Does the Weather play a role in your Digital marketing mix?

Seasonal headlines on the business pages of leading industry publications and broadsheets declare the impact the weather has on sales performance for a number of high street retailers and  evidence suggests there is indeed  a clear correlation between differing weather scenarios and the impact is has on the sales of products and services for a number of brands.

According to the Retail Bulletin , Weather conditions play a big role in how people behave online. Back In 2011, the hottest April since 1910 drove fashion sales with consumers
updating their summer wardrobes earlier than usual. Sales for the
month were up 32% compared to April 2010.

Retailers operating in the Home and garden sector have seen a positive correlation between warmer weather and their products increasing in revenues which benefitted from the warm weather with a growth in 14% YOY and 11% month on month.
However, correlating weather patterns to sales performance for retailers is currently a quantitative measure that sits in offices of accountants and the respective buying teams, Weather impacts are not seen as a strategic tool to drive or support acquisition of retention strategies for ecommerce retailers, in other words, analysing the weather is not seen as part of the marketing function.


Data analytics

Measuring how effective an organisation is in engaging and driving reach through digital communications channels is essential in order to understand which channels need to be resourced and invested in and weather clearly provides an opportunity to integrate a business proposition to integrate and differentiate this as a tactical element to their digital strategy.

A recent Digital Trends report by Econsultancy in association with Adobe suggests that data is providing more of a strategic vision for organisations as well as the need for data to offer insights into personalisation and cross channel marketing opportunities for brands to maximise their opportunities.


For brands impacted by seasonal fluctuations in customer that in part are guided by changes in weather outcomes, personalisation provides the retailer with an opportunity to segment their product portfolio by UK location, supported by what the weather will be in that specific location.

For example, wet weather forces customers to stay indoors and sees an increase in sales home improvement products such as paint and furnishings  whereas during drier, warmer episodes, retailer see an increase in demand for outdoor products such as garden furniture

Such insights provide an opportunity for brands and marketers to think of creative ways to integrate weather analysis into their marketing efforts and through their digital marketing mix. It’s clear weather can play a strategic role not only in driving incremental sales of seasonal products impacted by weather events, but to also differentiate from the competition and use the weather as part of a brands communication to different and new audiences.

How the Weather can power your digital advertising

The Met Office and Weather Channel UK hosted an industry
event to highlight how everyone’s national obsession, the UK weather
can play a pivotal role in the opportunities to integrate weather data
into digital advertising campaigns and providing actionable sales
analytics data.

Presentations were provided by the Met Office addressing how the
weather affects us all in our every day lives from decision making to
providing safety information and how the weather is so changeable.

Forrester also addressed the audience to provide some more actionable
data in how the weather impacts how we all behave as well as consume.
Some fantastic insights were provided with these examples:

Example 1 – The use of advertising billboards being optimised by
brands to promote their message through real-time weather data e.g. a
change in weather pattern (rain to sun) provides an opportunity to
optimise the billboard campaign in promoting a different branded
product associated with a change in weather.

Indeed, by integrating real-time weather data, fashion brand such as
La Redoute have experienced a 34% increase in traffic to their website
primarily due to optimising their marketing message around the

Example 2Coca-Cola has utilised the power of weather data to help
them influence fluctuations in price-points of their soft drink e.g.
the hotter it becomes so the price point increases:

“At outdoor temperatures below 84 degrees, the price was $2.40. When
the temp. increased to 84-85 degrees, the price dropped to $1.70. If
it broke the 86-degree threshold, the machines only charged $1.20″.

Example 3 US based supermarket chain Wal-Mart uses weather data to
help plan and optimise their supply chain in shipping the right
products to the right destination across the US based on how the
weather may dictate changes in product sales.

