February 15, 2023

4 Types of Cannabis Retail Discounts and How to Implement Them

February 15, 2024
February 15, 2023

In the oversaturated cannabis industry, standing out in a sea of competition isn’t easy.

It helps if you spend time developing your brand story, curating quality inventory, and creating memorable campaigns. But sometimes, an exciting retail promotion is the best way to generate buzz that cuts through the noise.


A well-executed promotion converts wavering prospects and increases salesβ€”at least in the short term. And if your new customers receive a great product, excellent service, and compelling follow-ups, many will stick with you for the long haul. In this article, we'll discuss:


  • What are retail promotions?
  • Percentage and dollar amount discounts
  • BOGO
  • Loyalty points
  • Seasonal discounts

Let's dive in.

What are retail promotions?

A retail promotion is a kind of persuasive marketing strategy designed to drive sales. Most retail promotions appeal to logic and urgency. They communicate to shoppers: β€œThis is a great deal and you don’t want to miss out!”


Successful promotions provide a boost in sales and may convince indecisive shoppers it’s time to buy. So without further ado, here are four common types of retail discounts and how to implement them at your dispensary.

1. Percentage and dollar amount discounts

Discounting products is typically the most popular type of retail promotion. Everyone loves a bargain, so it makes sense to offer sales discounts when you want to capture customers’ attention.


You can offer a percentage discount, such as β€œ10% off pre-rolls,” or offer dollar amount deals, such as β€œ$5 off cartridges”. Promotional pricing can apply to your entire dispensary, or it can apply only to certain products. Storewide promotions tend to attract the most buzz, but it’s important to do what works for your dispensary.

Tips for implementing:

  • Use sparingly: Don’t forget your bottom line. Remember that sales discounts should feel like a special occasion, not something shoppers come to expect every day.
  • Choose a discount that sounds irresistible: Generally, percentage discounts perform better, even if the dollar amount deal has more significant savings. With expensive items, attractive dollar discounts such as β€œ$20 off” sometimes convert better. Your most irresistible promotional offer depends on perceived value, your price points, and your target audience.

2. BOGO discounts

In retail terminology, BOGO means Buy One, Get One. You’ve probably seen the acronym BOGOF for Buy One, Get One Free. Some retailers offer buy one, get one half-off deals.

These offers entice customers because they cut down on shopping guilt. People feel more comfortable spending money when they secure a deal they wouldn’t normally get.


For potential customers hesitating to make a purchase, BOGO deals can nudge them in the right direction.

Tips for implementing:

  • Use to clear inventory: Like discounts, BOGO promotions should be implemented sparingly. Often, retailers use BOGO promotions to move inventory. So, if you’re looking to clear out some of your stock, BOGO is a solid option.
  • Offer a deal that will convert: Buy one, get one half off might sound tempting, but BOGO deals typically convert better. Buy one, get a percentage off deals often frustrate consumers because the deal applies to the less expensive item. Shoppers look for cheaper items for these deals, which leads to lower revenue.

3. Loyalty points

Loyalty programs are a great investment because they increase customer retention and maximize their lifetime value to your dispensary. With loyalty points, customers earn points each time they shop with you. They can earn discounts (or even free items) when they reach a certain number of points.


In the broader retail world, many retailers also award points for actions such as social sharing, writing reviews, and referring other customers.

Tips for implementing:

  • Start small: You want customers to feel your reward system is worthwhile, but you don’t want to give out excessive points and lose money. Depending on your price point and average order value (AOV), start with something small, like one point per $25 spent. After tracking sales and points metrics, you can adjust as needed.
  • Make your rules and options clear: Clearly explain how customers can redeem their points. Make sure they know how points canβ€”and can’tβ€”be used. Will points last indefinitely, or do they eventually expire? Whatever you decide, keep it simple and convenient for a great customer experience.
  • Use existing tools: Depending on the dispensary software you use, you’ll find several tools to add a loyalty program to your online store.

4. Seasonal discounts

Seasonal promotions convey urgency because they’re available for a limited time only. Think special products like pumpkin-spiced lattes at Starbucks or annual holiday sales in department stores. In the cannabis industry, seasonal promotions typically align with noteworthy dates such as 420, 710, and Green Wednesday.

Tips for implementing:

  • Check out the competition: Are your competitors promoting seasonal offers? What are they doing well, and what are they doing poorly? How can you offer something different and better? Evaluating competing offers is always a helpful exercise, even if you can’t incorporate these ideas until next year.
  • Optimize your homepage: Besides promoting your offering on all marketing channels, and optimize your site’s homepage. Use seasonal colors and imagery, and add call-to-action buttons.

The bottom line

Retail promotions work for a reason: when you add value to the customer experience, customers are more likely to shop. And when paired with a strategic and creative marketing campaign, promotions build buzz, too. Everyone loves a bargain. Dutchie makes discounting even easier with our robust Discount Engine. From simple sales to complex BOGOs, our highly advanced discounts engine was designed for maximum flexibility, powering your online and in store sales, together. Plus, you can increase basket sizes up to 30%. Create, edit and manage your discounts all from Dutchie POS, then automatically sync to Dutchie Ecomm - saving you time, reducing errors and ensuring a great experience for your customers.


Disclaimer: Don’t forget to review your local marketing and advertising regulations to make sure all dispensary promotions are compliant in your state.


About Dutchie

Dutchie is a complete technology platform for cannabis retailers. With solutions for point of sale, payments, ecommerce, insurance, and more, Dutchie empowers dispensaries to run efficiently, scale their operations, stay compliant, and provide exceptional experiences to staff and customers alike. And since Dutchie’s solutions are seamlessly connected, it’s easy to manage a business from one central hub and ensure all operations stay in sync.


Get in touch today!


About the author
The Dutchie Squad