Wet weather expected to boost Brits online spend by £650 million in 2023
Image source: Adobe Stock
We all know how a change in the weather can have a big impact on our plans. From hitting the park or venturing out when the sun is shining to staying home if it looks like rain’s coming.
With the U.K. experiencing the warmest June on record followed by a damp and drizzly July, analysis from Adobe’s Digital Economy Index reveals that we don’t just change our plans around the weather, we also change our online shopping habits, too.
The data projects that rain, snow and high winds will cause UK consumers to spend an additional £754 million online this year – with rain alone causing online spend to increase by £650 million.
To put these numbers in context, weather alone could result in more consumer spending than Cyber Monday, which at £732 million was the biggest online shopping day of 2022.
The Digital Economy Index analyses tens-of-billions of visits to retail sites from UK consumers, 100 million SKUs, and 18 product categories, to provide the most comprehensive view of how UK consumers are spending money online. By leveraging weather data from the world’s most accurate forecaster, The Weather Company, an IBM business – Adobe has predicted exactly how much additional online spend will come because of adverse weather conditions including rain, high winds, and snow.
Following the sixth wettest July on record, this new analysis reveals that when daily rainfall is between 1-4 cm, and consumers spend more time indoors, they increase their online spending by as much as 4.4% above normal levels. The impact of rain on ecommerce is particularly pronounced at the weekend, when wet conditions can see online spending rise by 12%, compared with weekdays where spending increases between 1% and 4% are more typical.
“As our new analysis shows, weather conditions aren’t just influencing the products people buy, they are now also impacting how people are shopping, with many heading online for their items rather than braving the elements when the weather turns. While rainfall and bad weather can be a washout for the high street, it presents an opportunity for those retailers with strong online and mobile offerings that can market to their customers in real-time as weather conditions change.”
Vivek Pandya, Lead Analyst at Adobe Digital Insight
While Adobe’s analysis showed that snow has a lesser effect on online spending – contributing around £65 million to total online spending – it found that it has a greater impact in areas that rarely experience snowfall. Cities in the UK with low amounts of annual snow are more influenced by a dusting of snow than cities that receive more than 10 cm of snow per year, seeing a snow-related spending uplift of 17% and 6% respectively.
“As the UK is adapting to more and more extremes in the weather, from the record 40C heat and drought last summer, then this year the hottest June on record followed by the sixth wettest July on record, it is becoming more and more important to understand the impacts weather is having on our behavior and shopping habits. Despite changing weather and seasonal norms, it is not only possible, but also beneficial, for retailers and brands to plan around the weather.”
Leon Brown, head of global meteorological operations at The Weather Company
Online retailers already plan major ecommerce days like Black Friday, Prime Day and the holiday shopping season. Now the link between weather events and online spending has been quantified, those that are able to react to changing conditions and target their marketing effectively have opportunities to boost their online sales throughout the year whenever the storm clouds roll in.
Download the Adobe Digital Economy Index report, in partnership with The Weather Company, here.