Deliver Better User Experience Through Weather Based Personalization

The demand for certain products and services varies considerably according to the weather. By way of illustration, 70% of GDP worldwide is affected by the weather. Certain areas of activity are especially susceptible to the weather. For example, it is much more likely that web users will be interested in warm clothing such as scarves and gloves than in jackets and shirts when a cold snap descends on them.

For online retailers in the ready-to-wear clothing industry, being able to rapidly adapt their e-merchandising to such external factors is a real asset, partly because they are able to satisfy the demands of their online customers and also because they avoid missing out on “easy” sales. In situations such as a sharp drop in temperatures, the decision to buy is dictated by an urgent need that must be met. The decision will be made more hastily and fewer alternatives will be considered: concluding the sale, therefore, appears easier.

Example: a retailer in the ready-to-wear clothing sector is able to adapt his merchandising to the meteorological conditions experienced by his online customers.

However, continually adapting his products to climatic conditions, also dependent on the geographical location of hundreds or even millions of consumers, would be a colossal task.

With a segmentation solution based on weather conditions, these weather-sensitive retailers can easily publicise offers or messages that are relevant to their online customers in terms of the current or forecast meteorological conditions specific to their geographical location. This type of solution is based on a two-part system: firstly identifying the location of the web user and then calling a web service to retrieve the corresponding weather information.

Using these functions, which are built into the AB Tasty platform, all our clients are now able to deliver highly relevant browsing experiences that are more likely to result in user conversion. This might involve integrating dynamic content within the web pages or displaying overlays for maximum flexibility. Either way, the speed of implementation is guaranteed: these functions do not require any code to be added to the website and are fully covered – at no extra cost – by the AB Tasty tag.

Before deploying this type of personalization strategy, you can validate its impact using standard A/B testing, as weather segmentation is one of the targeting criteria available in the interface, alongside others such as traffic source, device or even browsing behavior. You can, therefore, opt to include or exclude weather conditions, defined by two categories: type of weather (rainy, sunny, etc.) and temperature (min. temperature, max temperature, within a range).

AB Tasty targeting interface and meteorological targeting criteria (the type of weather and temperatures).

Key takeaway

Using the weather targeting function, it is at last possible to act on information that you already know to impact buyer behavior, and in just a few clicks.

Here are several possible scenarios.

Responsive e-merchandising

In just a few minutes, you can identify the promotional offers or products that sell best in similar weather conditions (seasonal products). Add even more relevance to your communications by displaying them alongside a weather widget showing local weather conditions, which should emphasize the suitability of your offer. You can also link this information to your stock availability in order to avoid disappointing your customers should you not have sufficient supplies and need time to restock.

Example: a website selling car parts can identify snow tire offers for its online customers located in geographical areas where it is snowing.

Drive-to-store contextual

As we all know, the weather is changeable: for products that are ultra-sensitive to weather conditions and for which there is a near-immediate need, it is worth incentivizing web users to visit their local store to obtain the product immediately rather than wait for it to be delivered. Building on their geolocation, local weather conditions and proximity to one of your points of sale, you can generate communications of real added value to your web customers.

Ultra-fine user segmentation

A cold snap descends on the northern UK, but the weather is still mild in the south… What should you do, bearing in mind that your customers are spread all over the country? Thanks to weather targeting, you can create audience segments that are specific to both populations. You can even go so far as to differentiate their behavior by geographical area. If you know that the North and the South react differently to a temperature of 0°C, you can refine your segmentation using over 40 other targeting criteria available in AB Tasty. The possibilities for building relevant personalization scenarios are limited only by your imagination.

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