On-Demand is In-Demand: Stay Ahead with Weather Operations
On-demand companies like yours are facing historic increases in demand, creating a massive rush to capture market share and increase customer lifetime value.
While it’s a clear opportunity for your business, it’s also a massive challenge. It’s up to you to help your company stand out and provide a great experience for your customers to capture some of the annual $57 billion spent for on-demand services.
However, from an operations perspective, keeping customers happy is much, much harder. Many shoppers are experiencing massive unexpected delays in deliveries from top brands like Amazon Prime, Instacart, and Walmart. And you’re likely in the same boat.
This is exactly where weather can be a key differentiator for your business. Understanding how weather impacts your operations can help you:
- Access resources faster than the competition
- Offer more accurate ETAs to customers
- Better manage staffing and customer demand
- Build a more predictable business model
- …and much more
Here’s how weather-centric operations can improve your on-demand business.
1. Get ahead of the competition
With the supply of specific products, it’s a race to get there first. Whether you’re selling food or other essential items, you need to be able to keep supply chains running, and running efficiently.
That’s where understanding the weather can be a huge advantage. If you have a better handle on how weather impacts your supply chain and logistics, you can access product supplies faster than your competition. That could mean that while a competitor is fully sold out of one product, you aren’t. And you can guess where buyers are going to go for what they need.
2. Incentivize deliveries prior to a weather event
It’s a well-known fact that there’s always a surge in demand when the weather is bad. People are less inclined to go to the store or pick up food, and so your business likely experiences a surge in demand during an upcoming storm.
By understanding that a weather event is incoming — whether it’s a snowstorm or a hurricane — you can staff your business effectively and plan for the increase in demand. For example, you can offer incentives to make sure you have enough people on the road when demand surges. Instead of having to react to the weather, you can be proactive and get better results.
3. Update ETAs based on the weather forecast
Even if you’re able to staff appropriately for an upcoming storm, some weather will inevitably impact delivery times. If there’s a flood in the path of your delivery driver, for example, you have to take that data into account when serving up an ETA to your customers.
This is huge because it sets a better expectation for buyers. Right now, people understand that a delivery may be somewhat delayed. However, if your ETA is completely inaccurate, you may still be on the receiving end of a barrage of Twitter hate. But with better weather data in advance, you can update ETAs and give your buyers more realistic expectations, improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.
4. Creatively market to your buyers
You can also use weather data to better market to your customers. If you’re a grocery delivery company, for example, you know that there will be more people in-store shopping on a sunny day than a rainy day. You can then send out a marketing message to your customers, telling them to order instead to avoid the crowds.
You can also offer promotional weather campaigns to customers like sending a push notification for hot chocolate if it’s cold, or cold beers when the weather heats up. This kind of creative marketing is yet another way you can better serve customers using operational weather data.
The bottom line: you want to keep your customers happy!
It’s clear that the on-demand world is experiencing a massive land grab for customers. You will be building a relationship with your most valuable customers in the next 12 months. Today is the day to make an investment in your business operations.