Here we go again, folks! Once more, the winter weather has had a real impact on much of the country, as everybody’s best friend – the Polar Vortex, which brings sub-zero temperatures everywhere it goes – combines forces with a snow-packed storm front. You know what happens when it’s freezing cold and snowy: businesses, governments, and schools are closed. Thousands of people are stuck at home.
What do thousands of people do when they’re stuck at home? If they’ve got power and internet access – and generally more people do than don’t, in any given weather event – chances are they’re online and shopping. Bad weather is the brick and mortar retailer’s nemesis, but it can be the e-retailer’s opportunity. A few weeks ago we discussed how you can stay productive in the snow, but now we’d like to show you how e-commerce businesses can take this opportunity to the next level.
The responsive, agile e-retailer will have bad weather campaigns designed and ready to implement ahead of time. If you haven’t done that, don’t despair. Something as simple as a Flash Sale can generate website visits and sales you wouldn’t have otherwise gotten: make sure to promote the event heavily on social media throughout the day.
Make sure your message is in no way cavalier or disrespectful of people who are actually suffering from the weather event. Brands have gotten into trouble when their messaging appears to trivialize the weather’s impact. Before you post any messaging, test it by reading it to some trusted employees, friends, or colleagues. Having more than one set of eyes at this point is essential!
If you are in the heart of where the bad weather hits, more important than capitalizing on the legions of customers who are trapped at home and bored is being of service to your larger community. Sharing information about emergency assistance, warming stations, and the like may not drive sales in any meaningful way. However, they can help cement your position as a business owner who is sincerely concerned with making your community a better place.
Either way, a stormy day presents an ideal opportunity to connect with your customers. Taking advantage of wretched weather needs to be part of every company’s strategic messaging plan. If you haven’t considered this before now, it’s a great time to start. Because if there’s one thing that’s certain in this crazy winter, it’s that there will be at least one more snow day coming!
Photo by: Yasya Fogelgardt