In a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, the writer wonders if there is some relation between weather and shopping habits. Some shopping habits are obvious, such as grabbing a bowl of hot soup when it’s cold outside or buying umbrellas on a rainy day. But when it comes to purchasing bigger ticket items, research shows consumers sometimes experience buyers’ remorse and return items when the weather changes.
Now that it’s spring, how can your small business prepare for consumers’ weather-influenced spring and summer shopping habits? Here are some considerations.
- Adverse weather means shoppers stay home. If your small business relies on customers coming to you, you’re looking forward to nice weather. If your business is mostly online, remember to highlight the convenience of shopping online in your advertising next winter.
- Warm weather activities inspire shopping. As shoppers emerge from the dreary days of winter, their minds turn to warm weather activities such as home improvement and gardening.
- Spring means shopping ahead. According to marketing research firm Traf-Sys, by the time spring rolls around consumers are already shopping for the even warmer summer months. Make sure you promote your products with warm weather messages. If you’re in the wedding industry, summer brides make their registry lists in the spring. Other springtime promotions to think about (most of these will have to be for next year) include baseball opening day, Good Friday, April Fools’ Day, Earth Day, Mother’s Day, and prom season.
- Mobile gets hotter, too. According to Google, mobile usage increases in the summer because people spend more time outdoors. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and you’ve got a well-developed mobile strategy to increase sales.
- Location matters during any season. Tailor your message accordingly. Are you located in Kansas? Barbecuing is huge in that area. And while tanning is big in places like Kentucky, sun protection is more important in Hawaii and California.
- Summer is when consumers plan for graduations and vacations. There are outdoor parties, weddings, Independence Day celebrations, and more. No matter what you sell, you can still plan a promotion related to these events.
If you’re a B2B, think about your customers’ needs by making business life easier for them. Their employees will be asking for vacations and you can offer your services to make up the slack. If you have a business-related product, your customers will already be stocking up for fall and winter, so start marketing as soon as it makes sense for your industry.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected], follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva's free TrendCast reports.