Example 4 – Quaker Oats – traditional seller of our porridge oats
experience a direct correlation between sales of their porridge and
changes in temperature e.g. the colder it is the more products are

Such examples have helped accelerate a “tipping point” where more brands and
retailers are putting their confidence in integrating weather data
to become a central component in their data targeting tool-set. Brands
need to consider that now is the time for UK businesses to resource up
their internal staff and ensure organisations plan and develop
strategies impacted by the weather.

Getting access to this weather data, and more importantly, ensuring
the weather data is actionable is now more readily available. This in
turn now provides a perfect platform for innovative and market leading
brands to differentiate themselves from the competition and take the initiative
by integrating weather data.


July hots up online sales sectors

Retail sales in the UK saw a jump in revenue by 1.1% compared to the previous month and a 3% rise compared to July 2012. One of the key factors behind this growth has been the sunny weather and according to the Met Office, July 2013 was the third warmest on record.

For online retail, growth in sales are more apparent with a 8% increase compared to July 2012 as UK retailers continue to see benefits from shoppers who are willing to buy online. The confidence in consumers buying online is demonstrated by a recent article in the Guardian indicating that online retail sales increased by 14% last year to more than £50bn.


According to the BRC,  Tablets and smartphone became more prominent in making digital transactions during July, perhaps indicating people took advantage of being outside in the sun and making their purchase “on the go”. The BRC highlighted two sectors that benefited from this upward trend in online sales being  fashion and beauty products – growing 30%

Eating out also experienced a growth in performance with high street restaurant/take-away chain, Dominos experiencing a growth in sales.

Horticulture sales increased by 19.5%, with British bouquets performing particularly well. Sales of outdoor plants soared by 177% as shoppers took the opportunity to spend more time in their gardens with the arrival of the warmer weather towards the weekend.

Tailoring your digital strategy to ensure you’re promoting the right product categories associated with changes in weather patterns provides your digital strategy with optimum performance as well as providing a USP over your competition by integrating weather analytics into your digital campaign.

Weather to play a key role in Asda’s Summer Sales Campaign

UK retailer Asda is to focus on targeting their clothing range based on sudden changes based on the UK weather. With a focus on the inconsistent British weather, the grocery retailer has opted to embed key analytics dictated by changes in weather to fine tune how and what range of their clothing product should be targeted towards the consumer.

Focusing on their clothing range, George, which launched in the 90’s and has gone onto great success in being rolled out across the USA, the product provides a wide range of different garments that can be fine-tuned to be promoted depending on weather variances.

The Asda campaign will be promoted under the strapline: “Wear Your Summer” and rolled out through the orgnisaitons offline and online channels. For their online channels, it presents a perfect opportunity to capitalise on specific digital channels to help promote the George range dependent on changes in weather patterns.

Geo-targeting would be expected to be a key opportunity to maxmise the digital focus by providing Asda with Adwords, affiliate and email marketing campaigns around weather changes across the UK.

The theme of weather impacting retail follows a similar campaign run by DIY retailer B&Q who recently re-designed their homepage by categoring products which sell better dependent on changes in weather.

Weatherlytics meets

To celebrate the disastrous weather us Brits have had to endure throughout the start of 2013, we thought it appropriate to continue with our series of interviews with a company that perhaps benefits from the prevailing winds and rain soaked sodden land –  the Original Wellington Boot online store,


1)    When were Wellieboots founded and how did you come up with the concept?

“Barnack country clothes and were established in 1992 as part of a farm diversification. one of the stone barns was converted in to a shop and when online shopping first began we launched our websites becoming the first online wellington boots supplier”.


2)    What was the inspiration behind Wellieboots?

“As wellies became more popular across the world, particularly the USA, we decided to dedicate a website to wellieboots and was born. our range of Wellingtons has continued to grow from that day on”.

3)    How many people are employed at

“We have a small team of wellie boot enthusiasts, each able to offer comprehensive advice on our full range of boots and excellent customer service skills”.

4)    Where can you buy wellieboots products? e.g. mail order, web, mobile?

