While consumers are more apt to visit stores on days that are warmer and drier — making it easier for dealerships to move inventory — a report recently released by The Weather Company showed that cooler temperatures and inclement weather more likely drive consumers to choose to stay home and want to do research online via their mobile devices or home computers instead of making that trip out to a showroom floor to scout potential purchases.
Because the vehicle-buying process is heavily influenced by weather conditions, the report suggested dealership marketers would greatly benefit from taking steps to implement a weather strategy the most optimally crafted to support their endeavors.
The Weather Company said its latest report is designed to analyze how much this summer’s weather is expected to impact auto buying.
“What we see is that most severe weather and precipitation have a larger impact in keeping consumers out of the dealers,” The Weather Company’s vice president of automotive sales Sarah Ripmaster said during a phone interview with Auto Remarketing.
This summer, dealerships can optimize their marketing efforts if their strategy is developed with the weather in mind, the report suggested.
“The research shows that this coming summer — based on our historical data — is looking to be a drier summer and cooler summer,” Ripmaster said. “While the summer may be cooler, it doesn’t necessarily mean that consumers will not be into the dealerships, it’s more about figuring out the mindset of the consumer during different conditions.
"Even if it’s cooler, consumers have high energy," she continued. "They’re creative even if they’re feeling a little bit cool. They are more apt to want to be in a more creative environment, they want to be spoken to in a different way than if it were really, really hot or really, really cold.”
The report indicated that 76 percent of drivers surveyed said weather conditions determine whether when they chose to visit a dealership.
“That’s a really high number, and it’s important for OEMs to consider when marketing,” Ripmaster said.
Weather not only impacts sales but consumers’ behavior as well, she suggested.
“Weather is one of the highest drivers of behavior linked directly to consumer behavior, 66 percent test drive their vehicle before they make a purchase this is no surprise,” Ripmaster explained.
“What’s important to note is that as you’re driving consumers down the purchase tunnel and you’re getting them close to the purchase — we know that consumers don’t test drive vehicles when weather is inclement, when there’s heavy precipitation or when it’s freezing cold.”
She said if marketers don’t take steps to deploy messaging that is created specifically to connect with consumers during particular weather conditions, they may be wasting ad dollars.
“It’s important to understand the link between weather and consumers purchase behavior when digitally marketing to this consumer,” Ripmaster said. “When we know that there is a rain storm coming, an OEM marketer may want to suppress advertising messages.”
The following lists three conditions the report cites as keeping consumers away from lots the most.
• Snow/Hail: 76%
• Extreme Cold: 51%
• Fog: 40%
In December, the weather data provider surveyed more than 1,400 adults, ages 18 and up on weather.com for more than three weeks. To view the report visit, go to this website.