Best Practices

Getting Your Store Ready for The Holiday Rush

Get ready for the onslaught of customers this season

The week leading up to Christmas has been dubbed “the biggest time of the year” by Headset and Baker as consumers rush to their cannabis stores to stock up for the holidays. Starting today, through Monday will mark one of your last sales pushes for the year. 

Just like the events of 4/20 and Black Friday earlier this year, this is one of the times that store owners and budtenders need to take an all-hands-on-deck approach to make sure that the store, and the inventory, is ready for the onslaught of customers for the holiday season.

Here are some useful tips for getting your cannabis store ready for the holiday rush:


Peek Into Your Data

Your data is gold when it comes to being able to predict what will sell, and what may take bottom shelf around this time of year. Headset and Baker indicate that pre-rolls, beverages, and edibles are reigning supreme around this time of year, with consumers looking to purchase products that promote discreet and convenient dosing for events like (sometimes stressful) family gatherings. In addition, the cold weather has people embracing cannabis-infused topical creams and salves to help bring relief to dry and cracking skin.

Use the data that is available to you from last year via your POS system, and take a broader look into the industry by accessing Industry Insights from some of cannabis’ big data hubs like Headset and Baker. Be the cannabis store that is prepared to offer your consumers what they need, and what they don’t even know they need, for this busy holiday season.


Prepare Grab and Go Gifts

The holidays are a perfect time to showcase the grab and go items that will make great stocking stuffers or gift baskets for the cannabis consumers on people’s lists. Microdosing mints, infused coffee or hot chocolate, or disposable vaporizers make excellent stocking stuffers that you may choose to showcase near the cash or in a special gifts section.

Creating gift baskets will allow your store to showcase new products, include sample sizes that will keep customers wanting more, and introduce your store to new consumers via gift giving.


Decorate Inclusively

The holiday season isn’t just about Christmas; any American knows that there are other celebrations as well as faiths to honor around this time of year. Decorate your store! But be careful about how much you paint your store with all things Christmas. Offer a few different showings of inclusivity: a menorah for Chanukah, or the Mishumaa saba (7 candles) for Kwanzaa, which also share the holiday time.

Taking this extra effort to be inclusive of all faiths and traditions will show that you are concerned with connecting with your customer and honoring where they come from in your space.


Prepare a Charitable Initiative

The holidays are a time to show some extra love, both within your community and outside it. Use social media marketing, email marketing, in-store awareness campaigns, and text message marketing to engage your customer in the holiday spirit greater than yourselves. Philanthropic and charitable activities are the reason for the season, and this is your time to give back to surrounding communities while engaging your customer in the spirit of giving.

Some brands like Aster Farms have released special brands that aim to raise money for specific causes. California’s Aster Farms recently lost a ton of property in the Mendocino Complex Fire, prompting them to create “Harry’s Harvest”, where $2 from every sale goes to the area’s fire departments.


Hold Space for Cannabis Education

Despite the fact that lines to purchase product may be out the door in these days leading up to the holidays, this doesn’t negate a dispensary’s obligation to provide cannabis education.

Mitigate the wait times at the point of sale or at the point of selection by dedicating a special section of your store to cannabis education, where you can have an Education Consultant answer questions about cannabis for the customer prior to purchase.

Go the extra mile by using your display media or hard-copy education materials to ensure that no one goes out the door with questions about their product and its consumption.


Use Clever Displays and Merchandising

To accommodate the extra influx of customers into the store, you may have to shift your floor plan, but you can still use the art of displays to ensure optimal sales on the biggest week of the year for cannabis.

Use variety in the way you display things. While the general rule of thumb in merchandising is to place the higher-ticket items at eye level, there are other ways you can highlight profitable products. Use various sizes and levels of displays to create diversity between product offerings. Choose display lighting or use display cases to have products worthy of getting a closer look.


Create Contingencies

Employees should know well in advance that their schedules may be a bit more packed around the holiday season. Overschedule your staff to account for illness (or too much eggnog), or anything else that may leave you short-staffed over this crucial time.

Ensure your servers are up and running and that you’re able to run in offline capacity if there is a server outage or something happens to your power in the event of a winter storm. If your store has e-commerce, you may promote online ordering that people can pick up at the dispensary (or have delivered) so to reduce in-store traffic but keep sales up.


It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

This is truly cannabis’ biggest week of the year, and the holiday cheer will definitely extend into the new year. Take advantage of the spirit of consumerism, and the quest for stress relief around the holidays by implementing these holiday tips as you get your cannabis store holiday ready.


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