At least when it comes to the impact of hurricane forecasts on shopping behavior.
It’s not the storm itself that drives demand — it’s the prediction.
More specifically, it’s the media and, increasingly, social media fueled by the prediction that creates the “surge” shopping that inevitably precedes the arrival of a big storm.
The buzz surrounding Hurricane Joaquin is already surging across the internets and social networks. The predicted path — impacting the largest metro areas in the US — means that it’s more than likely going to be all Joaquin all the time for the balance of the week and into the weekend.
This will have a dramatic impact on consumer behavior and spending trends between now and Monday across the northeast and Mid Atlantic.
Buckle your seat belts, marketers!
— Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) September 30, 2015
Pop-tarts, Prepared Chicken and Padlocks
For most retail businesses, helping their customers in a time of need is a core value they take to heart; and making sure they have enough of the products their customers need when they really need it is at the core of that vision.
People understandably behave differently in advance of a storm and that translates into altered buying behaviors.