The year is almost over and the holiday season is here! Cannabis retailers across the country are gearing up for what they hope will be a record-breaking season for sales.
Like other retail markets, seasonality in cannabis can affect everything from marketing strategies to projected sales. With 21 states approved for adult-use, the US cannabis industry has more opportunities than ever to make this season as profitable as it is festive. In this piece, we will take a deep dive into seasonal cannabis trends, consumer usage trends and a few strategies to prepare your cannabis business for the holiday season.
Seasons Impact Cannabis Sales
To make sure they get the most out of the holiday shopping season, businesses in all industries pay close attention to the behavior of their customers. For cannabis retailers, that means paying attention to how cannabis consumers behave during the holidays.
While a recent study found that cannabis consumption tends to decrease in the winter months, overall sales trend upwards during the holiday season. Data from Brightfield Group reveals that cannabis consumers who spend more than $100 a month on cannabis products tend to spend more during the holiday seasons while those who spend less than $100 a month tend to spend less. This is line with larger retail trends – consumers with more disposable income will spend more during the holidays while those with tighter budgets will spend less in preparation for the new year.
Seasonal Cannabis Trends
The holiday season can be an excellent time for cannabis retailers to gain new customers, as people who may have never tried cannabis are more likely to do so when they’re looking for a fun activity. By offering seasonal products specific to the time of year, retailers can attract new customers who are interested in cannabis products and are attracted to the novelty of seasonal strains, edibles and infused-beverages.
Popular products for the fall/winter season include cannabis-infused beverages such as Two Root’s Belgian-Abbey style non-alcoholic beer. Another popular choice for users are cannabis edibles such as Chalice Farm’s Pumpkin Spice Cannabis Truffles or their winter-only Dark Chocolate Peppermint edibles. When it comes to flower strains, the most popular picks for fall/winter include Boo Berry, Pot Roast, Sundae Driver, and the ever-popular Jade & Jane which carry richer flavor profiles and offer mental relaxation during the hectic holiday season.
Planning for Cannabis Seasonality
As the cannabis industry matures, seasonal behavior is emerging and can be a valuable metric for businesses like yours to consider in your planning for the year ahead. Here are some important tips that can help you plan effectively.
Pay close attention to trends
As more states legalize cannabis use, it is important for businesses to stay on top of emerging trends in cannabis seasonality. Competing in the cannabis industry can be tricky, as regulations vary state by state and the market is constantly shifting. With different market conditions in each state and a complex black market, the savvy cannabis retailer needs a competent data solution to help them stay ahead of the curve. The right data solution should go past POS data and offer comprehensive analyses that enable retailers to be the first to act on developing trends.
For the more price sensitive retailers, keeping a close eye on social media conversations and industry thought leadership can offer a proxy for the in-depth social listening data that a cannabis data provider like Brightfield Group may offer.
Develop seasonal products
As the seasons change, so do the needs of cannabis users. In order to remain competitive, retailers must understand and respond to customers' changing tastes. Seasonal interest in certain flavors can help businesses attract new customers or give existing customers another reason to recommend their products. In addition to seasonal flavors, some people find that different strains are better suited for different seasons. By tailoring marketing messaging to the specific season, retailers can maximize their impact and increase sales.
Personalize cannabis marketing
The customer is king, and customers take note when you make the effort to “know them”. Knowing what a customer likes in a particular season can be key to developing a strong loyal following. Personalization enhances the user experience which in turn translates to stellar word-of-mouth reviews that can turn a cannabis business’ fortune for good. While some customers are looking for that energy booster after a hectic day, others are looking for something that will elevate their concert experience. Understanding which products to share during which season can be a revenue-boosting secret weapon for any retail cannabis business.
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