Weather based bid management – is the AdWords EPC correlated with the weather?

PPC weather based bid management

In the last one or two years, quite a few digital marketing agencies got specialized in weather-based marketing strategies. Google itself offers an AdWords script that helps you to adjust your bids automatically to the weather. But should the weather really impact your bidding strategy?

“Demand for certain products and services varies greatly depending on the weather. For example, users are much more likely to search for information on amusement parks on a hot, sunny day than if it’s cold and raining. An amusement park company may want to increase their bids when the weather is nice”, Google states on its bidding solutions site.

Some consumer psychology studies suggest that consumers are disposed to go shopping and spend more money when they are in a good mood and the sun is shining. Regarding online marketing, you could counter that it is the other way round – people do more online shopping when it rains and they stay at home.

At crealytics we often found that it is best not to trust too much neither in common sense nor in scientific studies – and even less in what is generally believed to be true – but to make our decisions data-driven. So we digged into our PPC data to find out how the weather influenced e-commerce consumer behavior in Berlin in July and August.
The following charts show the correlation between weather and sales data of an apparel and shoes retailer not specialized on products that clearly correlate with the weather (such as rain boots or sun hats).

Chart 1) Correlation between rainfall and sales KPIs (impressions, conversion rate, EPC)

Rainfall and EPC Berlin
(0% = arithmetic mean – click to enlarge)

Chart 2) Correlation between sunshine duration and sales KPIs (impressions, conversion rate, EPC)

Sunshine and EPC Berlin
(0% = arithmetic mean – click to enlarge)

The test shows that neither rainfall nor sunshine duration seems to be clearly related with the consumer behavior.

Conclusion: If you manage an AdWords account for an ice cream parlor or an outdoor activity centre you definitely should gather some information on the weather and adjust your bids according to the weather forecast. For normal retail campaigns, however, weather doesn’t seem to be a decisive factor for consumer behavior.


Andreas Meyer

Andreas Meyer has been an PPC specialist since 2009. In the years since, he has been in charge of accounts of all sizes among diverse industries. As of 2014, he works as a PPC analyst in the Business Intelligence division. His areas of expertise are PPC account optimization and Google Shopping.