1 fact coming for every day of advent... day 6.
What are our chances of a white Christmas this year?
In the UK we have an average chance once every 6 years?
Love it or hate it, when it does snow - retail sales plummet. I’m not surprised to learn this at all. Why venture out shopping when you have the perfect excuse for going back to your childhood, building snowmen and over dosing on hot chocolate? For the child inside, check out this fun website www.willigetawhitechristmas.com where you can find out what your predicted snowfall will be.
But what about the economy?
Who can forget the 2012 British summer – said to be the wettest summer in 100 years? Sadly, we saw retailers like B&Q (part of the Kingfisher Group) wiping £25m off annual profits and at least a dozen other retailers blaming the weather for disappointing sales figures including Halfords, Greggs, Domino’s Pizza, Wm Morrison, and Debenhams.
Bad weather boosts positive online sales
What the bad weather does reflect is that more consumers are shopping online than ever before. The Christmas shopping season got off to a bumper start over the weekend, with record takings recorded as a result of last week's American-style "Black Friday" promotions. With Mega Monday only just behind us, earlier indications from Visa Europe predict an overall £450 million spend online with 7.7 million transactions. This will make it Britain's busiest day on record for cyber-shopping.
Rising consumer expectations and sophistication is driving the retailers into new sales and service platforms including; websites, mobile phones, social media, Internet couponing and third-party vendor relationships, among others. Certainly this multichannel journey is picking up pace as retailers learn what works best for their customers.
I look forward to 2014 - the successful retailers will be investing their energy on brand engagement and interaction with customers regardless of platform. For marketers, this means we have our work cut out for us indeed!