Weather insights good for sales

There is a correlation between weather and sales. The business agreement between the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) and Coop Logistics has now been extended and expanded. Through close collaboration and the processing of large datasets, SMHI now delivers sales forecasts for Coop's range of barbecue products.

Matvarubutik

Coop's sales data for the barbecue range has been matched with weather information from SMHI. This involves very large datasets and enormous calculations, which SMHI handles every day in its work with weather forecasts. 

"We have been able to produce unique information on the relationship between weather and the sale of products in the barbecue range. With these data and contexts, we were able to make a model that supplies sales forecasts, which Coop now uses in its ordering process," says Kjell Lund, SMHI. 

New insights

Prior to 2015, Coop chose to expand its collaboration with SMHI to cover all barbecue-related items.

Ulf Axelsson is the manager of Product Flow at Coop Logistics.

"Our partnership with SMHI has given Coop completely new insights into how weather affects our customers' purchasing behaviour. The knowledge and historical data that SMHI keeps on weather has been very valuable for learning more about the impact of weather on the products that Coop's customers buy," says Ulf.

Better customer service - less waste

With the help of the "SMHI Weather Insight" service, Coop is better able to meet customer demand and stock up enough goods for sales peaks. At the same time, Coop reduces the waste of fresh products with a limited shelf life.

Next step 

SMHI has now gone one stage further and calculated the weather sensitivity of almost all Coop's 20,000 articles. They found many interesting, and sometimes unexpected, correlations.

"Sales of a surprising number of goods are sensitive to the weather. When the sun is out, our customers often buy mineral water, halloumi cheese and potato salad. When it is cold and wet, people tend to buy bay leaves, curry paste and veal stock," says Ulf Axelsson.

"We reckon that this information could be used in the entire food chain in the future, from the production of food to warehousing and sales," says Kjell Lund.

Business benefits for others

Many industries could benefit from SMHI's information for decision-making purposes in different parts of their processes; production, orders, transportation and warehousing, shops and marketing.

"In the spring we are going to visit a large number of companies in different industries, both trade and other sectors, to inform them about the business benefits of "SMHI Weather Insight"," says Kjell.