Bad weather affects sales

You put together a good sales event. Created good offers. Priced everything in the store with special tags. Spent a good budget promoting it. And when the weekend of the big sale comes – bam! There's a huge storm that keeps everyone home and away from your sale. What do you do? Here are some techniques that have worked well for our clients.

Contact your customers through social media and digital channels and provide extra incentive to shop now. Use your social media, digital marketing and email right away and offer extra incentives to still attend this sale. Post on your social media channels that the sale is still going on and this is your chance to shop a great sale on a day that isn't packed with customers. Maybe give an extra coupon or incentive to still come in. Don't do this, however, if the area is declared a weather emergency, urging people to stay home. Otherwise, give them extra incentives to brave the bad weather.

Blizzard saleCreate digital ads targeting those who have stayed home and are shopping or doing purchase research online. Boost your search engine marketing to target these stay at home shoppers. You can use standard ads to pique their interest or offer added incentives to still come in during this sale – especially if it's a multi-day sale and you expect the weather to clear up before the sale is over.

Send out emails with an added or extended offer. It's pretty easy to quickly pull together an email and send it out to your list. Give them an extra incentive to come in during the sale or offer them special extended time to get the great deals you've already set up.

Sale-extendedUse the weather to create urgency and a believable sales rationale. Create a weather emergency spot that hypes a new or extended sale. Let them know that due to the weather, you are left with extra inventory you expected to be sold during the big sales event. So, now you've made further discounts or added extra incentives to make up for lost sales. This is a believable rationale that puts customers in the mind-set that these truly are deals I need to take advantage of. The ads should be emergency clearence in look and feel. Let the customer feel like they are taking advantage of what was a bad situation for you and is now a good situation for them. It's believable because, it actually is true.

You can't totally make up for lost sales, but you can see good results using these tactics. The consumer is always looking for ways to take advantage of retailers and feel like they're getting a steal. And while that may be true in this instance, it's also true that it's good for you, too.

Mike McClureMike McClure – watching snow turn to sleet in Detroit

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