A palm tree on the left with wind blowing its fronds to the right against a background of a stormy sky

Weather has been shown to affect consumer behavior and influence purchasing patterns. Weather can affect people’s emotions, influence what they buy and how much they will pay for it.

And, given that for modern businesses the customer experience (CX) is at the center of everything they do, the relationship between the CX and weather, or more recently, extreme weather, is critical to ensuring customers are happy and getting value from all their interactions, rain or shine.

This matters since extreme weather is on the rise. The United Nations reports that from 2000 to 2019 there were 7,348 natural disasters around the world, with $2.97 trillion in global economic losses.

Understanding the relationship between weather and the customer experience by leveraging data-driven, customer-centric insights is going to allow a brand to program their campaigns and messaging more effectively and efficiently to keep customers happy and satisfied.

How Does Weather Affect Consumer Behavior?

It has been known for some time that the weather affects customer shopping behaviors. The basic science is that sunlight causes the brain to release serotonin, which helps to improve mood and calm you down. If you are calm and happy, you are more likely to spend money.

A study found that exposure to sunlight increases the level of consumption as well as the amount spent on each item. Another study found that 40% of mood elevations were affected by barometric pressure and sunshine.

On nice days, brick-and-mortar stores see more traffic, while on rainy days not so much. The flip side occurs for online retailers. A study found that there was a 12% increase in web traffic for retailers in certain verticals on wet or cold days compared to warm sunny days.

Related Article: 5 Overlooked Datasets in CX Road Mapping

How Can Your Customer Experience Help?

A quality, data-driven customer experience can help to ensure customers are happier with your brand, more engaged, and more likely to become long-term customers and even potential advocates. A good CX can reduce churn and improve revenue from your best customers.

And consumers will no longer tolerate bad experiences from brands. For example, 1 in 6 online shoppers will abandon a purchase because of a single bad experience. And customers who are loyal to a brand said they will switch to a competitor after a single poor experience. Just one.

If brands offer a good customer experience, it can help offset the effects of weather on consumer behaviors, as well as drive more revenue. A recent report found 30% of customers are willing to pay more for excellent service that a good CX offers.

Essentially, CX can help reduce the impact of extreme weather on the business by reacting to consumers' behavioral trends with relevant and valuable messaging and experiences that translate to improved satisfaction and performance.

Related Article: Drive Growth by Improving Your Customer Experience Strategy

Improving the Customer Experience

By improving the quality and performance of the CX, brands can hope to ensure the customer experience is relevant and valuable to the consumer. Brands are deploying more advanced immersive technologies like augmented reality (AR) to keep up with consumers’ expectations. In fact, 95% of enterprise tech executives said AR solutions will help their organizations better keep up with rising customer expectations.

This matters since in the end a quality CX improves retention and overall customer loyalty, making them less likely to jump ship during extreme weather events. Consider that 30% of companies offering digital experiences see improvements in customer lifetime value (CLTV), with 23% seeing increase in basket/shopping cart size.

Related Article: How to Deliver a Customer-Centric Digital Customer Experience

Conclusion: Good CX Is Key

Weather, or more recently, extreme weather, does not just affect consumers' behaviors and mood, it affects how they shop and how much they spend, and how they feel about a brand they are engaging with.

Using a data-driven, customer-centric customer experience that improves the efficacy and efficiency of your marketing programs, you can help to offset some of the potential losses and impact from extreme weather events.

A good CX can also improve your customer satisfaction levels, ensuring when bad or extreme weather hits, you can keep them happy rain or shine.