holiday dispensary marketing

Christmas trees are already up and there’s still a month left till Christmas, which means the holiday season is right around the corner. If you’re a cannabis dispensary and you want to make the most of it then paying attention to previous trends, adapting to COVID, and leaning on your loyalty members will all be important.

If you’re familiar with us then you know that here at springbig, we’re all about making the most of the holidays. From our past articles on holidays like cannabis’s 4/20, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and more, you can see just how important holidays are for boosting sales. Take labor day for example: in 2018 springbig clients saw a 284% increase in sales the Friday before labor day, and that’s just labor day. Clearly, on holidays cannabis customers are more than ready to shop, what it comes down to is how well you cater to their needs and wants.

For the 2020 holiday season, catering to needs, wants, trends, and the state of affairs in our world today will all be crucial for medical cannabis dispensaries and recreational cannabis dispensaries who are looking to make the most of the coming 2020 holiday season. In this article, we’ll be talking about all of this in more so that you can make sure you’re ready to give their customers everything they want and more when they’re shopping for gifts for their friends, family, or themselves (no shame there!). In this, we’ll be talking about general Christmas trends, adapting to COVID, and the importance of leveraging your loyalty rewards program among other things.

But before we jump in, let’s first briefly mention how changes in marijuana legalization may make this year’s holidays the best the cannabis industry as seen in terms of sales and how marijuana laws state-to-state, in general, will be important to ensuring the holiday’s go smoothly at your dispensary.

Cannabis law and how it could affect the holidays

2020 has been a year of ups and downs, but if you’re talking about the state of cannabis legislation in 2020, things are looking pretty good. Many states have very recently made the move to legalize recreational cannabis including Illinois and New Jersey, and this December congress will even be voting on a cannabis legalization bill. While that bill will likely be shot down by the senate, it shows that big waves are being made and people are opening up to cannabis like never before. But that’s not to say that only dispensaries where recreational marijuana is legalized will be able to partake in the fun.

That’s right, don’t count out medicinal marijuana dispensaries this holiday season. Medical marijuana is still legal marijuana, so you can expect patients to up their purchases around the holiday season as well. While they’ll likely only be shopping for themselves, they’ll certainly want to take part in the holiday sales and treat themselves.

What does that mean for this year’s holiday season cannabis sales? You can expect to not only see them be higher than last year’s because of recent legalization, but you can expect them to be higher than last year due to a surge of newly interested individuals who, as state and local governments open up to marijuana use, also open up to it. Thus, it would do any dispensary well to expect a surge of new customers this coming holiday season.

With that being said, let’s jump into the article by first looking at how the holiday season has impacted cannabis sales in the past.

Making the most of 2020 holidays

Leverage past trends

One of the best ways to inform present-day decisions is to learn from the past, which is why when figuring out how to make the most of Christmas 2020 we looked back on past Christmas trends.

Data from Headset, shows that for Christmas 2018, sales increased substantially, especially for items that are currently skyrocketing in popularity today, namely cartridges and edibles. Cartridges and edibles have been rising in popularity as substitutes for traditional flowers. In the weeks leading up to Christmas 2018, sales for cartridges and rose 23.5% while sales for edibles rose 36.4%. One possible reason for these increases, especially regarding the increase in popularity of edibles, is the fact that sitting in a circle smoking marijuana and passing a joint doesn’t necessarily scream social distancing, thus, edibles and other cannabis products are a safer alternative.

In saying all of this, we don’t want to suggest that flower sales won’t be important as well. In the weeks leading up to Christmas 2018, flower sales rose 11.5%, so make sure that you don’t forget about those customers who have a preference for consuming cannabis the old-school way. Similar to edibles and cartridges, COVID has also impacted the way in which customers purchase flower which we will also touch on later in the article.

On top of all this, it will also be important to expect an increase in sales of things that could be seen as gifts and stocking-stuffers including CBD products and CBD or THC infused topicals among other things. Whether it’s for recreational use and the recreational user or for a customer at a medical dispensary shopping for themselves, sales of “gifty” items will no doubt rise.

All in all, paying attention to these trends will be critical to making the most of Christmas 2020. Be ready for sales to increase overall, but be especially ready for an increase in demand for edibles and cartridges.

