by Dr. Björn Christensen, Chief Executive Officer of meteolytix
A rainy day can generate a sudden spike in cupcake sales while a hot summer day can generate a surge in the sales of panini’s.
These are some surprising trends hidden in mountains of information that analytics can unearth to help businesses understand their consumers better and seize the unexpected business opportunity.
Consumer-focused businesses know all too well just how much weather shifts can affect consumer demand. Retailers, restaurant chains and consumer product companies often point to the weather as a key factor driving positive and negative variations in sales.
So how can your business manage weather’s impact to predict consumer buying trends more effectively?
Take for example, in Germany, local bakeries continue to dominate the market for baked goods due to their deep knowledge of German consumers’ taste and short shelf life of baked goods.
Analytics is helping local bakers in Germany get one step closer to understanding what consumers want and when they want it so they can focus on exploring new baking techniques to keep the consumer coming back for more versus having unsold bakes goods on the shelves.
The ability to identify and manage weather’s impact requires more than a simple weather forecast.
Businesses need a level of analytic insight that is time-sensitive driven by an unexpected weather change that can be incorporated quickly into planning, distribution, marketing, pricing and inventory management to drive sales and fullfill consumer demand.
For instance, data such as local holidays, vacation times or big events such as weddings and anniversaries need to be captured. Questions such as, “Do you understand how your sales figures or foot traffic is affected by the weather? How can weather’s influence on consumer buying behavior be factored into marketing or promotional decisions?” need to be asked.
In capturing all this information, identifying the importance of these single influencing factors over time can help businesses spot buying patterns of when the most cupcakes or cookies are sold during any give day. This, in turn, helps make better predictions — leading to better business decisions.
Even though consumers have tightened their spending, they continue to purchase baked products as an affordable and accessible indulgence.
Who would have thought that there is a strong connection between weather and cupcake sales. Which means there could be so much more we can learn with analytics uncovering these hidden patterns.