It’s Raining, It’s Snowing, Do You Know Where Your Customers Are Going?
You see, the Northeast has been panicking since Saturday about a winter storm that’s scheduled to hit early today. (And, ahem, my native land of Ohio. Your anxiety counts, too, Midwest.)
Weather forecasters are predicting anywhere from six inches to a foot of snow today, and e-commerce marketers are predicting avalanches of sales. You see, IBM predicts that when flights are canceled, schools are closed, government offices are shuttered and many brick-and-mortar marketers take the day off, consumers spend a good portion of the day spending. Then there’s also the storm-related purchasing — which my local grocery store started pushing on Saturday, saying the weatherman used a four-letter word, “snow.”
This is that predicted window of opportunity for e-commerce marketers, according to Philly.com: “A winter storm warning for the area is in place from 8 p.m. Monday through 6 p.m. Tuesday.”
“Financial services, auto and home improvement companies are just a few of the marketers who can benefit from snow days,” reads an article I wrote during the intense and lengthy winter storms of 2015. “On the days when schools and businesses shut down due to weather, e-commerce picks up. In an email sent to Target Marketing … IBM reports that Web sales in the Northeast ‘accounted for 24.6 percent of all U.S. sales’ [during a particularly bad storm].”
An IBM spokesman explained that snowed-in consumers spend the day looking for deals online.
“Financial services companies can suggest financial products for customers who want to ‘save for the bad weather,’ Daniel Lack posts on the Masterclass Blog. … Auto sellers can suggest selling or leasing with this soft jab from Lack: ‘You or your staff wouldn’t be stuck with a 4×4.’ Clothing Retailers can offer ‘free next day delivery on all coats and gloves, etc.,’ Lack says.” [Author’s note: That last assurance assumes the storm passes quickly and cleanup is fast and thorough.]
Closed? Do This.
Update your website to show you’re closed, if you don’t have an e-commerce presence, suggests Mohannad “Mo” El-Barachi, CEO of SweetIQ.
“If you are closing due to the storm,” he tells Target Marketing in an email on Monday, “make sure your hours of operation are updated on all your listings so customers do not show up to your store when it is closed.”
Open? Do This.
“Make sure your listings are updated with any deals or promos that are going on,” says El-Barachi. “For example, if you have a special on scarves and coats ahead of the storm, your audience should know.”
And shovels? Snowblowers?
Sure, that matches his theme.
But use compelling images, he says, clearly thinking warmer thoughts than I am — hot chocolate is what he suggests.
“Visual content gets you 94 percent more views,” El-Barachi says.
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.