08 Mar 2023

Unlock Record Sales for 4/20: SparkPlug’s Essential Guide

Author: Kelli Rascoe

4/20 is almost here, which means savvy cannabis marketers are gearing up for the big holiday push. Whether your business is planning a broad-reaching Twitter ad-buy or a promising in-store activation, it’s time to get your team ready for a record-breaking day of sales.

With 4/20/23 poised to go down in history as the best one yet, the SparkPlug team has assembled some tips, predictions, and reminders to help you get ahead and plan for success.

Get Your Store Ready for Growth

The industry is growing, and for good measure. With the diversification of product categories, there are more options for buyers.

High Times says, “The cannabis industry is poised to reach more than 31.8 billion in annual sales by the end of the year, with a projected 50.7 billion by 2028.”

SparkPlug's Senior Sales Manager, Matt McDowell shares thoughts on the evolving industry, "The cannabis industry is exhilarating because the only constant IS change! So many new exciting developments are coming out of so many states. It's great to know that we're all trailblazers in this industry as it matures and develops."

As you consider the quickly changing landscape, find ways to tap into unique ways to appeal to shoppers during 4/20.

if you are in a state that just opened to recreational, consider that the opportunity is ripe to stand out to new consumers and educate them on different products that they may not be familiar with yet.

Taking Care of Your Team Leads to Better Customer Service

4/20 is a day for the people.

It's a day for neighbors, community members, small business owners, and front-line workers to all get together and do something more.

During this busy time of the year, being tuned into the needs and motivation of your team can make the difference in retaining employees and helping them to take care of customers.

Lean Into Cannabis Culture

SparkPlug's COO and Co-founder, Jake Levin, dives in on the topic more, "4/20 is fun. Unlike Valentine's Day or Prime Day, 4/20 wasn't invented by corporate overlords to get us to spend more money. 4/20 is an excellent symbol of society's growing tolerance and even acceptance of cannabis and cannabis culture. Consumers who have historically felt oppressed or shunned for their passion for the plant probably feel vindicated and validated when they see billboards celebrating 4/20.”

As a business owner, brand, or retailer, it can be daunting to plan and prepare for holidays like 4/20, especially if you're just getting started in the industry.

Even industry experts must navigate stressors like workplace retention, supply/demand of products, or high turnover.

Keep Your Critical Accounts Stocked

McDowell adds," If I'm a brand owner preparing for 4/20, I'm thinking about stock levels and the budtenders. I know that dispensaries will be much busier than usual during the days surrounding 4/20, and if you take the appropriate steps to tackle these two pillars, you'll be in a good position. I'd ensure that my key accounts are stocked with my best products and that the budtenders are highly motivated to sell my products vs. my competition."

As a brand owner, stay front-of-mind by visiting you key accounts in person in the weeks leading up to 4/20 so you can hear directly from budtenders and create champions of your products.

Build a Stronger Employee Community

"It's so cool to be a part of an industry that is shaping right before your eyes. We get to be pioneers in tech, helping provide such a valuable tool to the most valuable proponent, the businesses, and their employees. It's exciting to know that my work directly impacts an hourly worker who is most likely depending on that additional income stream." - Sima Kurepa, Senior Retail Account Executive

You can strengthen the sense of community for your team by showing empathy, rewarding them for their influence, and recognizing them publicly in team meetings for their contributions.

Get Ready for The Big Day

Whether you're a first-time retailer, budtender, or veteran brand, we've got the scoop to keep your business stocked and ready for the big day. The last thing you want is to be short on supplies (or staff) last minute. The SparkPlug team has your back with this handy checklist.

Take Care of Your Budtenders

For your budtenders to have a successful shift, they need everything available to help customers and stay motivated. Want to avoid burnout and staff turnover? Keep your budtenders energized with breaks, water, and snacks.

Incentivize their sales with prizes and contests to keep the day motivational.

"It's all about taking care of people and your business. Take care of the budtenders. They're the ones who are selling your products. They'll likely see longer hours, more people, more questions, and higher stress levels. Running incentives and sales competitions will ensure that your staff are not just motivated to take on the more significant workload but are also compensated for their hard work." - Matt McDowell, Senior Sales Manager

Train and Incentivize Across Categories

There are a lot of products to consider for the big day. Which products are the most popular? Which products are always out of stock? Any new industry trends or local community faves?

According to data from Flowhub, the top categories during 4/20 were:

  1. Flower 59%
  2. Concentrates 23%
  3. Edibles 13%
  4. Other 1.6%
  5. Non-edible 1%
  6. Clone / Seed .4%

Stock Up On Edibles

If there’s one product you don’t want to miss this year, don’t forget to stock up on one particular product. That’s right, edibles.

Kurepa adds, “Remember edibles or pre-rolls. With 4/20 being a huge canna holiday, you're attracting regular users and probably new or casual ones. Not everyone wants to roll their joints or has glassware or equipment, so I'd say stock up on the most accessible consumable options. Those are guaranteed to go first.”

Incentivize a Wide Variety of Products
Since the landscape is ever-changing, you'll want to keep updated with cannabis trends. Chat with your customers, get to know which products they like, or follow industry reports.

McDowell says, "Stock up on various products to keep customers happy. Consider adding a new addition to your stock. For example, high and low-grade flowers, vape, edible, or a drink. There’s something for everyone."

The best way to sell more products across categories is to add incentive contests to product types you want to have higher sell through on. Create a leaderboard with SparkPlug to motivate budtenders to educate and influence sales of high-margin products.

Want to incentivize your staff but need help figuring out where to start? We've got you covered. Grab the Cannabis Incentive Playbook here.

Reward Budtenders for Their Influence

It's about people helping people.

Whether you're new to the scene or an expert in the field, there's something special about the cannabis industry and how it continues to expand into new territories and help connect partners, teams, and businesses with the help of technology.

Jake Levin shares more about how to make an impact, "Employees in cannabis retail are passionate about cannabis and the industry. Many have personal stories of how cannabis impacted their lives. Given how passionate these workers are about cannabis and the industry, it's exciting to support them in their professional roles and give them both tools and compensation that make them feel valued and recognized for their commitment to cannabis and its benefits."

As a business owner, you want to drive sales, collaborate with partners and brands in your community, and keep your team energized and staffed. Levin empathizes, "Any customer service role is exhausting. Given how much traffic these stores will see, SparkPlug is a wonderful way to ensure employees show up each day excited to give it their all and delight every customer who walks in the door."

Book a strategy session to learn how to launch incentives that increase sales and motivate your team.

Prepare for 4/20 This Year and Beyond

From prep to product set up and store opening, there's so much to consider with all major holidays as a business owner. But with your team set up for success with breaks, training, incentives, and sales, the sky's the limit for what you can accomplish when your team is stocked and ready to go. Jumpstart your team motivation and get prepped to incentivize your staff and scale your business with SparkPlug by your side.

For more on cannabis growth in new markets, learn How to Establish Your Dispensary in a New Cannabis Market or How to Establish Your Brand in a New Cannabis Market.