“We still have our original shop in barnack near stamford, lincolnshire which is open 7 days a week. our website showcases our full range of wellies with speedy despatch on all orders. we also have a stand at the Land Rover Burghley Horse trials in Lincolnshire every year”.

5)    What amazing PR coverage or stories have been involved in?

“We are regularly mentioned in local and national press as well as online features. we work with a number or charities in the uk and have supported projects in Romania and South Africa”.

6)    How does the good old UK weather impact your business?

“We love bad weather! and we are at our happiest when it rains or snows”.

7)    What tactics do you use to market your business and products and do you take the weather into account?

“We have a variety of marketing strategies depending on the time of year and weather including local and national publications and Google advertising”.

8)    Do you see a correlation between the weather and sales?

“Yes definitely, like a flick of a switch – when it’s raining orders flood in and during the summer the colourful festival wellies  take over”.

9)    Do you use the change in Weather patterns to influence your sales communications?

“We have to be quick to react to the changing weather and run seasonal promotions, communicate through social media, ensure our website is up to date with stock levels and delivery information”.

So there you have it, is one business that takes advantage of the bad weather – so If you’re gearing up for this years summer music festivals be sure to check out for the latest in wellie fashion when wading through the rain soaked fields at Glastonbury


Introducing weatherFIT – optimising your search strategy

The primary objective of Weatherlytics is to highlight the growing trend weather can play for digital marketing strategies and over the past year, we’ve brought together a number of examples, case studies and analysis of the impact specific weather parameters can influence strategies

A good deal of the feedback we receive is the fact there is a lack of tools to use to help optimise digital campaigns against the weather. One solution comes from digital media agency, Fast Web Media and the launch of their tool, weatherFIT.

weatherfit-linkedin (2)

Being prepared for adverse or unpredictable weather and being able to instantly respond to changes in the external environment is a most valuable tool for any business with “weather impacted products” and this is ever more prevalent when it comes to Pay-Per-Click (PPC).

Businesses using PPC should be striving to give customers exactly what they want when they want it, allowing them to be prepared for all occasions and remain fiercely competitive. But how many are factoring in the external weather conditions as an influence? The fact that Google AdWords doesn’t integrate weather conditions into its campaigns means this can only be done manually, which is a time consuming and labour intensive process.

This is when marketers at Fast Web Media realised there was an opportunity to capitalise upon the relationship between sales and weather and created weatherFIT

WeatherFIT is an award winning PPC Management Software designed to take advantage of the weather/sales relationship by retrofitting to existing Google AdWords accounts, enabling users to customise and refine their online advertising, geo-targeting individual campaigns through the addition of real-time UK weather data.

WeatherFIT is tailor made to enable easy use for customers who already hold an account with Google AdWords to help improve a campaign’s quality score, overall ROI and cost-per-click and its seamless integration with AdWords works as a wrapper on top of existing campaigns, meaning there is no need to change campaign structures or parameters. This enables advertisers to instantly exploit the online offering when hit by adverse or unpredicted weather, making online communication more accurate to the external environment.

The benefits of weather targeting a company’s marketing communications are clear: sending the right message at the right time, capturing an opportunity, reducing risk associated with weather, better quality stock control etc. and weatherFIT aims to cover all these points while offering a creative solution for businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

weatherFIT is available at an annual subscription fee of £995; sign up today and receive 14 months for the price of 12!

weather-fit-poster (2)

Online retail weather analysis by 7thingsmedia

Award winning digital marketing agency 7thingsmedia recently presented findings of an in depth study which assessed how the weather impacts online sales. Research consisted of looking at the number of their clients across our portfolio and specifically measuring within the female fashion sector. Various studies have been conducted on how the weather impacts traditional (offline) retail sales with Mintel recently completing an analysis on Gardening products indicating that “Wet and cold weather, particularly in the early part of the year, is particularly bad for sales of garden goods” and supermarket giant Tesco conducting their own research into how Supermarkets use weather predictions to decide what to stock

But there has been little analysis on how weather impacts the digital sector and specifically e-commerce which is remarkable considering in the first 2 weeks of December 2012 alone, consumers are expected to generate £4.6bn in online sales with 20% expected to be spent using mobile devices. This detailed analysis and findings report by 7thingsmedia provides a definite correlation to certain weather parameters impacting online sales in a positive way.

