Shifting seasons can seriously affect the retail market. When temperatures spike or drop, consumers will change their buying habits and preparing your business for whatever may be coming is essential. One of the best ways to do this is to understand seasonal forecasting and how it can affect your retail sales.

Once you have a good understanding of seasonal forecasts, you can learn how to utilize them to your advantage. Below, we take a closer look at how the weather affects the retail industry and how the use of seasonal forecasting can minimize the risks that weather brings while also driving sales.

The Effect that Weather Can Have on Your Business

The weather can impact your business in ways that you may not be considering, and preparation is critical. A change in the forecast – whether abrupt or expected – could lead to your sales taking a hit.

For instance, if temperatures rise, product sales may be affected, or you could expect to see an increasing demand for bottled water, sunscreen, or bug spray. Thinking ahead of the weather will put you in a better position so you can keep shelves stocked with the right products, slash prices when need be and notify customers.

As much as you may be prepared to take on the quarter, not everything will go accordingly. An unseasonably hot or cold forecast could throw a wrench in plans you may already have in place.

It is also important to note the effects that weather could have on the shipping process. Rain, sleet, or snow could cause delays in delivery time, so beware.

Minimizing Risks for Each Season

If you have the weather data in your hands ahead of time, you can minimize the risks that weather could have on your business.

Knowing a forecast – and understanding how to prepare around it – can help you avoid common pain point such as:

  • Shipping delays
  • Being overstocked
  • Being understocked

In the retail industry, customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance. Negative customer experiences will reflect poorly on the brand, so it should be a priority to prevent that from happening. Making an effort to deliver a positive and satisfying customer experience will not only improve your business but will keep consumers coming back for more.

Bringing in weather data to create a plan for potential hurdles in the process is a great way to gain customer satisfaction. Minimizing risks associated with weather is always to be a challenge because of the unknown variables you could end up facing, but it’s imperative to have a plan for any potential scenario.

How to Use Seasonal Forecasts to Drive Sales

Working around a weekly forecast isn’t ideal, but there are more advanced options for you to consider. Take seasonal forecasting for example. Leveraging seasonal forecasts can provide you with insights into how to prepare for the next several weeks or months.

Seasonal and Subseasonal Forecasts from The Weather Company can help you plan for market shifts that could affect your profitability in the 3-5 week, 1-4 month, and 5-7 month timeframes. Having this knowledge can help you drive sales instead of watching them dip.

The seasonal forecast solution can issue forecasts based on the anticipated weather of the next three months whereas the subseasonal forecast solution can be updated weekly. Both solutions can be put to use in the retail space.

Reviewing and understanding the seasonal forecast will allow you the opportunity to put products on shelves that are relevant according to the forecast. This also means you could take products off of the shelves, or slashing prices to get rid of old inventory.

Looking Ahead

The weather has the potential to negatively impact your sales if you allow nature to take its course. However, when you can predict the risks, you can count on a positive result. Thinking around the forecast will give you a competitive advantage and drive sales, no matter the season.

If you would like to learn more about how seasonal and subseasonal forecasts can benefit your retail business, contact us today.


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