The Most Important Day in Cannabis Retail

4/20 is arguably the most famous random day turned holiday in the United States in recent memory. Many people can’t even hear the number 4/20 without thinking of cannabis. It’s hard to find any other comparable popular holidays. Because of this, 4/20 has turned into one of the biggest sales days for the cannabis industry. In this article, we’ll be talking about how cannabis retailers can maximize 4/20 sales and make the most out of the 4/20 holiday rush in 2021 with a flawless digital marketing strategy that will increase sales and retention. 

Impact of COVID on Last Year

4/20 is the biggest holiday of the year for both recreational cannabis businesses and medical marijuana dispensaries, pretty much any cannabis company, and the cannabis community at large, even more than Black Friday and the Winter holiday season. 

Big opportunities like this are hard to come by. For example, 4/20 in 2019 springbig retail cannabis stores saw an increase in cannabis sales of almost 200% over the daily average. In 2020, as you can see, the growth was not as impressive due to the outbreak of COVID-19,

4/20 2020 case study

Percent increase in average daily sales in 2020 did not reach the same levels as 2019, only seeing a 50% increase. But this was due to certain states instituting strict lockdowns like Massachusetts which did not consider the Marijuana Industry to be essential business and thus actually saw a negative movement in sales on 4/20.

High Hopes for 2021

That being said, 4/20/2021 will be a highly competitive day for dispensaries nationwide, but strong operating performance on the day can often make a statement amongst your customers, help you stand out from big chains, and carry your shop through the entire month and even year.

Opportunities like this are great ways to generate a large increase in revenue in one day through transaction growth, but they also leave a lasting impression on the many new customers who will be using the holiday as their first experience with cannabis. Leaving a lasting impression on your target audience on 4/20 can turn them into loyal regulars, which from a financial perspective is exactly what a business needs to drive sales. While maximizing sales on 4/20 is the goal, if you build a personal connection on 4/20 it will stay in the customer’s mind throughout the year especially when other holidays come around.

In order to make sure you stand out, you’ll want to leverage every marketing channel available and run sales from the 19th to the 21st. This includes email marketing, text marketing, social media marketing, community events, and more. Not only that but for 2021, eCommerce will be extremely important. Like we’ve talked about before, 2020 was the year for cannabis eCommerce largely because of COVID, and 2021 is no different. 

One difference you will want to pay attention to this year is the fact that 4/20 isn’t on a weekend, it’s on a Tuesday. This means that being mindful of your customers’ work schedule and possibly staying open a bit later will be necessary to make the most of the festivities. Having it on the weekend would be optimal, but we’re used to adapting and overcoming in the cannabis industry. 

You don’t want to wait to kick off your marketing campaigns just a couple of days before the holiday. You’ll want to start promoting your 4/20 special and encouraging people to enroll in your loyalty rewards program in the weeks leading up to the holiday. In this post, we’ll show you how to maximize your dispensary’s performance on 4/20 by leveraging the power of eCommerce,  education, and dispensary metrics among other things.

Adapting to the eCommerce trend

Both the Canadian cannabis market and the US cannabis market have developed in recent years, cannabis transactions have broken through various regulatory barriers and finally entered the e-commerce space. What was once a cash-only brick-and-mortar experience has evolved into a tech-driven operation that utilizes advanced POS systems, online retailers, and dispensary technology. 

Cannabis consumers seem to have enthusiastically embraced these developments. In fact, recent data from clients that have integrated e-commerce platforms into their retail stores have shown that the average store had an increase in sales by 52% and up to 130% from January 2020 to April 2020.

A few factors can explain the spike in online cannabis purchases. First of all, around this time last year, the country is in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis. We are still in the midst of the pandemic, which has continued to fuel more socially distanced shopping behaviors and change the cannabis market. 

The percentage of cannabis retail dispensaries’ customer base ordering online last year increased by 142% from February to April 2020. Delivery orders are also rising as delivery sales have increased by 46% from February to April 2020 and 115% from January to April 2020.

Because of this, leveraging eCommerce is key. You’ll want to make sure that your menu is easily accessible on as many cannabis eCommerce sites as possible. While the most popular ones may differ from state to state, a good place to start is with our partner eCommerce sites including Weedmaps, Dutchie, Dispense, and iheartjane.

Avoid long lines with Operational Efficiency Software

Not all customers want to get caught up in the frenzy on the actual holiday. Encourage your regular customers to stock up on their preferred products or services before the day itself. This will help reduce wait times help prevent the possibility that the most popular products will sell out on 4/20 before everyone has had a chance to buy them.

Another way to accomplish this is by encouraging online ordering. springbig has full integration with many major cannabis delivery solutions like our partner, iheartjane. On top of this, encouraging pick-up orders is another great way to cut down the line and expedite the customer shopping experience. 

Educate New Consumers with Content Marketing

4/20 will likely be the time where people who have been on the fence about trying cannabis will decide to partake. As cannabis continues to become destigmatized more and more people consider trying it out every day. 

Now that it is no longer taboo, the primary barrier keeping these potential customers from trying is simply a lack of knowledge or intimidation. Over the years, as the retail cannabis market has developed there has been a slew of new cannabis products and cannabis accessories developed, which can be intimidating to some.

This is what’s known as “the Paradox of Choice”. Someone may walk into your store take a look at the wide range of choices and have no idea what most of it is and how it will affect them.

A great way to solve this problem is through education to reduce intimidation. Simply conveying the benefits of cannabis can be all it takes. Remember buying recreational and medical cannabis isn’t just like buying groceries, it is a psychoactive substance and people are wary of how it will affect them.

Companies like Seed Technologies have solved this by providing dispensaries with an interactive digital platform that offers standardized cannabis information and guides customers through the buying process.

“Dispensaries face a unique challenge when it comes to providing a superior customer experience. With a high mix of inexperienced users, the burden to educate consumers on cannabis falls on the dispensary staff. 

This can be complicated even more if the shopper is not made comfortable enough to ask what can be sensitive questions in order to get the right product fit.” – Matthew Cutone, CEO Seed Technologies.

By placing a Seed Kiosk at the front of your store you have the ability to ask customers what physical effects they are seeking from Cannabis and various other questions in order to formulate curated and personalized recommendations for specific products within your inventory. 

Find out what products your customers really want

Analyze your dispensary metrics before the holiday so you can create deals tailored by product to best serve your visitors and clear out your stock.

You know your loyal customers better than anyone. We simply help you track what they love. Use springbig’s comprehensive, real-time analytics and to brush up and stock up on what your customers want. After checking your company dashboard and tracking your past retail sales, you can see which products were most popular on previous holidays and make sure you’re able to stock up for 4/20.

If you really want to understand your loyal customers, then running a couple of customer surveys through Budtender may help you figure out exactly what your customers want to see for 4/20. With Budtender, you can easily send out customer surveys, collect data, and organize it with virtually no effort. 

In this way, you can create a truly one-of-a-kind complete customer experience tailored to your customers’ needs. 

If you’re interested in learning more about our most recent acquisition with Budtender and how it can help your dispensary prepare for April 20, 2021, check out our article discussing everything you need to know about Budtender!

On top of this, 4/20 promotional products that may not be popular with experienced users like pre-rolls will sell at higher rates on 4/20 due to a large amount of inexperienced or completely new ones looking to partake in the cannabis community’s biggest day of the year. In fact, according to a study by Headset, pre-rolls have been the most popular 4/20 item for 3 years in a row!

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        Cannabis Marketing Association member


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