Adapting to COVID

While paying attention to the past is important, so is adapting to the present, and the present has presented us with an extremely unique situation: the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic has drastically changed consumer habits across all industries, and the cannabis industry is no exception: COVID has changed the purchasing habits of cannabis consumers and preferred methods of cannabis use. That being said, the way it has impacted the cannabis industry isn’t essentially negative regarding sales, especially compared to some industries like the restaurant business. Despite COVID, cannabis sales have continued to rise, but consumer purchasing habits and preferences have changed.

One of the biggest changes since COVID has hit that rings true across all industries: delivery options and pick-up options are a must. That means making sure you’re easy to find on ecommerce sites such as Weedmaps, Dutchie, and Jane. With this, you’ll want to make sure that your customers know that they can order from you in these cites as well as make sure that they know that your dispensary has the option of curbside pick-up and is taking all prosecutions possible to keep them safe. In this, leveraging text message marketing, your website, and social media platforms will be a must.

Besides operational changes, customers purchasing habits have changed as well with the most notable change being the increase in the sale of edibles. According to Headset, edible sales are up 28% from their pre-covid numbers. Especially in California, where edibles sales have jumped up 35% since COVID, making sure you’re stocked up on all of your customer’s favorite edible products will be a must for the holiday season. Recreational marijuana dispensaries should be especially aware of this trend as edibles will surely be a popular gift and stocking stuffer this holiday season.

On top of this, customers have changed the way in which they purchased flower as a result of COVID. According to Headset, people have been buying flower in bulk. That’s right, customers are ditching the gram and opting for the ounce when they buy marijuana likely in an effort to reduce the number of trips they make. Similar to things like toilet paper, people are trying to limit how many trips they’re making to town which explains why they’re purchasing more cannabis in bulk. Especially for a medical marijuana dispensary, this is a big trend to pay attention to. That being said, recreational marijuana dispensaries should also keep this trend in mind when stocking the shelves this holiday season.

Making sure you keep in mind all of these changes that COVID has caused in the cannabis industry will be crucial to boosting your sales this holiday season. Combine this with what you’ve learned from past Christmas trends, and you’ve got a recipe for big sales and happy customers.

Lean on loyalty members

If you want to take it a step further, then leveraging your loyalty members is another great way to boost sales this holiday season. In this, text message marketing and Brands by springbig can both help you boost sales and save money on marketing this holiday season.

Text message marketing

If you’re familiar with us, then you know that we are huge advocates for text message marketing, and the holiday season is the perfect time to double-down on your text message marketing efforts.

In this, utilizing text message marketing as a way to tell your loyalty members about special holiday sales, seasonal inventory, and options for delivery and pick-up is a must. On top of this, text message marketing can also be used to send your customers special holiday deals. We all love presents, so why not give your loyalty members a small present like a voucher for 10% off.

Brands

Taking this just one more step further, you can leverage your loyalty members and your text message marketing capabilities to get free marketing with Brands by springbig. Dispensaries aren’t the only ones looking to make a buck during the holiday season, cannabis brands are also looking to get in on the action.

Brands by springbig allows brands that you carry in-store to sponsor one or more of your text message marketing campaigns where they have creative control of the graphic attached to the message and you control the text itself. This allows brands to reach a very important audience and boost sales, while it gives dispensaries the chance to also boost sales as well as save some money with free marketing.

Recap

In short, Christmas is coming, and with it it brings the opportunity to capitalize on customers excited to buy for their family, friends, and themselves. If you’re looking to capitalize on the shopping mania, then paying attention to past trends, and making sure your shop or business is ready to handle the changes and complications COVID brings with it is a must. That means making sure you’re adapting to things such as consumers’ transitions to buying fewer grams and more ounces of cannabis.

On top of that, making the most of your loyalty members through text message marketing and Brands can help boost your sales even more. Use text message marketing to hook your loyalty members up with the best deals, and use Brands to get those text messages paid for by the Brands you already carry in-store.

With all that has been said, it’s important to not lose sight of what the holidays are really about. So make sure that you don’t spend all your time on marketing and boosting sales and save some time for your family and friends.

From all of us here at springbig, happy holidays!

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