Weather analysis

3 yrs worth of online site-wide sales data was correlated with the corresponding days of weather. Importantly, rather than taking a generic view of how UK weather parameters impacted online sales data, this was disseminated by focusing on splitting the weather data into 15 major cities covering each region of the UK which included Aberdeen, Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Norwich, Cambridge, London, Bristol, Brighton, Southampton and Plymouth.  Specific Weather Parameters were then analysed which included Snow, Rain, Sleet and Fog.

Objectives of the Weather analysis

The key objectives of the study was to get a better understanding of does weather impact (positive / negative) to online sales? What weather system impacts peak sales? Do certain products sell better / worse at certain temperatures or events? and is there a North / South divide?  

Findings of the analysis

Key findings of the analysis concluded that:

  • The highest grossing sales revenue day was not Black Friday or Cyber Monday but one of the coldest days (Sunday) recorded in November     
  • 6 highest grossing days were when it was raining 
  • As the temperature increased the less items we tend to buy, however  the higher the temperature the higher the amount we spend 
  • There were optimal temperatures for specific products such as Casual skirts (19 degrees), Jeans (11 degrees and raining) and Swimwear had two optimal buying patterns based on the weather event.
  • Bank holidays were affected by the weather with the warm weather of 2011 impacting sales greatly with footwear being the highest selling item during this holiday period          
  • Manchester and Glasgow spent more as cities compared to London at the lowest comparable temperature (-4 degrees) but as soon as the temperature increased by 1 degree Londoners spent more than both Northern cities put together.

You can browse the full presentation here: 


Interview with Cambridge Raincoats

Sticking with the theme of rain (it does seem very apt at present!), we caught up with Sally, founder and brains behind this fascinating  niche raincoat company, Cambridge Raincoats – providers of stylish, all year round raincoats that should be in everyone’s wardrobe!

The company was formed in July 2010 and Sally came up with the concept after experimenting with various kinds of rainwear for her bike-based lifestyle – didn’t like anything I tried and couldn’t find what I wanted so I thought I’ll make it myself!

Sally: “Necessity is the mother of invention – that’s what happened here – but I was also aware of the pulling power of Cambridge, nationally and worldwide so I thought if I was going to go to all the trouble of developing these coats and the business, I wanted a name which would give it instant credibility and help it grow quicker”.


Sally: “I am, pretty much, the company!  I have a business angel who owns 10% equity for 5 years.  I outsource my manufacturing and PR who are both great and I liaise closely with both.  I have commandeered various family members at different points along the journey and friends have also been very supportive as have other small businesses which I have collaborated with e.g. Modish – a shoe shop in central Cambridge.  I consider Fiona Pain of Peachy PR to be part of my company as we work so closely together”.


Sally: “At present, you can only buy online via our website although we are planning to get involved with several pop-up shop projects”.


Sally: “We’ve now got one style each for men and women although have just started work on developing a second coat style for women, a trench coat.  We’re also about to launch cloche style rainhats for women and decorative reflective panels designed by a RCA Textiles Artist”.


Sally: “We’ve been very lucky with the PR coverage via local media, cycling blogs and business pages (the latter is attributable to Peachy PR who is very on the ball when it comes to getting media attention e.g. the company featured in the Sunday Express, the Mail Online and the Telegraph’s website this summer in the business sections). When you can’t afford advertising, PR is hugely important.  We’ve also donated coats as prizes in charity fundraisers.  Our website lists pretty much all”.
Sally: “It gives us a raison d’etre!  Although, interestingly, I have been advised not to call them raincoats in Northern China as it’s so dry – we can still market them as coats as the high performance fabric is extremely efficient at eliminating cold air”.


