In some eCommerce quarters weather dramatically affects sales. If you are selling a warm weather product such as lawn chairs , then of course having 3 feet of snow outside is going to negatively effect your sales.
Many typically successful corners of the internet completely fail during bad weather.
I highly doubt FourSquare is getting record traffic during terrible weather in that impacted market nor is Facebook’s check in doing record numbers in these cases.
That being stated, it is also an opportunity to increase sales for all weather or indoor products. When the weather is terrible, the reality on the ground is less people are at work, students are home and everyone is online. The kids are either streaming Hulu or playing video games. The parents might be logging in to do some work related stuff, but in all reality having a house full of kids isn’t helping that occur. Everyone is on some sort of social media app or site.
Shopping online might be one of the actives when everyone is home. Google searches point to increased traffic for weather related terms, such as school closings and other related terms.
Honestly at this point most people are confined to the four walls in their home. So how do you make a sale there? How can you reach them while they are trapped in their homes?
Individuals that are in the Pizza delivery always notice an increase in sales during terrible weather. In this case you most likely should prepare for higher than expected volume. Power companies report record numbers during those days, when the heaters in residential homes are running at peak trying to keep the home above 60 degrees. HVAC companies that offer emergency service also report record online contacts as well.
For one thing this might one of the only times we see increased desktop usage rather than the normal trend of mobile. This only really occurs when people actually have time to turn on their desktop or laptop, something which seldom happens on normal days in a residential home.
So that are the conditions, what is the solution?
Again that is highly dependent on what you are selling. If you are a local pizza shop, then posting the local school closings on your site along with a “school is out special” might lead to an increased amount of sales if coupled with a Facebook announcement of the sale. If you are offering snow removal as a service, then of course the same type of strategy might apply.
The end result is that when bad weather occurs the situation on the ground is not typical. Typical strategies might not apply. The “mobile only” strategy might in some cases backfire, such as the case listed above with FoureSquare and Facebook Check in. The Local TV only strategy might backfire if it’s a streaming fest from all the kids at home that day. Though you might catch a break for the 10 minutes people watch to find out if their school is closed (if people still do that anymore).
In other words, you really have to think of what occurred and how your clients pattern has changed during that weather issue.
Weather companies report record traffic during terrible conditions. Eastern PA Weather Authority was built on the polar vortex and other types of terrible storms. Meaning that money can be made during these types of conditions, as long as you are in the right industry and use the conditions for growth.
The message is you have to understand your client, and how their behavior changes when the weather turns sour.