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Holidays and weekend sales are key opportunities to grow your brand awareness and increase traffic for your shop. Whether you're a new delivery service or an established dispensary in your community, these helpful tips will get your operation ready for a more successful sales frenzy. 

How to Get Your Shop Ready

For retail shops, preparing early and thoroughly for a holiday or big weekend promotion should be a top priority if you want to get the most out of it. Here are some key areas: 

Maximize Your Inventory

There's nothing worse than running out of product during a time of peak demand. And it's exactly what can happen if you don't start your holiday season or weekend promotion with excess inventory. In the weeks leading up to your sales weekend, consider surveying your customers on products they'd like to see on the shelves to add to their personal holiday arsenal. Make sure you have an excess of top-selling dry flower, concentrates, and edibles, and stock up on items that you can use for promotional bundles. 

Depending on the scope of the holiday or sale you're running, you'll probably be attracting a lot of cannabis newcomers. In addition to maximizing your inventory to meet the demands of the customers you already know, make sure it includes an excess of products and bundles to appeal to new customers who are about to have their introductory weed experience.

Staff Up and Train Up

With a sizable inventory in place for your weekend sale, you'll also need a robust, sufficiently trained staff to move products. Hire seasonal staff for high-traffic holidays, and make sure all of your staff are trained to alert customers to upcoming promotions and deals. If you have experienced budtenders on staff, pair them with new and seasonal budtenders to maintain a high standard of customer service and interaction during the holiday sales rush. 

Your staff should be engaging with customers and advertising your promotions leading up to the date of the sale — inviting customers to stay up to date on your promotions through your communication channels including email, text blasts, social media, and Deals on Weedmaps

Promote Early

If you're promoting sales around a holiday, maximize public awareness and build momentum by starting your promotions early, possibly in the weeks leading up to the big event. Your 4/20 promotions, for example, should begin by April 1 and no later than two weeks before. Don't be afraid to start rolling out Christmastime promotions around Thanksgiving when the rest of the retail world is getting ready for the holidays. Set time aside now to plan a promotional campaign that you can roll out with sufficient time leading up to the weekend sale. 

How to Get Your Delivery Ready 

Much of what dispensaries need to do to prepare for a sales weekend applies to deliveries, too. Preparation, proper staff training, and early promotion are all necessities for dispensaries and delivery services alike. However, if your delivery operation is small or just starting out, you may encounter some unique obstacles that take careful preparation to navigate.

Be Strategic About Your Inventory

Preparing excess inventory for a big sale is still the name of the game for deliveries. For large operations, boosting your inventory and promoting it with deals is likely not an issue. For smaller operations, especially licensed deliveries subject to high taxes, you may not have the luxury of selling large quantities at a discount without operating in the red. 

Leading up to a major holiday, your competitors are likely buying a lot of inventory early. The sooner you begin working with vendors to assemble your sales weekend inventory, the less you'll have to deal with situations where you're left with scraps. Building solid relationships with your vendors can also go a long way in getting you closer to the product you need for a big promotion. 

In addition to efficiently maximizing your inventory, you're going to need to be strategic about your promotions to avoid offering too many discounts. Promote add-ons to sell more expensive products and offer holiday-centric bundles. Include items that might otherwise be difficult to move. Consider giving away sample sizes of expensive items so customers will be enticed to buy them after the weekend sale. 

Hire Plenty of Drivers and Keep Them Updated About Promotions 

The earlier you're thinking about the logistical changes that come with a weekend sale, the better. For major holidays, the first thing you're going to want to do is to make sure you've hired enough drivers, which will mean hiring more than you need. Anticipate that less-reliable drivers will either call in sick or not show up. Consider hiring an excess of drivers so your fleet is big enough to meet the demands of the day. 

You'll also want to make sure you have ample staff on hand to answer phones and take orders. This will set you apart from other deliveries who experience an influx of missed calls and lost customers during a holiday rush. In the weeks leading up to a big weekend sale, advertise a maximum wait time to your customers. If you can promise a wait time of 45 minutes or less, you'll have an edge over your competitors. 

Lastly, train your staff so they know your promotions thoroughly. Some consumers may be fishing to stretch discounts, employing tactics over the phone to deliberately confuse the order. Arm your staff with airtight knowledge of all your promotions to avoid unnecessary cuts to your profit. Your drivers also need to know promotions so they don't end up overcharging, angering, or losing customers.

How to Market Your Operation for Weekend or Holiday Sales 

Put Your Deals Everywhere

The sooner your customers know about your promotions, the better. Roll out your promotions incrementally, beginning about a month before the sale, then amp up your efforts in the week leading up to it. 

Take advantage of text blasts, newsletters, and coupons. If you have a blog on your website, fill it with content that relates to the holiday or concept you're selling for, and link to promotions where appropriate. Take full advantage of social media. Anytime you're trying to boost your online presence, it's critical to make sure all of your business info is up to date on your social media channels. Your profile picture should also be up to date and look professional. Parse out promotional posts about a month to three weeks leading up to the sale, then post promotions every day the week of. 

Maximize Your Weedmaps Listing

Getting your Weedmaps listing in pristine order can go a long way in attracting customers and accelerating sales during a promotion. Make sure your business info is up to date, including extended hours you might be running before, during, and after a holiday. Add all of your products to your Weedmaps menu and keep it updated so it reflects what's available. Update your menu items with eye-catching photos, encourage customers to leave reviews, and schedule your deals early to make sure they are running before, during, and after the holiday.

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