Tag Archives: weather intelligence

Taking a Look at Father’s Day Weekend and How the Weather Will Impact Consumer Activity

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This year, Father’s Day will take place the day before the official start of summer, which means shoppers will be thinking about seasonal activities and gifts to make their dad’s day special. According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Proper Insight and Analytics, the average consumer expects to spend $126 on Father’s Day this year. This is about ten dollars more than last year’s survey.

 

What will they be spending their money on? Given the time of year, fun activities and experiences rank number one as 47% of consumers expect to give their dads a round of golf or take him to a nice dinner at his favorite restaurant. This is followed by clothing (43%), gift cards (41%), and consumer electronics (20%). In total, spending for this Father’s Day weekend is estimated to reach $14.3 billion.

 

The Role the Weather Will Play this Father’s Day Weekend

 

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Given the preference for many consumers to spend their money on fun activities and seasonal outdoor experiences, the weather will play a major role in their decision-making. For example, a planned golf outing could potentially be cancelled for another day if ongoing showers are present throughout the weekend. Warmer, drier weather, on the other hand, could make the golf course a popular destination this weekend. So what will the weather be like across the United States and how could this potentially affect retailers, restaurants, and other industries that count on robust Father’s Day sales?

 

Leading up to Father’s Day weekend, much of the United States will experience slightly cooler temperatures, especially in the West and some locations in the East. However, temperatures are already beginning to warm up in the Ohio Valley and Northeast, and these temperatures should continue to rise into Father’s Day weekend. The Plains and Mid-South are currently in the middle of a heat wave, which means shoppers are already thinking summer even if it isn’t official for a few more days.

 

The big weekend itself will be slightly warmer than normal throughout most of the United States; only the Ohio Valley and Southeast are expected to trend cooler. This means that seasonal goods like t-shirts and grills should sell well over the holiday weekend. In addition, outdoor entertainment and seasonal activities should be hot-ticket gifts for consumers looking for fun in the sun with their fathers over the weekend.  Northern parts of the United States will see temperatures in the 80s while some locations in the South could see temperatures in the mid-90s or higher. The Pacific Northwest will trend in the low-to-mid 70s.

 

However, rain is a factor as well, so some shoppers may want to bring their umbrellas if they go anywhere with their dads over the weekend. The regions most likely to see showers include parts of the Southeast, the Gulf Coast, and Northwest. Businesses in these regions should pay attention to their local forecast as rain or thunderstorms will alter weather-driven demand. It may be the difference whether someone is out on the course with his or her father or they are watching the U.S. Open on TV at home instead.

 

Using Weather Analytics to Minimize the Weather’s Impact on Sales

 

Given the impact the weather can have on Father’s Day sales and consumer decision-making, businesses looking to reduce that impact and take advantage of weather-related opportunities should consider making an investment in weather analytics. Weather data is only part of the equation. How you use that data in demand planning is a whole other matter. Weather analytics is a business forecasting tool that can help organizations measure and manage the weather’s impact on its sales. The weather only repeats itself twenty percent of the time from year to year, so it takes a more sophisticated approach to create an effective plan. It takes weather analytics. Contact us today to learn more about our weather intelligence services.

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Weather Boosts October Sales

Planalytics’ weather-driven demand analytics are pointing to positive October comp sales performances for several seasonally-impacted retail segments.

Sector imacts

Overall, October is going to be cooler than last year. These cool temperatures are already driving favorability for seasonal product categories. As you can see by the map below, Oct 2-7the first week started much cooler than last year, benefiting retailers selling fall apparel and other seasonal goods. Although temperatures have moderated in recent days, if we take a look at the next two weeks illustrated by the maps below, colder temperatures compared to last year will prevail to end the month. The regions in blue are in line for the most significant lift in consumer demand for Fall/Winter apparel and accessories, hot foods and beverages, and other seasonal categories. Given how October started, and how it’s projected to end, the colder temperatures will benefit retailers as predicted earlier this month.

october temperature vs last year

 

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How Severe Weather – Whether It Hits or Not – Affects Sales

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There’s no question that extreme weather can affect a business’s bottom line. We are nearing the end of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, and, so far, we have had a very quiet season. This isn’t always the norm though. Although the past few hurricane seasons have been relatively mild, 2011 and 2012 were very active, producing two very destructive hurricanes – Irene and Sandy.

