Morrisons is introducing weekly localised barbecue forecasts to its UK stores over the summer, to help shoppers buy the right food for the weekend and reduce food waste, Retail Times reports. The retailer is working with MetraWeather to provide individual forecasts for each of its 491 stores. In addition to large signs at the front of store there will also be weather announcements over the tannoy to remind customers whilst they are shopping.
Research for Morrisons found that 58% of Brits do not know the weather forecast when doing their shopping and as a result 21% said that they buy the wrong food for the weather.
With festival and barbecue season in full swing, retailers have a big opportunity to sell more food. The weather has a huge impact on our mood and shopping habits – as we know, disappointing retail results are all too often blamed on ‘unseasonal weather’. This initiative by Morrisons may be simple, but it has the potential to change shopper behaviour and drive satisfaction and loyalty, which can only be a good thing.
Taking into account the ‘little and often’ shopper trends that continue to develop in the UK, retailers have increasing opportunities to influence the behaviour of shoppers. Morrisons’ own latest financials show that customers are visiting stores 4.6% more frequently than a year ago but spending 6.9% less per basket. Many are likely to be impulse-driven and seeking inspiration, buying food for now rather than planning for the weeks ahead.
Opportunities to use the weather to influence shopper behaviour may be mainly low tech instore, but they are much more sophisticated online. Here the layout can be much more easily changed to reflect factors such as changes in temperature, weather and many other factors. It is a growing trend that retailers including Asda have been trialling with an apparent degree of success. We can expect to see a lot more of this in future. In the meantime, it’s another festival weekend and I hope that Morrisons has a good supply of wellies and umbrellas at the ready.