Getting 420 right can make or break your year
It’s that time of the year again. April 20th, or 420 as it’s better known, is the highlight holiday of the cannabis industry. This year promises to be twice as wild given that 420 falls on a Friday, and most cannabis consumers will be looking to indulge. As a cannabis retailer, getting 420 right is an absolute must as it will help set your sales figures not only for the quarter, but will best give you insight into the rest of your year. So how do you best capitalize on the biggest sales day of the year? Our quick reference pre-prep guide will help get you off to the right start, well ahead of the pack. After reading this guide, make sure to check out other 4/20 industry guides from Baker and Headset.
In Pennsylvania, this might be a little bit difficult given the current state of supply, but product preparation is key to a successful 420 celebration. Consumers spend on average around 80% more on 420 than during any other time of the year. 2017 for the first time saw ready to use products begin to surpass flower sales across the country. “Convenience” products such as prerolls, vaporizer pens, and edibles, have been eating up more and more of the market share as the culture begins to shift.
Ensuring you are properly stocked in a wide variety of ready to use products will not only ensure you are riding a growing trend within your stores demographic, but it will also enable you to have plenty of upsell opportunities within your stores demographic that may be more traditional in nature. Upselling a brownie or preroll to a flower consumer on 420 is usually a venture without too much trouble, especially when coupled as part of a “basket deal” where a consumer would save more on a product they really want by getting something they would use but otherwise not purchase as a standalone. This also serves a dual purpose as a gateway for consumers to new product opportunities. Allowing customers to take home new products can make some regular purchaser of a product that your patient/consumer might otherwise not have tried alone.
PROMOTIONS ARE KEY
Headset.io found that 10% of all sales on 420 were for products that had not sold heavily prior to that day, leading them to think that promotions and upselling were the key to making that happen. Public promotions for 420 should start getting circulated a couple weeks in advance, allowing your consumer to know where best to spend their money. Promotions, and marketing your dispensary in general, can be a headache on 420 as you are trying to break out from the pack, especially as social media still maintains tight regulation on cannabis companies. Keeping track of your competition is also important, as you don’t want to be the guy launching a buy three 8ths get the 4th free promotion when your neighbor is launching a buy two get the 3rd free special. Outward promotions can be tricky depending on the legality in your area, but maintaining a presence all the same is important. Try looking for a local headshop to partner with and create a customer loop between your marketing and sales. This way, you can reach a whole new potential sales pool without any difficulty. You know your demographic and how best to market to them, and this is absolutely your time to shine as an owner because everyone will be fighting for a piece of the pie.
STAFF TRAINING / SCHEDULING
Ensuring that all staff, both old and new, are fully trained on all promotions are paramount to success. Nothing slows down a sale or bottlenecks your patient/consumer flow, then having to stop to verify a promotion with a manager or owner. Doing tests with your floor staff on what sales are applicable by going through test sale scenarios are imperative. These types of test sales could be anywhere from a customer attempting to purchase multiple items that could be applicable to a multitude of discounts. Attempt to trip up your budtenders with questions and have answers ready for them if they get it wrong. Reference guides at each POS system with a breakdown of the sales available are good for spot checking to see if a sale applies, but it doesn’t replace being ready before the question is asked by the patient. Having solid time with your budtender staff on going through sales will make your day that much smoother when the real customer flood comes. Having staff trained is unfortunately only half of the battle. The other half comes in the form of making sure you are accounting for the additional staff you will need on hand to carry out operations. Opening additional POS stations, additional security due to increased cash flow and on hand product, managers to oversee everything, these are things you will need to lock down in advance to keep a tight ship.
OPERATIONAL STRESS TESTS
Running your store through stress tests should be a part of your regular operational procedures. Knowing where your weak points are such as your flow bottlenecks before they happen are key to preventing a nightmare on sales day. For older stores, this can be as simple as looking up past figures to know how much product to have on stock, how many patients per hour they will see, what peak sales times are, where flow problems existed so they can have roped sections or staff to guide patients, ext. Stress tests for new stores can be especially confusing as they have no previous sales data to know where their benchmarks will be. For a new dispensary that wouldn’t have the previous years sales data to rely on, the best you can do is to create a rough ratio. To do this simply take the average of your customers per hour that you would see day to day currently, and double it for your benchmark. Ensuring that you can adequately scale to operate will keep you running smoothly on the busiest day of the year.