consumers' interest
  • Forums
  • Online data
  • Sales prediction
  • Search trends
  • Word-of-mouth


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