Build Personalized Digital Experiences with Weather Intelligence

Trying on clothes can be one of the most frustrating shopping experiences.

You might squeeze into a tiny, poorly-lit changing room (remember in-store shopping?) only to realize that what you chose isn’t quite right, or isn’t the right size. Imagine your relief and delight when an associate comes by with the perfect item and says, “Hey, I saw you were looking at these — I pulled another one that you might like.”

That’s exactly what Dynamic Yield does online. They build personalized digital experiences for brands like Sephora, Ikea, and Urban Outfitters, including recommendation engines, A/B testing, and personalization to increase revenue and more efficiently use marketing and advertising dollars.

What does this have to do with weather, you might ask? More than you’d think. That’s exactly what we found out from David Fine, Senior Product Manager at Dynamic Yield. He explained why it’s more important than ever to deliver the right message at the right time to the right customer — and how weather intelligence makes that possible.

COVID-19 Accelerated E-Commerce Trends

COVID-19 accelerated existing e-commerce and marketing trends, creating an explosion of online retail. E-commerce grew 129% year-over-year by April, with 72% of shoppers using mobile devices. Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend deals brought in over $5.1 billion on Shopify, up 76% from 2019.

The biggest driver of online shopping? Food and groceries. Delivery app use more than doubled in 2020, with DoorDash reporting 531 million orders in the first nine months alone, already five times more than all of 2019.

That means online retailers and restaurateurs alike need to pay more attention to their digital footprint. 

“What we’re seeing is a major shift toward seamless, touchless digital experiences, and weather has an impact on that.”
David Fine, Senior Product Manager at Dynamic Yield

Customers expect brands to make it easy for them to purchase — whether that’s a few clicks within an app or taking alternate forms of payment like PayPal or Apple Pay. When a customer interacts with your company, they expect the same experience regardless of whether it’s online or in-person. 

Why Weather Matters in Your Marketing

Delivery and online ordering spikes during bad weather. In fact, a recent Tomorrow.io survey shows that:

  • 49% of people are more likely to order food delivery during bad weather
  • 32% of people are willing to pay more money for faster delivery
  • 56% of people want notifications on their phone about bad whether to schedule food delivery in advance

Great personalization in marketing comes from tapping into the emotional connection. It’s natural to want to have chili during cold weather and ice cream during a heatwave. Serving up push notifications or triggering an email to customers a few days before a weather event captures more sales and provides a positive touchpoint that brightens their experience.

“Weather plays a big role in food marketing, from understanding that delivery frequency spikes when it’s raining outside to foundational things like the menu, when it gets warmer or cooler. As a marketer who’s trying to bring personalized experiences to customers, that connection is really important to think about.”

Knowing weather patterns ahead of time gives you the ability to predict customer needs, whether that’s a delivery spike from rainy weather or a change in demand from iced coffee to hot coffee as the seasons change. Or for retail, knowing that customers tend to order hand cream and lip balm before the first snowfall and sunscreen around Memorial Day.

Using Weather Intelligence to Build Personalized Digital Experiences

At McDonald’s, Fine and his team work to manage digital real estate from menu boards to banner promotions and more. Online shoppers might look at a website banner for less than half a second, but it takes a lot more work to create.

“The ability to add context to the existing user coming to your digital experience, and speaking to that context, is really valuable. Weather is a key component of that for many of our customers. If a user comes to a website and they see a banner that speaks to what’s happening outside their window, they will react much more positively.”

Personalized experiences only work with a foundation of relevant data. Here in New England, I’ve received that wishful-thinking email from retailers promoting springtime t-shirts and shorts…when there’s still snow on the ground.

Weather intelligence gives you the ability to create relevant promotions that matter to your customers, wherever they are. That might mean calling out the freezing local temperature on a banner advertising a jacket promotion, or offering a raincoat if it’s currently raining.

This kind of hyper-local, real-time weather information ensures that your website visitors see the right message at the right time, to bring a contextual, personalized feel to the experience that sets you apart from the competition — and increases conversion rates.

Market Smarter with Hyper-Local Weather Intelligence from Tomorrow.io

Hyper-local weather information gives you the insights to make decisions about what message to serve when, and whether or not it will resonate with your customers, driving additional revenue. 

“If I didn’t have something like Tomorrow.io, I would still be trying to do this regionally, at least. You don’t really understand how important a single piece of data can be until you have access to it. The ability to pinpoint weather for any user at any given time really does resonate with the customers we’re trying to reach.”

Personalized digital experiences aren’t nice-to-haves. It’s an essential piece of your digital marketing strategy. Adding a layer of sophisticated weather intelligence to your data gives you a way to delight your customers, increasing conversion rates and delivering the best possible shopping experience.

Want weather intelligence to power your marketing?

Try Tomorrow.io for free now.

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