Time Is Running Out for This Season’s Holiday Retail Preparations

last minute holiday retail preparation for better sales
Illustration: Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock

As the holiday season approaches, retailers must strategically prepare to capitalize on the most festive time of year. Looking back at last year’s holiday cannabis sales, we witnessed an undeniable trend in consumption: The top-selling products included a mix of top-shelf and classic flower strains, 1g distillate cartridges, and indica gummies. The demand for these products soared during the holidays, leading to a remarkable 34-percent increase in average basket size during the week of Thanksgiving and an 11-percent increase in average basket size during the week of Christmas.

How can retailers effectively prepare for the holiday rush? Here are three top ways to ensure success.


Offer discounts and promotions

The psychology of holiday shoppers is clear: They love a great deal, especially during the holidays when they have to buy gifts without breaking the bank. Retailers may wonder when to begin holiday discounts and how long they should last to be most effective. The timing is crucial. Treez data indicates implementing a flash sale for a limited time leading up to the holiday can be very effective: Last year, discounted products brought in 16.27 percent more net sales than non-discounted products, and 25.65 percent more units were sold when a promotion was in place.

A few great examples of discounts and promotions consumers love are enticing offerings like buy-one-get-one deals, bundles featuring popular holiday-themed products, winter-themed gifts with purchase, or discounts on your dispensary’s most sought-after products. To streamline the process, establish a well-structured schedule for discounts and promotions, promptly retire expired deals, and give each deal a clear, enticing name for easy data analysis. These strategies not only drive sales but also increase foot traffic during the holiday season and are easy to implement.

Manage your inventory

Creating an effective inventory-management strategy prior to the holiday season is essential, especially when offering discounts and promotions that can deplete stock rapidly. In order to manage inventory, retailers should utilize a comprehensive data dashboard to forecast demand during peak weeks. A point-of-sale (POS) dashboard should allow retailers to analyze their sales from previous holiday seasons to help avoid overstocking or running out of popular products. With this forecasting tool and sales analysis, retailers are able to focus on optimizing customer experience without having to worry about what is going on behind the scenes.

Regular inventory audits are equally crucial, as they help retailers reorder popular products before they run out and identify underperforming items for potential promotions. By conducting these audits before the holiday season, retailers can ensure their shelves are well-stocked to meet a surge in demand.

Install a loyalty program

The success of your dispensary shouldn’t be limited to the holiday season. Once the craziness of the holidays dies down, you’ll want to ensure customers continue to return. Data shows daily net sales decreased 9.37 percent and daily units sold decreased 10.45 percent in January 2023 compared to the holiday peak between December 23 and 31, 2022. Forecasting for this year, we expect to see a 10-percent decrease in sales after that same peak period this upcoming December. However, loyalty programs can help mitigate this decrease by fostering lasting customer relationships and increasing consumer spending.

As you gear up for the holiday season, it’s crucial to have the right POS system in place. Cash and integrated PIN debit were the two most popular payment methods last year, so ensuring a seamless shopping and payment experience for customers is essential to keep your business running smoothly.

By following these tips and leveraging technology to streamline operations, retailers can navigate the holiday season with confidence, providing customers with exceptional service and maximizing their revenue potential.

John Yang CEO Treez John Yang is the chief executive officer of Treez and an expert in enterprise cloud-commerce technology. He co-founded Treez in 2016 in response to the demand for software solutions specific to the needs of the cannabis industry. Prior to Treez, he consulted at Slalom Consulting, where he specialized in program management, business improvements, software development, customer-relationship-management solutions, and business intelligence.