auto aftermarketExtreme winter weather conditions are a fact of life in many parts of the world.

And while snow and ice can be annoying for drivers, if you manage an auto aftermarket company, wintry weather could increase your profits.

When inclement weather strikes, maximize benefits with these simple strategies.

Auto Aftermarket and Extreme Weather: Stock Up in Advance

Many large winter storms are predicted by meteorologists days before snow begins. If you are shipping products to retail stores, watch weather forecasts and reach out immediately when a major storm is predicted. Ask if the retailer would like to order additional units of products which sell especially well during winter storms.

If you operate your own auto aftermarket retail outlet, keep track on an ongoing basis of items which sell out when snow and ice strike. Move additional products from your warehouse to your retail location(s) in advance of winter weather.

Use Weather for Marketing

Get ahead of competitors by actively incorporating winter weather into your marketing strategies. Proactively advertise a sale on winter staples. If you operate a retail location, send out postcards offering a special discount for customers who shop in inclement weather. If your products are specially tested in extreme cold, advertise this when cold warnings are issues, and snow is in the forecast.

Social Media Connections

If you are connecting with customers via social media, winter weather offers a great opportunity for engagement. Think outside of the box. Offer a prize for the customer whose car is buried most deeply in snow, as evidenced by photographs shared on your social media profiles. Use a service like TinEye to confirm that the winning photo is original.

(A cautionary note: It is easy to make mistakes in social media communications. If your company is not experienced in this area, consider training employees or hiring a social media specialist before attempting an organized social media campaign.)

Make Winter Buying Fun

If you operate an auto aftermarket bricks and mortar store, consider providing hot chocolate and coffee for customers during snowstorms. Throw in instant hand and foot warmers as a surprise bonus with large purchases. Use endcaps and other key display areas to showcase winter staples like windshield wiper fluid, thick gloves, and ice scrapers.

Use Lean management principles to organize inventory for convenient winter shopping, so customers will be satisfied rapidly and can hurry home before driving conditions further worsen. Watch customers and look for wasteful movement as they shop.

Rearrange product assortments so customers looking for winter essentials can find what they need easily, without excessive bending or stretching.

A treasure hunt atmosphere can boost sales at times of the year when your customers enjoy browsing for long periods, but they will leave with fewer products if finding the right item is difficult during inclement weather.