Up to two feet of snow thanks to Winter Storm Stella may discourage New Yorkers from leaving their homes, but that doesn’t mean shoppers won’t spend any money from the couch.
Retailers’ online marketing teams, keen to the storm’s impact, wasted no time on Tuesday sending a flurry of emails to shoppers likely stuck working from home. Mass-blast messages targeted East Coast shoppers’ inboxes, with a deluge of winter-storm sales and discount codes.
Some companies, like Intermix, offered “flash sales” without mentioning the storm. Old Navy, in an email blast, referenced “Pi Day,” the math-nerd holiday that celebrates the mathematical constant rounded to 3.14, whose calendar day is March 14, before making note of its “Spring Fling Sale.” But others, like struggling mall staple Ann Taylor, referenced the weather directly.
Athleisure apparel company Bandier offered shoppers a 15-percent-off discount code, pegged to the snow day.
Henri Bendel’s email blast said, “Snowed In? Our Entire Site Is On Sale!” and offered shoppers 30 percent off new merchandise. Steve Madden’s email flashed a “Snow Day” GIF in its message, and offered 30 percent off boots to shoppers (or, if they were “over winter,” the option to shop spring sandals).
Remarkety, an e-commerce marketing firm, conducted a 2015 case study that found Tuesdays to be the second-most-successful day of the week for marketers to convert email blasts to e-commerce purchases, calling it a “prime day for some strategic email marketing.”
And Winter Storm Stella isn’t the first time retailers have taken advantage of a news event to leverage sales. On International Women’s Day 2017, some stores ignored the day’s edict to “avoid shopping,” instead telling women via email blasts that shopping is a form of empowerment.
Worth noting, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that wealthy and coastal states (e.g., New York) have had the biggest surge in online shopping, compared to other parts of the country, which could translate to an even higher cash-in for retailers targeting East Coasters stuck inside.
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Alexandra Mondalek is a writer for Yahoo Style and Beauty. Follow her on Twitter @amondalek.