Sally: “I mainly use social media e.g. Facebook and Twitter to engage with potential customers on shared interests and values rather than going for the hard sell.  I haven’t found that adverts bring in large numbers of sales although they can help develop brand awareness.  I’m currently collaborating with about a dozen other small businesses that I met at the Best of Britannia show to bring out our own Christmas brochure and then regional 1 day pop-up shops across the country after that”.

Sally: “Definitely!  My sales really increased May – July this year – that’s why the Sunday Express ran the article on me and the company -‘Raining Champion'”.


Sally: “I certainly go on social media when bad weather is predicted or if I wake up to bad weather”.
Further Press for Cambridge Raincoats:

Interview with: Love Umbrellas

Continuing with our regular feature of interviews, Weatherlytics took some time out to interview Love Umbrellas, a UK based company that relies heavily on the impact of the good old British weather, specifically if it’s raining! Love Umbrellas have created bespoke brollies what ever the occasion…

Question: When were Love umbrellas founded and how did you come up with the concept?

Love Umbrellas (LU): Love Umbrellas was born in July 2011, when Elaine was getting married. We could not find anything ‘stand out’ for her wedding photos, we made some umbrellas for the big day, and then it grew and grew with customer demand.

Question: What was the inspiration behind loveumbrellas

LU: The inspiration was to make a little light of the unpredictable British weather we have, just a little something to make people smile, when they don’t really want to go out in the rain.

Question: Tell us more about the company, what’s the team and size of the company?

LU: Just the 2 of us!


Question: So where can we buy your products? e.g. mail order, web, mobile?

LU: You can order on our website –, and various online shopping sites. We have over 10 designs, and this is growing all of the time, we also offer a bespoke service for something wanting something very different. We also recently  won the ‘WOW’ (Women on Wednesday) award by successful business woman Jacqueline Gold.

Question: How does the good old UK weather impact your business?

LU: There is a serious buzz around Love Umbrellas when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and the photos, videos, and the orders come flooding through!


Question: What tactics do you use to market your business and products and do you take the weather into account?

LU: We always take the weather into account, and tailor our marketing depending on the weather.  We have a good following on Facebook and Twitter and we believe these are incredibly important to interact with our customers.

Question: Do you see a correlation between the weather and sales?

LU: Definitely – We see a large uplift in sales if it’s raining, and even more so if it’s been raining for a few days in a row – no-one likes the ‘drowned rat’ look – do they?

Question: Do you use the change in Weather patterns to influence your sales communications?

LU: Yes, why wouldn’t we? Our business relies on the weather, so we will often be quieter in communications when it’s not hammering it down with rain, and you’ll see us all over twitter when the heavens have opened!


So what ever the occasion, from weddings, to festivals, to jubilees or just to brighten up a murky day, Weatherlytics recommends you check out Love Umbrellas and go order yourself your own bespoke brollie!





Weatherlytics meets….The Rain Appreciation Society

The Rain Appreciation Society


With a break from our normal postings and to mark the wettest June on record, we were granted a backstage pass to speak with Martyn Scruby of the Weather Appreciation Society, their remit being: “If you love the rain and the beauty of the planet, you’ll love visiting the pages of the Rain Appreciation Society”. For all followers of rain you can join their membership program, benefiting from a range of incentives. As Martyn points out: “For every new membership to the Society we will donate £3 to WaterAid. Everyone deserves clean water, so please, join today and help us provide water for those who need it most”.

The Rain Appreciation Society is a place for people who enjoy a spot of rain filled activity to share their love for the wet stuff and have fun with like-minded  peers…They will be holding a poetry competition as well as monthly photography ones for all members of the Society. We all  hope to make the community a lot of fun and share all of your stories of the rain with us”.

Where can I find out more?

check out: