As a cannabis retailer, holidays matter. You have to pay attention to holiday sales trends from even the most conventional of holidays like Christmas, New Year, and Valentine’s Day to ensure you are grabbing that market share.
But it’s not just the normal holidays that matter. If you sell cannabis, you’ll also need to plan for 420 and other weed-only celebrations, which promise the year’s biggest sales.
If you want to keep your customers coming back for more, you have to deliver what they are asking for. So we’ve collected the must-know sales trends and statistics about the year’s biggest holidays. Plus, we include tips on how to work these to your advantage at your own cannabis retail location.
Cannabis Holiday Sales Tips and Trends
According to every metric that matters, this international cannabis holiday is the biggest sales day of the year for everyone in the industry. Let us assure you the sales statistics from April 20th (420) are staggering.
In 2022, sales from April 20th alone netted retailers a total of $154.4 million. But more impressive still are the numbers leading up to the big day, topping a whopping $485.3 million.
Headset crunched the numbers from years leading up to 2021 to discover that “sales on 4/20 were at least double that of the four previous weeks.” In Canadian stores, that looked like a 59 percent increase in sales on this holiday in 2021 and a 213 percent discount lift.
How can you make the most of this holiday? First, focus on the products seeing the most lift, including beverages, concentrates, and flower. As Headset reported, it also makes sense to target the customer groups with the highest spending on this day, including women, Generation Z, and millennials.
And remember: 420 is one of the few times of the year when cannabis consumers actually expect discounts, promotions, and special offers. So if you aren’t offering exceptional sales, you aren’t delivering what your customers demand.
July 10th is “National Dab Day,” also known as “OIL Day.” It’s the lesser-known sister holiday to 420, celebrating all things concentrated, like shatter, resin, wax, and budder.
There is much less hubbub about July 10th than 420, which means you won’t need to dedicate as much of your marketing budget or sales staff to planning for this big day.
But if historical sales data is anything to go by, you can still expect some uptick in sales so long as you capitalize on the opportunity.
Akerna reports that in 2021 on National Dab Day, concentrate sales jumped 50 percent, with some of the biggest increases coming from live resin, budder, oil, shatter, and rosin products. So if you do plan to offer discounts, these are the concentrate categories to target.
Who should you market to for this holiday? No big surprise here. Akerna recommends crafting your 710 messaging towards men under the age of 30. Dig into your own customer intel to determine which of your local customers love concentrates and dabs.
Traditional Holiday Sales Trends
But cannabis doesn’t just sell on weed-specific holidays. As a retailer, you are lucky enough to benefit from more traditional holidays, like Christmas, New Year’s, July 4th, and Valentine’s Day.
But a key takeaway from marketing data is what consumers expect from each holiday. As Headset reminds us, consumers expect prices to plunge on 420 and 710, but during normal consumer holidays, “Sales go up a bit, while price stays relatively stable.”
For the more conventional holiday market, you’ll want to capture consumer attention with smart marketing rather than the lowest prices.
Christmas, New Year, and Winter Holidays
During the shopping bonanza that is Christmas and the other seasonal holidays, your customers are most concerned about finding the perfect gift.
In early 2022, Cannabis Business Times reported on data covering the 2021 holiday season. Across the board, sales were up leading up to Christmas but not to the degree seen for 420. Holiday-related spending increased from six to 26 percent over non-holiday sales.
They also reported that most retailers only needed to offer small discounts, if any, to entice customers to spend their gift-giving budget on cannabis. Christmas product categories also vary quite a bit from the rest of the year, leaning more toward the special occasion and gift categories rather than the everyday standbys like flower.
Gift categories that historically see the most significant sales bump include topicals, edibles, and beverages. Again, this suggests you’ll get better results by bringing in an interesting variety of products than focusing on deep discounts during this time of year.
Don’t sleep on the most romantic day of the year. Outside of the cannabis world, Valentine’s Day is the fifth largest consumer holiday of the year, with the average American spending more than $175 on their loved one in 2022.
Increasingly, cannabis retailers are banking on February 14th as a way to boost sales during the usual wintertime slump. In 2018, BDS Analytics reported a slight increase in sales across legal markets in the US, with the expectation that this trend will continue.
BDS Analytics told Forbes at the time, “As the industry matures and new products emerge to tempt an evolving consumer base, we can expect the trend to continue. Beyond chocolates and edibles, there are infused massage oils and lubricants and other categories that have great opportunity [sic] during such a holiday.”
Headset determined that two categories saw impressive numbers from Valentine’s Day — neither of which is surprising: topicals and edibles. Topicals saw a 14 percent boost, edibles seven percent. Within the edibles category, chocolates did especially well, seeing a 29 percent increase compared with other days.
The key to getting the most out of sales on Valentine’s Day is to market it well in advance, focus on the top categories like edibles, chocolates, and topicals, and focus on gift giving.
Cannabis Retailers Use Holiday Sales Trends to Get to Celebrate All Year Round
Holidays are one of the few areas where cannabis retailers have the upper hand over non-regulated sectors. That’s because we don’t just get to celebrate the traditional holidays like Valentine’s Day and Christmas — we get to celebrate weed-centric ones as well.
As a cannabis retailer, don’t forget to work well in advance for accurate inventory planning and marketing execution. Pull from data from your own local customers and combine it with trends measured in the broader industry. Then, pull it all together with TechPOS, the only true omnichannel solution for Canadian cannabis retailers.