T-minus three days to Thanksgiving and that means consumers are getting ready to indulge in turkey, neighbors are gearing up for football and millions of people are bracing for busy travel conditions. In fact, AAA is forecasting a 1.9% increase in holiday travel compared to last year, that will result in more than 48 million Americans traveling 50+ miles during the Thanksgiving holiday.

For marketers, there is an extra air of excitement as Thanksgiving represents the official start to the holiday shopping season. 2016 looks to be a great one. The National Retail Federation estimates that 137 million Americans plan to shop on Thanksgiving weekend and the burst of cold many are experiencing is good news for retailers who want consumers in the winter shopping mood. Our weather forecasters predict it will be cold and windy with some snow flurries in the Northeast on Monday into Tuesday, with some larger lake-effect snows in those cities downwind of the Great Lakes (e.g., Buffalo, Cleveland) and in the Northeast mountains. Then generally quiet Wednesday into Thursday. There is the potential for a more significant nor’easter storm late week that would impact the Northeast, but it’s still too early to tell if it will be a significant disruptor of travel. For more detailed, local forecasts visit www.weather.com.

In the interim, marketers should prepare to capitalize on spending spikes. We know that the weather impacts what we buy and how we buy it, as Paul Walsh reminds us in this week’s weather business video clip. Remember to optimize conversion by taking the following into consideration.

•    Think local. What does the weather feel like to consumers relative to your store locations?
•    Match product promotions to consumer mood. Is the current weather putting people in the mood for traditional winter gear? Or should you be promoting other essential items?
•    Integrate on and offline marketing efforts. What are road conditions likely to be during Black Friday?

Ready to fully leverage holiday shopping excitement?
Read the Holiday 2016 eBook for helpful tips & tricks.

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