Predicting Demand: The Key to Green Wednesday SuccessHappenings • November 14, 2023
Smart stocking and predicting demand become even more crucial during Green Wednesday, one of the cannabis industry's most anticipated sales days. As the holiday season kicks off, cannabis brands and retailers see this day as a golden opportunity to maximize sales and entice customers to not only purchase their products, but also visit their stores. By strategically managing inventory and accurately forecasting customer needs, businesses can ensure that they are fully prepared to meet the surge in demand and provide an exceptional shopping experience.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and with it comes one of the biggest sales days of the year for the cannabis industry - Green Wednesday. This day represents a huge opportunity for brands and retailers to capitalize on high demand for cannabis products. However, with a surge in demand, it's essential for businesses to have a solid plan in place to meet the needs of their customers.
Understand Demand Trends
One of the keys to successfully predicting demand is understanding past trends and applying that knowledge to future sales. This can involve analyzing data from previous Green Wednesdays, as well as taking into account current market trends and customer behavior. Akerna reported that in 2022, Green Wednesday sales reached $116.4 million, which is a 12% increase from 2021. Purchasing on LeafLink’s platform the month prior to Green Wednesday is 13% higher than the remainder of the year.
Brands and retailers should pay close attention to which products were most popular during previous sales periods, and make sure they have enough inventory on hand to meet expected demand. This can help prevent stock outs and lost sales opportunities.
Green Wednesday sales reached $116.4M in 2022.
Use Sales Forecasts
Sales forecasts can be an invaluable tool for predicting demand during Green Wednesday. These forecasts take into account data such as historical sales data, market trends, and seasonal patterns, to estimate the amount of inventory that will be needed to meet customer demand.
To predict Green Wednesday sales, we can compare 4/20 performance in 2022 with the previous year. According to MJ Freeway, sales on April 20, 2023 reached an impressive $178.2 million, reflecting a notable 14.3% increase compared to the previous year in 2022.
By using this information, brands and retailers should ensure that they have enough product on hand to meet the needs of their customers.
Setup Digital Payments
With such a significant increase in sales, it is essential for cannabis brands and retailers to have efficient and secure payment methods in place to meet the growing demand. This is where digital payments become a critical part of holiday prep. By adapting to digital payment methods, cannabis brands and retailers can stay competitive and meet the changing needs of their customers.
LeafLink Payments empowers brands and retailers to guarantee secure and swift payment processing. With LeafLink, you can confidently and safely transact with ease.
Smart stocking involves having the right products in the right quantities on hand to meet customer needs. This requires careful planning and coordination between different departments, from purchasing to inventory management.
Brands and retailers should work together to identify which products are likely to be most popular during Green Wednesday, and ensure that they have enough inventory on hand to meet demand. This can also involve using data-based tools and software to help optimize inventory levels and streamline the stocking process.
Category share varies significantly depending on the sales period, making it important for stores to stock the right assortment of products. LeafLink’s internal data shows wide-ranging demand per category depending on the holiday:
420 (April 20): Flower – 21% increase in category share of sales
OIL/710 Day (July 10): Concentrates and vapes – 17% increase
The touristy dog days of summer (July/August): Prerolls – 26% increase
Green Wednesday (Thanksgiving weekend): Edibles and ingestibles – 23% increase
End-of-year holidays (late December): Holiday-themed products
For retailers, choosing the right kind of inventory is the only way to properly allocate shelf space and maximize basket sizes. To adequately meet consumer demand during seasonal trends, stores can prioritize selling specific products based on the time of the year. Packaged flower has the highest sell-through in late March/early April, concentrate products in June/early July, ready-to-smoke products during the summer, edibles for Thanksgiving, and holiday-themed cartridges and edibles cheer for the end of the year.
Promotions can be a powerful way to drive sales during Green Wednesday, but they can also create challenges when it comes to predicting demand. Brands and retailers should be careful to balance the potential benefits of promotions with the potential risks of overstocking.
One strategy for doing this is to use limited-time promotions that focus on specific products or product categories, rather than across-the-board discounts. This can help create demand for certain items, while also ensuring that inventory levels remain in balance.
Discounts and deals are commonplace across both wholesale and retail transactions during holiday periods. Last year, more than 5,100 retailers purchased discounted products on LeafLink’s platform during the top sales days and LeafLink’s point of sale partners reported about 90% of baskets included a holiday period special. Cannabis retailers and their consumers clearly expect discounts during seasonal times.
For retailers, promotions should aim to increase transactions and, perhaps more importantly, basket sizes. In some markets, especially out West, competitive discounting is promoting a “race to the bottom,” which negatively affects margins and profitability. To counter retail softness during high sales periods, deals can be crafted along customer segments to upsell shoppers: targeted marketing strategies such as sponsored and targeted email marketing, product ads and samples, and trade shows and events can help result in better spend return on investment and higher basket sizes.
For brands, it’s key to create deals for dispensary customers. On average, brands offering seasonal discounts on LeafLink’s marketplace saw a 31% increase in sales and sample requests more than doubled. With dispensaries stocking up on products for holiday periods, brands giving volume-based discounts and customized deals can maintain margins while driving top-line sales.
Buyers purchased discounted products on LeafLink during top sales days.
Increase in sales and sample requests for brands offering seasonal promotions.
Green Wednesday represents a huge opportunity for cannabis brands and retailers, but it also requires careful planning and preparation to ensure success. By focusing on predicting demand, using sales forecasts and data-driven tools, and maintaining open lines of communication, brands and retailers can position themselves for a successful holiday season. Whether you're a small dispensary or a large multi-state operator, taking the time to plan ahead and prepare for Green Wednesday can help you capitalize on this important sales day and set yourself up for long-term success.
Looking for more holiday tips? Check out LeafLink's Holiday Sales Guide. Our Holiday Sales Guide includes 2 years of holiday data, and is designed to help cannabis brands, retailers, and distributors boost their holiday sales through actionable data and insights.