As the East Coast gets pummeled by the first blizzard of the year, organizations should have shifted their Sales and Marketing spend for the next two days.  It's not just the snow plow guys who are reaping benefits of snow. Regional E-commerce sales and traffic always spike during snowstorms.

How big of a spike?  A typical snowstorm can spike regional YoY traffic by 10-25%. This storm is impacting the entire Eastern Seashore, so that could drive traffic up over 30%.  If your sales team is in tune with the weather and redirects your demand gen spend (including email, Amazon marketing, Google & Bing PPC, as well as social activity) you'll see some great year over year results.  Yesterday we saw southern ecommerce revenue spiked 20% for one US retailer.  Instore traffic was going to be down anyway but the team already had a plan to shift messaging and spend to maximize the online lift.

For a brand / manufacturer, you should be able to leverage these type of events to boost your direct as well as partner sales.  

Your "storm day" action plan should include:

  • Main e-commerce site: It's easy to update the core site messaging and sliders as well as re-shift product biasing to core winter items (if applicable).  You also coordinate with any B2B or B2C partners that are having online events.  If they're lagging on offers, consider a 'free shipping day'
  • Email:  Most brands have a decent size mailing list.  An early morning email blast is a perfect opportunity to message a 'snow day sale or free shipping promo'
  • Google PPC and other online campaigns: There was an increase in all web traffic during the storm simply due to the fact that many individuals were forced off the roads.  You should have a "storm ready" PPC campaign or a set plan to boost budget regionally.  If you happen to have 'winter products' it's a great time to boost your product listing ads
  • Online Partner Coordination: Amazon, Wal-Mart, Grainger, and any other ecommerce site will likely see a nice lift in the impacted regions.  Your team should jump on this and update any campaigns on platforms like Amazon Marketing Service or Hooklogic to jump ahead of your competition.  Big ecommerce players are the primary benefactors of online sales bumps due to weather - adjust accordingly
  • Social Posts and Promos:  FaceBook and Twitter also tend to have sizable bumps during storms.  Leverage the broader marketing options available and mix in some fresh posts and updates (especially posts that point to your site or partner promos) as well as some product specific PPC.  Social tends to have softer ROI than Google, but product ads have continued to improve.

If you're reading this and saying 'good idea', maybe next time you need our help.  Yeoman is more than an agency or tech shop; we're doers and can help adjust and implement a plan that is as flexible as the weather is unpredictable. Get in touch to find out how.

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Comments

  • Thanks for this blog-it's a good reminder that our Internet strategy can't be to "set it and forget it."  It also doesn't have to be a chore to update sites or come up with new online campaigns.  When sites or organizations make messaging relevant and timely, I'm more likely to return to that site to see what else is new.
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