Daffodils spring

As I write this, I am feeling rather ‘Springy’.
Clocks changed – tick!
Daffodils aplenty – tick!
Summer kit and caboodle now available in store – TICK!

Change is in the air

In the UK, Snowmageddon (Round 3) has been called off and although it might be a little chillier over the next week or so with some unpredictable weather (aka rain!), we can look forward to two 4-day weeks without bread and milk shortages – hoorah!

Despite the fact this year’s Easter Egg hunt may be a bit soggy, and for all the chaos caused by the UK’s recent bad weather, there are some important positives to focus on, especially if you work in eCommerce.

Bad weather is great weather for online business

According to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, January’s online retail sales saw an increase of 13.9% YOY and the post-Christmas month-on-month sales decline of 20.4% was lower than the 24.1% 5-year average.

Rainfall was above average in January and high-street footfall was at the lowest recorded in 5 years – the two, of course, are connected.

IMRG’s February stats shop a back-weighted month thanks to all the lovely snow we encountered and this is expected to show in the early March stats too.

YoY Growth IMRG

The close connection between weather and consumer spending has always been there driving interest in anything from BBQ’s to woolly hats – and it is a huge opportunity!

It’s…Snow joke for your brand!

Over the years, harnessing weather conditions to popularize a business or a brand has seen the birth of some of the most innovative campaigns that will go down in the marketing history books.

A brilliant example was Polo Mint back in the day with one of my most favourite guerrilla marketing campaigns ever.

Polo Mint

Photo credit: Ads of the world.com

Back in 2009 when the UK was covered in a thick blanket of snow, London agency JWT made the most of this by creating a stamp of the iconic mint, winning them the Gold Outdoor Lion at Cannes International Advertising Festival 2010.

Boden, ASOS, John Lewis et al have been quick to identify that the recent inclement weather we have been experiencing is a great way to connect with their social media audience with bright, witty and often funny comments!

“The weather has influenced consumers’ choice of purchases, and driven their choice of channel” – RetailWeek.com 

Boden, Hunter

Summer Ready?

Forgetting about all the harsh weather 2018 has thrown at us this far, now is the time to plan for the possibilities and positives summer 2018 could bring.

Last June, our soaring UK temperatures (around 30C/100F!) were considered responsible for the UK retail sector growing faster than expected. These figures were assisted by the rapid sale of summer clothes during the hot weather we encountered.

As I sit here shrouded in a blanket, it’s rather hard to imagine that kind of weather but it did indeed occur and early reports suggest that we could be in for a scorcher in 2018.

Challenging as it may be, now is the time to think about how to deliver a great online experience to these shoppers and maximise the revenue opportunity the weather can present.

Switch-off from sledges and get thinking about the factor 50 – for 2018. Keeping an eye on the weather will help drive your eCommerce success.

Elaine Winchester

Elaine Winchester