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.”
Dry humor makes the point. Today’s precipitation prompted a friend of mine to ask yesterday, “Are you ready for this year's ‘Storm of the Century’?” About 50 million consumers bracing for an anticipated blizzard will probably bring a flurry of activity to e-commerce marketers.
Financial services, auto and home improvement companies are just a few of the marketers who can benefit from snow days. On the days when schools and businesses shut down due to weather, e-commerce picks up. In an email sent to Target Marketing on Tuesday, IBM reports that Web sales in the Northeast "accounted for 24.6 percent of all U.S. sales" on Monday. "Consumers spent the day at home, looking for deals online," writes Doug Fraim, manager of external relations for IBM Commerce.