Your sales don't have to suffer just because of inclement weather.

Driving Sales in Cold, Wet Weather

Customer Experience Brand & Image

Driving sales to your business remains important, even when the weather is cold, rainy or snowy. Here’s how you can keep customers coming in bad weather.

Driving sales to your business remains important, even when the weather is cold, rainy or snowy. Retail and restaurant sales usually decrease during winter months, according to U.S. Census Bureau reports, evidence that many people are more likely to stay home during bad weather. Sure, it’s easier to attract foot traffic on a sunny summer day, but to keep your business thriving, you may want to find ways to keep customers coming even when the sun is nowhere to be found.

Marketing initiatives in retail like beacon technology can only work if people are inspired to leave their homes and go have experiences during the winter. When the weather in your area turns rainy, snowy, or just too cold, try these three ideas to help stimulate sales even though foot traffic may be slower.

1. Offer Discounts

For many people, the opportunity to snag a good deal is enough incentive to leave the house, even in inclement weather. You may want to offer a discount by mailing coupons, sending electronic coupons or publicizing the discounts in your company newsletter. Ninety-three percent of coupon users say they are very likely to use coupons they receive via email, according to research from Vouchercloud.

Regardless of the avenue you choose to deliver your coupons or discount codes, make sure you’re offering something that potential customers will perceive as valuable. For instance, a restaurant might offer a free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult meal, a free appetizer or a two-for-one special. A retail store might consider offering a discount on one of the season’s hottest items. Even if the discount is just 10 or 15 percent, it’s likely to draw more customers if the item is in demand. And your coupon or discount may convert a first-time customer into a regular: The vast majority of coupon users say they’ll visit a retailer again because of being offered a coupon, Vouchercloud research shows.

2. Host an Event

There’s nothing like a special event to draw a crowd into your location. Consider hosting an event for your customers or the local community, such as a holiday open house or a wine tasting. For an even better turnout, tie your event to a local community event, such as Restaurant Week, or partner with a nonprofit to raise awareness for their cause.

If you don’t want to host your own company event for customers, consider opening your space for corporate events. Companies like Kapow connect corporate event planners with venues, such as restaurants and retail stores, to stage unique events. Not only can such an opportunity bring new people into your space, but you can send a takeaway gift with attendees to make sure they remember your company and come back. Experiential retail is thriving in the digital age, where there are just some experiences the majority of consumers prefer to do in person. Introducing an experience element to your business may give you that edge that movie theaters, art galleries, and yoga studios are benefiting from.

3. Boost Your Digital Storefront

If you don’t already sell products or services online, it may be time to make that happen. While some customers will continue to brave bad weather to dine in your restaurant or shop at your store, if you provide options for take-out dining or online shopping, many more may be likely to participate. Take the opportunity to boost e-commerce on your site or add online ordering capabilities, and you may see the efforts pay off during dreary or wintry weather. Sites like Squarespace are making it increasingly easier to businesses to up their e-commerce game.

Just because the weather can change at any moment doesn’t mean that your business can stop driving sales. Consider these steps to help keep customers demanding your products and services all year round.


Nancy Mann Jackson
Nancy Mann Jackson

Nancy Mann Jackson writes regularly about finance, the workplace and career issues. Her work has appeared on CNBC.com, CNNMoney.com, Entrepreneur, Glassdoor.com, DailyWorth.com and Fortune.