Holiday Marketing Guide for Cannabis Dispensaries

From regulars to seasonal shoppers to new customers, as a dispensary owner, you want to excite everyone enough to make the sale over and over again. Here are our top ideas you can use to spice up your holiday marketing.

Holiday Marketing Guide for Cannabis Dispensaries
Guest contributor

Lindsay Crafford

Sr. Content Marketing Manager, Dutchie
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Holiday Marketing Guide for Cannabis Dispensaries

From regulars to seasonal shoppers to new customers, as a dispensary owner, you want to excite everyone enough to make the sale over and over again. Here are our top ideas you can use to spice up your holiday marketing.

Preview of what's inside

Disclaimer: Be sure any potential marketing or advertising practices—including product bundling, sales of cannabis accessories, product discounts, and free item giveaways—are permitted in your state and in compliance with all local and state rules and regulations.

Popular cannabis holidays

In the cannabis industry, there are three significant holidays that retailers can count on for increased foot traffic and revenue:

  • 420 (April 20th)
  • 710 (July 10th)
  • Green Wednesday (the Wednesday before Thanksgiving)

In this guide, we'll explore the origins and impact of these holidays on cannabis retailers—and show you how to boost revenue at your dispensary by creating discounts and implementing other effective marketing strategies.

What is 420?

Ah, 420—the cannabis holiday that needs no introduction. (But for the sake of this guide, we'll give you one).

For dispensary owners and managers, 420 has become a landmark retail occasion that’s frequently compared to Black Friday. But if you look past the explosive sales in recent years, you’ll find that 420 actually had some pretty humble beginnings.

The most widely-accepted and beloved theory can be traced back to 1971 in San Rafael, California. Five teenagers and best friends, known as “The Waldos”, devised a plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop—the location of which was hidden on a treasure map created by the grower. The Waldos, each of whom attended San Rafael High School, designated the school’s Louis Pasteur statue as their meeting point, where they gathered at—you guessed it—4:20pm. The operation was nicknamed “4:20 Louis”.

What is 710?

Often thought of as a more specific version of 420 tailored to concentrate consumers, the origins of 710 are largely unknown, although it can be traced to the 710 Cup. The 710 Cup was a contest for oil users that first took place in 2012—today, these contests take place annually and have spread throughout the US and Canada.

Regardless of how 710 came to be, one thing remains clear: oil lovers and concentrate consumers will be on the lookout for deals on their favorite products. As a cannabis retailer, you have the opportunity to build the excitement for the 710 holiday in a number of different ways.

What is Green Wednesday?

“Green Wednesday” is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving—and it's always a hot day for sales at dispensaries. In 2020, Green Wednesday set a new record; surpassing 4/20 sales.

How did this happen? Well, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is also the busiest travel day of the year. With so many people going to visit family and friends, Green Wednesday sees a lot of customers from other states where cannabis might not be legal yet. Not to mention the locals who want to stock up for Thanksgiving and get a head start on gift-buying for the holidays.

The importance of sales specials and offers for cannabis dispensaries

So, the question remains: what can you do as a retailer to take advantage of increased consumer interest during the "holidaze"? The secret lies in purchase incentives.

For US retailers in particular, purchase incentives are incredibly popular—and they’ll help your dispensary stand out from the competition.

When tools don’t provide the flexibility to customize deals, retailers find themselves with limited ways to increase revenue. Dispensaries need more control and flexibility over the creation, use, and presentation of their customer promotions. They also need actionable insights into the revenue impact of promotions, which they can track with analytics tools like Dutchie Analytics.

This internal information can help dispensary managers understand product value and popularity, which leads to smarter business decisions in the future. Deals also tend to be a great way to hype up consumers, so why not get creative?

What’s the difference between Sales and Offers?

Sales are a type of discount that typically gives consumers a flat-rate dollar or percentage off deal based on purchasing from a specific brand, category, or set of individual items.

Since "days-of-the-week" Specials are popular in cannabis, an example of this might be: Flower Fridays: get 15% off all eighths. This kind of strategy has the potential to get the customer in the store more frequently, especially if each day is meant for a different deal.

Offers introduce another level of flexibility and customization to the types of Specials that dispensaries can tailor to their needs and customer preferences.

An example would be: Spend $100 on in-house products and get any [insert partner brand of your choosing] product for $20 each. This demonstrates how to incentivize shoppers buying from your priority brands first.