2011 was also marked by an East Coast anomaly on the days leading up Halloween when a nor’easter hit, dropping as much as 32 inches of snow to fall in some places. Obviously, Halloween stores that year in the affected areas suffered substantial losses in sales.

The weather can have a dramatic effect on sales during the autumn and winter months, depending on where your business is located. If it’s a warmer season with few storms, your sales will be far different than if you were a retailer in Boston last year during the record snowfalls or NJ in 2012 during Hurricane Sandy.

Severe weather can certainly impact sales, but does the storm even need to hit for it to change customer behavior and affect foot traffic? We will discuss how even the mere threat of a storm can drasticallly affect your sales, and what happens in the consumer’s brain when a looming extreme weather event is announced.

Why Severe Weather Doesn’t Even Need to Occur for It to Affect Sales

Late January last year, New York City was bunkered down preparing for the blizzard of the century. Mayor Bill de Blasio gave a news conference the day before the storm was scheduled to reach NYC and pled with New Yorkers to stay indoors. He even suggested that if residents did go outside, there was the possibility that they could die in a winter storm-related accident.

As a result, New Yorkers complied with the Mayor’s wishes. Schools were closed, stores shut down for the day, and many people stayed home from work. The only problem was that the storm mostly missed New York City with many areas seeing only a few inches – much less than the two feet that was expected. Many meteorologists actually apologized for the disruption they caused for individuals and businesses.

The moral of the story is that an extreme weather event doesn’t actually need to occur to affect businesses and consumers. Although the history books will show that the storm wasn’t that bad in regard to snowfall or property damage, it did have the effect of a major storm on sales as many stores closed and people stayed home before the first snowflake even hit.

How the Threat of Severe Weather Affects Consumer Behavior

The “Bread and Milk” YouTube video by comedian Vic Dibitetto illustrates the psyche of some consumers when there’s a hint of extreme weather in the news. Just go to your local grocery store the day before a storm, and you’ll see long lines of people with carts packed with groceries they didn’t even know that they needed.

In a Time Magazine article on consumer behavior during storms, consumer psychologist, Kit Yarrow, discussed how people often revert to primal survival instincts when they see crowds of people taking everything off the shelves. It is partly a mob mentality that causes individuals to panic and respond to their emotions and crowds rather than think about what is actually going on.

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What Can Businesses Do to Predict How Severe Weather Will Affect their Sales?

While you may not be able to predict when a extreme weather might occur, you can predict how your customers will react to it. As we outlined above, looking at weather statistics isn’t enough. That storm that didn’t hit New York City last year still had a major impact on sales. Grocery stores and hardware stores most likely had increased sales of winter-related goods and perishables. Some stores closed because of the imminent storm.

Businesses looking to enhance their understanding of how extreme weather affects their sales can find analytics from the weatherization experts at Planalytics. They analyze historical sales and weather data to provide you with weather intelligence you can use in a business context to amend your demand planning to account for extreme weather – whether or not it actually occurs. Contact us today to learn more.

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Using FlashWeather to Make Better Weather-based Business Decisions

What was the weather like last week in your markets? While you can easily find this weather data, can you use the information to identify sales opportunities? Probably not. This is where weather analytics has been revolutionizing how businesses leverage the weather to improve their sales.  Understanding the weather and leveraging analytics to forecast sales and its effect on consumer behavior is an untapped resource that businesses are only beginning to understand. For example:

It’s 85 degrees in New York City in May. What does this mean for customers there, and how do purchasing trends differ here on a hot day in spring than for customers in Phoenix?

It was a warmer winter last year. How do businesses quantify the impacts and build an effective sales plan for the upcoming winter?

Scenarios like these are commonplace in retail, food service, and other industries, and determining how consumer behavior is affected by the weather by region and by season can greatly impact your bottom line. Planalytics was founded to help companies measure and manage the impact of weather on their business and leverage Business Weather Intelligence® to make smarter business decisions. We differ from others out there because we provide data in a context that managers can use to explain sales and manage their business. We have helped a variety of Fortune 500 companies across a spectrum of verticals use weather intelligence throughout their organization.

Below is a snippet of our FlashWeather report which provides clients with weather analytics and trends of the past week to help them gain a better understanding of what is going on now in their region and industry.  The full FlashWeather report doesn’t just tell the weather, it provides companies with predictive analytics to how weather will affect their bottom line.

For more information about all of our weather intelligence offerings, please contact us today to speak with a Planalytics representative.

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