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.
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.