We all know that the weather can impact our mood. Waking up to sunshine is nothing like looking out the window in the morning to see an approaching storm, whether the view is of a beach or a city skyline.
At the same time, how we react to the temperature can vary depending on where we live (picture a 60 degree day in New York, versus the same weather in California). Wherever people are, weather and location work in tandem to influence how they feel and behave throughout the day.
What if marketers could use the weather to forecast when consumers shop?
With the right data, they can. Based on a survey conducted through WeatherBug, we unearthed new data on the link between weather, mood, and foot traffic that can help retail brands predict their customers' shopping behavior and create more relevant and personalized messaging. Here are five things we learned:
1. People across the country are happiest when the average temperature is between 61 and 75 degrees. This is especially true in the West. In California, for example, overall foot traffic to retail stores increases by 15% in the months when the thermometer is in this range (May through June), and drop 10% when temps are outside of these parameters.
2. Nationally, people are the happiest with the weather in the month of May. If your target audience lives in the Northeast, however, they're particularly happy in June.
3. People are 9% happier when it's dry out — but again, people react differently to the weather based on where they live. In California during a severe drought, foot traffic to businesses is likely to increase by up to 9% when it's raining as people seek shelter indoors. Movie theaters in this state see a 32% increase in foot traffic on rainy days, while Seattle — which is accustomed to wet weather — doesn't register a significant change. Rain influences foot traffic 46% less in this city than it does in California.
4. From March to June, foot traffic to convenience stores and gas stations goes up by 22% as the summer weather incites people to get out and travel.
5. Allergies in the South are the worst in the spring. By July, pharmacy visits in the South— where allergies are the worst — are 13% lower compared to the month of March. Visits to pharmacies begin to drop in May.
Sarah Ohle is vice president of marketing insights at GroundTruth.