Winter Blues: Can Weather affect your business & sales?
With the long months following Christmas being cold and dark, we’ll take a look at whether this weather is affecting retail sales. It is common knowledge that weather plays a big part in retail sales, but how? Seasonal, monthly and even daily fluctuations in weather not only shape what products are sold but now also the channel in which the sales are made. For high street retailers, a burst of glorious British sunshine means more people are on the streets and purchasing in person.
Working out exactly what your store sells in relation to the season is also a crucial first step. Some examples of weather-sensitive items include sunglasses, woolly jumpers, gloves and beachwear.
But for virtual store owners or E-Commerce websites, what effect does the weather have on sales?
If you are a lucky business owner who has both a physical store and an online presence, you will already have been monitoring what effect weather has on traffic and conversions. You may have already implemented a specific weather advertising campaign to push out when you correlate these weather based trends.
Research suggests that during periods of hot weather, online sales decreased. When the weather is nice, customers are more likely to be outdoors and less likely to be indoors shopping online. If a store has both physical and online presence, the overall company revenue is unlikely to suffer as one route to sale compensates for the loss of another. Some online retailers only operate online, so their profits would be affected in the heat.
With the rise of Ecommerce, some will find there is no need to physically go to a store when there is bad weather. It is also worth noting that if there is really really bad weather, this may disrupt Internet connections or phone lines, making it harder to shop online. Bad snowfall can also disrupt logistics and delivery.
So what should your strategy be prevented loss of sales in any weather? Maximising their advertising campaigns during periods of opportune weather. If you have a Cashmere or Ski clothing company and you see the first flakes of snowfall, that is your opportune moment to maximise awareness that you have an amazing product that will truly help in this weather condition. It is also ideal to use upcoming weather reports to inform your audience of weather changes and urge them to stock up on your best selling products before they sell out.
In conclusion, research does suggest there is a correlation between weather and shopping habits. However, it is crucial to remember that this will vary by location, season and product.