Consumer Behavior: Keep Bad Weather From Affecting Your Business

Consumer behavior and seasonal advertisingInternet Retailer reports that winter storms last year resulted in a $35 million decrease in sales, which was largely due to people not being at work (and therefore, not shopping at their desks). Instead, the usual customers were at home shoveling snow and dealing with power outages. So what can you do to prevent a downturn in your sales?

Weatherproof Your Business

Today's retailers can take advantage of weather reporting that's becoming increasingly more precise to help make business decisions, particularly those involving the sale of winter-related products in real time. If you know that a bad weather day is coming, you can plan your special offers accordingly.

This also holds true for your marketing content. For example, reports Bloomberg Business, Campbell's Soup keeps a "misery index" and buys radio time in markets experiencing bad weather, which is why you may suddenly hear a lot of ads for chicken soup when cold weather is approaching.

Spruce Up Your Online Storefront

When a storm is looming on the horizon, anticipate that it will most likely affect your customers' buying behavior and take these steps:

  • Stock up on in-demand winter items.
  • Use weather forecast metrics to maximize the benefits of every weather-driven opportunity that's presented.
  • Encourage online shopping by running select promotions of seasonal products. Use the name of an approaching storm as a keyword and build it into your content marketing and product descriptions.
  • Think ahead and start bid indexing in areas that are affected by cold or stormy weather to get the exposure you want for your products.
  • Have your customer service and shipping departments on alert for delivery problems and an increase in customer inquiries.
  • Include social media in your winter marketing strategy. Start or become involved in relevant social conversations and hashtags that increase your exposure.
  • Stay on top of negative reviews. According to a study by Yahoo Labs and Georgia Tech, there is a correlation between bad weather and a spike in negative consumer reviews. Review your marketing strategy to head this off.

The approaching cold weather doesn't have to spell the hibernation of your customers until spring. To survive the winter, make sure you make the most of the metrics at hand and align your products with consumer behavior.

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