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Kelly Peters
By Kelly Peters
Kelly Peters
Kelly Peters
Currently's Director of Marketing, Kelly Peters is a growth-focused marketing leader with 10+ years of experience driving strategic communications and demand-focused initiatives for brands like CNBC, NBCUniversal, Dicks Sporting Goods, and JazzHR. At, she leads a dynamic team of growth and AI marketers in driving revenue with bold storytelling, radical creativity, and, above all else, human connection. Kelly graduated from Syracuse University and lives in Pittsburgh, PA.
Mar 12, 2023· 4 min, 40 sec

How Advanced Weather Tech is Reshaping Retail

This story was originally posted on FreightWaves in March 2023.

The average consumer makes a shocking 35,000 decisions each day.

Big or small, each of those is influenced by a number of factors, including the weather. What’s going on outside has a direct impact on consumer moods, needs and behaviors, making weather a key consideration for retailers.

Seasonal buying cycles, for example, are ingrained in almost every retail business’ preparations each year. Companies plan inventory accordingly for spikes in demand for commodities like snow blowers in the winter, gardening tools in the spring, in-season fruit in the summer and Halloween decorations in the fall.

But while retailers are well accustomed to these predictable yearly trends, unexpected weather events such as winter storms or hurricanes can catch them flat-footed as these setbacks disrupt their business.

The Cost of Unexpected Weather Impact

Demand fluctuation is just one way weather impacts retail. The real consequences are much more far-reaching.

“What’s going on outside has a major effect on all parts of retail operations. And increasingly volatile everyday weather is making key processes, like inventory planning and supply chain management, more and more complex,” said’s VP and GM of Retail and Transportation Ayala Rudoy.

This is especially true for large retailers. Despite having more insulated supply chains, they also have more moving parts, like their own private fleets, distribution centers and warehouses, numerous store locations across broad geographic areas, regional offices and headquarters.

Freight itself is also impacted. Inclement weather can cause delays and temporary product shortages at ports and during ocean and ground transit, for instance, which can cascade across an unprepared business’ operations. As companies advertise products that aren’t there in time due to weather-related disruptions, customers arrive at stores only to find empty shelves and frustration. These temporary stockouts can significantly impact buying behavior and eventually push down sales and revenue.

Weather can wreak havoc on an organization in other ways too, contributing to insufficient or too much staffing during storms, power outages at stores, unsafe parking lots due to ice or snow and unmet demand for staple goods as consumers stock up ahead of snowstorms and hurricanes.

Without proactive preparation, retailers run the risk of significant profit losses over time, missed revenue optimization and lack of long-term resilience as climate change causes increasingly frequent and destructive weather events.

Traditional Forecasts Aren’t Cutting It

Retailers aren’t fully blind to weather impact. They know the value of forecasting in being able to predict an extreme weather event, for example, but lack a single streamlined source of advanced truth to do so in a scalable way.

Instead, siloed groups within a company often rely on outdated daily reports or varying predictions from multiple apps and news broadcasts, leaving the decisions up to individuals who are not weather experts.

An organization cannot afford the risk of each sector making decisions based on traditional fragmented methods of weather prediction. The consequences are simply too high.

“Without a unified approach to weather, retailers leave their long-term resilience and profitability at the mercy of the elements. The industry can no longer afford to simply react to the changing forecast, especially amid current market volatility,” added Rudoy.

Mitigating Risk and Optimizing Sales with Weather Intelligence

The advanced tools retail needs to adapt at scale exist, and brands across all industries are already using them to get ahead.

Meet’s weather intelligence — technology that turns the traditional weather forecast into hyperlocal, actionable insights from one single source of truth.

Using its weather and climate security platform, retailers can unite all departments with the same real-time and hyperlocal data.

Rather than relying on a “40% chance of rain” to inform inventory decisions for all stores in the same city, retailers use minute-by-minute forecasts down to the street level to make the most informed decision possible for each location and operational touchpoint.

Retailers plug their unique and standardized protocols into the platform to then trigger automated and customized alerts for each weather scenario so that all corners of the organization never need to guess about the next steps.

“The applications for retailers are endless. All parts of the organization can quickly take action based on a highly accurate source of information to mitigate the impact of everyday weather on operations, bottom line, moving assets and more,” said Rudoy.

With’s real-time monitoring tool, for instance, retailers with private fleets can mitigate disruptions and prevent accidents by automatically identifying which vehicles face dangerous conditions and contacting them in real time.’s Real-Time Monitoring enables retailers with private fleets to see real-time weather conditions for each of their assets along their routes. (Image:

Route planners and/or drivers can use this to better adjust paths taken and schedules from distribution centers to stores based on weather events. And, with advanced alerts of severe weather, store managers have a longer runway to prepare and prioritize safety prior to severe weather to minimize risk and prioritize operational efficiency.

The platform provides historical, real time and forecasted data out 14 days out. This advanced warning allows stores, for example, to align stock and staffing with weather-based supply and demand to ensure while competitors are out of popular products, their shelves remain stocked with them. continues to provide game-changing weather intelligence for the transportation and retail industries — and is about to take it a step further. This year, the company is launching a first-of-its-kind commercial satellite constellation that dramatically improves the world’s global radar coverage and further enhances the already powerful technology.

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