Holiday marketing ideas for dispensaries

From regulars to seasonal shoppers to new customers, as a dispensary owner, you want to excite everyone enough to make the sale over and over again. Below, we’ve rounded up seven ideas you can use to spice up your holiday marketing.

1. Offer holiday discounts

They’re tried and true for a reason: they work!

The trick is finding the sweet spot. Discounting your whole dispensary is easy, but you might end up losing more than you gain if you give too much of your inventory away. Instead, discount your top-selling cannabis products, and promote add-ons (that aren’t discounted) to accompany them.

2. Leverage the power of a flash sale

Consider flash sales as an alternative to a full-season discount.

Set up a limited time discount in your Dutchie POS back office, and change the products on sale daily. Promote your daily deals ahead of time, and consider themes to make customers keep coming back for more. For example, you could discount pre-rolls one day and edibles the next.

3. For the end-of-year-holidays, give exclusive discounts to gift card redeemers in January

If your dispensary is selling gift cards during the holiday season, get ready for a busy January. Recipients of your gift cards will likely be coming in to spend them once the holidays wind down. Studies show that nearly 60% of gift card users spend over the value of their gift card, so take advantage of this opportunity by giving gift card recipients exclusive discounts.

Promote the fact that gift card users will receive exclusive dispensary discounts during the holiday period, and you’ve got a two-for-one way to boost sales.

4. Make stocking stuffer bundles with your top products

A whopping 84% of shoppers make impulse purchases. What are you doing to encourage them in your store?

To capture shoppers’ imaginations and increase your chances of making a sale, bundle related products together and promote them as convenient stocking stuffers in visible areas around your dispensary, such as at checkout.

Keep the stocking stuffer bundles under a set price so they’re affordable impulse buys, which will increase their effectiveness.

5. Create gift guides for easy shopping

If you don’t want to completely rearrange your dispensary—or even if you do—you can create suggested shopping gift lists. Craft an informative, easy-to-use checklist of top gift ideas for different types of consumers. Include related stocking stuffer ideas for upselling.

6. Create bundled gift bags to sell

Increase impulse buys at check-out with easy bundled gifts on display. Entice them by tailoring the different gifts to different groups and labeling them: stocking stuffers for the dabber, edible-lover, and “traditional toker”.

For maximum impact, bundle one or two of your top-selling cannabis products with stock that’s out of season or slow-moving. The top products will entice shoppers, and you’ll move inventory that otherwise isn’t selling.

7. Extend your hours during the holiday period

The "holidaze" are a busy time. To help make your store a no-brainer stop and spread out the crowds, consider extending your hours on peak shopping days. If you’re not sure what the best days for extended hours will be, run some sales reports by hour in your Dutchie POS. Check to see which days in the last two weeks have had more sales in the evening—those are the days you should consider extending your hours.

Extended hours mean you can welcome a lower concentration of people in the store at any one time, making shopping safer and easier for your employees and customers.

Get familiar with local SEO

Best practices for dispensary SEO

Local search is powerful for small businesses, and dispensaries are no exception. In fact, 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information. If your dispensary isn't optimized for local search, you're missing out on potential customers ready to shop in your area. The bottom line? Local SEO is critical if you want your business to stay relevant.

Here are three ways to ensure your dispensary gets noticed on Google.

1. Claim your Google Business Profile

Claim your Google Business profile, fill it out completely, and keep it updated. These are requirements for high rankings in Google Local.

2. Get noticed on other online directories

Yelp, Facebook, Apple Maps, Bing, Foursquare—if you can name it, claim it! Complete a business profile for each directory, ensuring location data is consistent across all (e.g., address, phone number, hours of operation, etc.).

3. Get rave reviews

Google reviews are most important; after all, they factor heavily into your Google Local rankings. Yelp is critical, too—it ranks in Google’s top 5 positions for 92% of search queries containing a city name + business category, e.g. [seattle dispensaries].

To learn more about how you can boost your SEO with Dutchie Ecommerce, visit our website.

The bottom line

Holiday marketing is one thing. Making the sale is another. Make sure you’re equipped to offer holiday shoppers an exceptional experience from the sales floor to checkout. Dutchie has tools for comprehensive inventory management, data reporting, customer loyalty and ecommerce—all parts of a winning holiday strategy.

Contact us for a demo today.