When people think of optimizing their business, the weather is generally the furthest thing from their minds. However, the weather has a massive impact on both people and the economy. Weather affects everything, from retail sales to employee productivity and logistics. Big Data has made it possible to pinpoint minute correlations between consumer behavior and the world around them.
Not taking advantage of that makes increasingly less sense as we learn more about why people make different decisions. Data analytics play such an essential role in other business decisions that adding in weather intelligence is a seamless process. Factoring in the impact of the local weather forecast on your day to day operations can significantly impact your bottom line. But just how does the weather affect business? Let’s find out!
One of the most obvious ways the weather impacts your business can be seen in seasonal demand patterns. Summers see an increase in the sale of carbonated beverages, ice cream, air conditioner servicing, and similar items. Winters see a rise in the sales of warm clothes, heaters, and more.
Tracking seasonal demand can ensure that you always have the products and services that your customers are looking to purchase. You can prepare your business for the rise in demand and can correlate the intensity of the demand with the changes in the weather.
Consumer Purchase Patterns
Walk-in sales of brick and mortar businesses go down during inclement weather. However, sales for deliveries might rise to overwhelm on-duty staff as a result. If you know historical trends for hyper-local weather changes in your area, you will be better equipped to make decisions regarding operations and logistics.
This will also ensure that you won’t be asking your employees to come out in risky conditions for nothing and can save you money on operations as well. Having data on consumer purchase patterns during different kinds of weather can help you stock up on things consumers want and earn you a reputation of being a reliable retailer.
Tracking employee productivity is an essential part of ensuring that your business runs smoothly. You should be measuring, evaluating, and assessing your employees’ performance in order to build an efficient work ethic within your team. There is an intrinsic link between weather changes and employee productivity. Studies have found a link between increased productivity and lousy weather and decreased productivity and good weather.
You can track this relationship in your own business to change employee workloads. This will ensure a good work environment for your employees, and you can also assess when to take on more work. This opens you up to more business opportunities and a chance to cement existing relationships using clear communication about deadlines.
Crisis management is an essential part of running a business. Fire-fighting situations do arise because of extreme weather events, and getting caught without a backup plan can mean several weeks delay in your business plans as you deal with the fallout. Knowing expected extreme weather events can ensure that you are prepared to handle the uncertainties that accompany them.
You can inform your customers beforehand of the possibility of delay and ensure a good relationship with them. You can prepare backup plans for logistics and outdoor events so that your workflow doesn’t grind to a halt. Companies like ClimaCell estimate the impact of weather changes on your business and help you tailor backup plans to mitigate the consequences.
Do you know what makes one business stand out from another? It’s the small ways in which they put their consumers first. If you walked into a business on a rainy day and saw them offering disposable towels to dry off, you would be more likely to return to that business just because you saw the extra effort they put in to cater to their customers. Small gestures can help your customers recall the excellent experience they had with your company and make them more likely to recommend you as well.
Using weather forecasts, you can plan to introduce similar services to your customers. Having employees help customers with umbrellas on a rainy day and giving out cold water on a hot day are small steps you can take to ensure that consumers remember you and increase your customer reach. This can also build an excellent reputation for you with the community and help you become an iconic part of the neighborhood.