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January’s Polar Vortex Led to Online Shopping

Too cold to go outside? Stay home and shop in front of the warm glow of the computer screen. That’s what happened this winter, according to Marin Software, which said search ad impressions skyrocketed during January’s Polar Vortex. The recent weather phenomenon is described in this Wikipedia entry, which said over 200 million people were affected by the “cold wave.”

As the temperatures plummeted, paid search impressions rose to 1500% above historic trends during the coldest week of the Polar Vortex (January 19 – 25), according to the ad-management platform.

And while click volume and spend also increased during the same week, they rose at only a fraction of the search impressions, indicating advertisers missed out on a captive audience according to Marin Software – click volume increased 268% and spend 79 percent.

Marin Software issued the data to show how a new tool called Context Connect can help its clients adapt to outside factors that can influence shopping behavior and advertising results. “To help advertisers better adapt to consumer behavior and external factors, Marin Software recently developed Context Connect. The new capability lets advertisers incorporate weather, television, inventory, sports scores, stock market fluctuations, and other contextual data into their digital marketing campaigns, allowing them to execute smarter optimization strategies and capitalize on environmental changes that affect their business.”

In other words, when the weather or other events impact online behavior, Context Connect can help advertisers identify those trends and take action by adjusting audiences, creative, and bidding across campaigns. See more information on the Marin Software website.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.