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Seasonal shopping isn’t just for traditional retail—cannabis consumers also enjoy stocking up for the holidays.
Green Wednesday has emerged as the Black Friday for cannabis consumers.
The pre-”danksgiving” holiday is the perfect time to prepare for festivities, especially since most dispensaries are closed on Thanksgiving Day. The mood is also right, because most adults are ready for a break from life’s stressors. Whether you are cooped up with family or doing something more low-key, cannabis is there to soothe us all, spark our appetites, and lift our spirits.
For retailers, understanding this sentiment is key to a successful holiday.
Here are some insights into Green Wednesday and tips on how you can prepare your store.
Understand the significance of Green Wednesday.
It’s unlike other holiday sales. In fact, it’s the second largest cannabis holiday sale of the year after 4/20. What started as a marketing idea by cannabis brands in 2016 gained traction quickly. Green Wednesday has taken off even higher in recent years. For example, Headset reports: “Green Wednesday 2019—which is the day before Thanksgiving—had 40% greater total sales than the average sales on the four previous Wednesdays.”
When consumers began celebrating Green Wednesday it was because they were pleased to discreetly eat an edible before chatting with their favorite aunt. The giddy feelings, combined with nap-inducing turkey, and warm indoor activities was enough to make the holiday popular.
In 2020, sales boomed even louder, as people looked for cheer during a dreary health and social year. Visiting family was often off the table and staying home felt never-ending. Cannabis retailers were deemed “essential businesses” as people were looking for comfort, self-care, and something to make the seasons bright.
In 2020, cannabis brands noticed a surge in product orders in the weeks leading up to Green Wednesday, indicating the trend would repeat itself. November of 2020 also pointed to progress that the US was becoming a “greener” place, because since 2012, it was the month many states passed recreational cannabis laws. Green Wednesday quickly emerged as the unofficial shopping holiday for cannabis consumers nationwide. Springbig, a loyalty marketing technology for cannabis companies, looked at the sales data from 1,500 cannabis retailers. They reported a collective total of over $17.4 million in sales this past Green Wednesday alone, which was up 79.43% from the year prior.
As the world becomes more cannabis-friendly, everything points to one thing: Green Wednesday is here to stay.
What can you do to prepare for Green Wednesday sales at your store & online?
Prepare and access the right inventory.
The best way to determine consumer behavior is by researching what products were popular the year before and during recent months. Your Dutchie POS and Dutchie Ecommerce Analytics data can help. Through these tools you can not only determine what product types and specific products sold well, but also what hours of the day you can expect a jump in customer traffic.
While history is your best friend in this regard, also keep in mind recent trends. Edibles are becoming very popular even among new consumers. Cannabis drinks are popular too, because they tend to come in single servings to reduce the spread of germs. Infused liquid products also kick in faster when absorbed this way, because your customers don’t have to wait for their bodies to digest them. Other trends may help you determine what to stock in your store.
To prepare your POS inventory, revisit your purchase limit settings and reinforce rules and regulations with your budtenders. These two simple steps will ensure you remain compliant during increased holiday traffic.
The data from past years and recent sales trends can also help you determine a strategic way to physically merchandise products around the store, as well as decide which items to put on sale.
Merchandise according to your shoppers’ favorites.
As we discussed in How to merchandise cannabis: the importance of aesthetics, it is more than just which items you pick, but where and how you present them to your customers. This is another reason why the data can help you understand your customer base. Knowing your customers' favorites will help you know what to put at the front of the store.
With the holiday spirit in mind, consider displaying small gifts by the register. For cannabis retailers, that could include anything portable like small edibles, muscle balms, lighters, store swag, gift cards, and more. Your cannabis-loving friends will beam with joy when they receive them. After all, Black Friday is typically the time to prepare for gift-giving.
Market your products with seasonal flair.
Holidays shoppers love when you embrace the theme. You can easily create holiday-themed discounts in your Dutchie POS admin dashboards. Share these discounts ahead of time with creative images that highlight both your products and the theme throughout your marketing channels. The best example of attracting cannabis customers for the holiday comes from a quote in AdWeek’s 2020 Green Wednesday article:
“Chalice Farms has launched a number of witty holiday-themed deals this week like a 30% discount for a product set nicknamed ‘Feliz Navidab and a Cartridge in a Pear Tree.’”
Let customers know your holiday hours ahead of time.
Setting up your holiday hours helps prevent customers from creating new orders or showing up to your location after hours on an observed holiday. It also drives the urge to buy now before the store is closed and they could potentially miss out on deals.
Check out Dutchie’s Help Center article on how to do this through your Dutchie Ecommerce admin. Also, don’t forget to set consistent hours on Google and other web channels as well.
Advertise sales throughout your shop and digital store.
Make sure that all your customers are aware of your sales. Consider making a poster or sale board inside your store or highlight them on a digital menu display so everyone can clearly see the value.
Stand out to your customers online as well. With customization such as custom categories, Category Photos, and Staff Picks that rise to the top of all search results. You can learn more about these steps on your ecommerce menu through Dutchie’s Help Center.
Offering holiday Specials to your customers is a great way to build in-store satisfaction and foster repeat business online. Dutchie walks you through the online Specials process in this article. Create Coupons for your email, text, and social media marketing campaigns to reach more shoppers.
Prepare for your most popular types of orders & encourage customers to order ahead.
Your ecommerce data can also tell you which Order Types have been popular in recent months. Most of our retailers are still seeing increased Dutchie Curbside orders, but make sure that information is correct according to the region that you live in, what you offer, and the location of your store.
This can help you staff the store accordingly. Consider adding an “Express Pickup Lane” for those that skip the lines by placing Dutchie Ecommerce orders ahead of time. You should also clearly mark where your curbside customers should park to ensure a quick fulfillment process with your staff. With busy holiday hours, a quicker turnaround process can help your staff and your store’s overall revenue.
Continue sales through Cyber Monday.
Green Wednesday isn’t the only holiday that can boost your sales. Three additional holidays follow that day: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday (shoutout to our mom and pop dispensaries), and Cyber Monday.
Utilize Dutchie Analytics to track your success, including your best selling products and brands. Monitor your average order value and set up UTM campaigns to track and measure your success. The stats from this Green Wednesday can help you determine which sales to continue through the weekend, leading up to one big online finale on that following Monday.
Green Wednesday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday easily fall within the biggest cannabis sales week of the year. We know our retail and dispensary partners can grow if they approach these holidays thoughtfully. If you follow these easy tips and tricks and have fun with the holiday spirit, you can't go wrong. Think about the buying experience and what you would like to see. If you lead with an open perspective and have fun with the holiday spirit, you can’t go wrong.
Consumers: scope out the deals, clean your pipes, and get ready for a very green holiday season!