Business sales and return on investment are directly affected by the weather, as is consumers' purchasing behavior. The ability to do more than just talk about the weather is the holy grail of businesses; they want to be able to act on it and use it for a competitive advantage.
A new, free online tool lets them do just that. Sales Tracker, a self-service tool from Weather Underground, allows businesses to track sales figures against historical weather conditions.
By entering the ZIP code of a business location and selecting a customized date range, companies are able to instantly download a spreadsheet of historical weather data.
Inputting corresponding sales data will present graphs that illustrate how sales figures have fluctuated alongside weather variables such as temperature, precipitation and dew point.
Sales Tracker is part of a new Business Center from Weather Underground that provides businesses with a suite of tools and services that leverage weather data to enhance operation and marketing strategies.
Other analytical tools include temperature maps of the United States that show variance from historical temperature averages so that businesses can instantly identify opportunities in unseasonably warm or cold areas. Furthermore, operation managers can use weather intelligence for more-efficient inventory management, staff scheduling and organizing shipping logistics.
The Business Center also offers opportunities for the user to leverage its newly found business intelligence in future marketing campaigns. Capabilities include triggering entire media campaigns across digital, TV, radio and print according to weather conditions.
"Weather is the number one topic of conversation around the world, as well as the most demanded data on smart phones," said Toby Skinner, Weather Underground's marketing VP. "Weather data can therefore be used by brands as a means to start conversations with customers across social media or CRM strategies – and can provide rich content to mobile marketing strategies."
Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.