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Preparing for 420 Day: Tips for Online Cannabis Sales

Apr 14, 2023
5 min read

Many people are familiar with unofficial holidays such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Small Business Saturday. As support for marijuana legalization continues to grow, another date has joined the list: April 20th, or 420, a day commonly associated with cannabis due to a group of high school students who used to meet up at 4:20 pm to smoke weed. In states that have legalized adult-use cannabis, 420 is known for breaking marijuana sales records. For cannabis store owners, it’s the last chance to review previous years’ business results and make necessary calculations.

The Thanksgiving season, along with 420 week, creates the highest peak load in internet traffic. E-commerce and mobile apps face the highest traffic and expect significant profits. According to Akerna report, in 2022 sales of adult-use and medicinal marijuana increased by nearly 40% compared to the previous year, setting a new record of $154.4 million on April 20th alone. If we add up sales from the pre-holiday season, the amount will near $500 million.

Although last year’s holiday marked the largest sales day in cannabis history, it is anticipated that 420 2023 will also be a massive celebration.

The eCommerce Landscape in Legal Cannabis Sales

The eCommerce landscape in legal cannabis sales has undergone a significant shift in recent years. As more states legalize marijuana, online marketplaces have emerged as a critical channel for cannabis sales. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping has become even more popular, and eCommerce has become an essential part of the cannabis industry.

The online sales of legal cannabis have been actively growing since 2020. Prior to the widespread lockdowns, only 17% of legal cannabis sales were conducted online. However, during the height of the pandemic, CBD sales experienced a significant increase, and a considerable portion of them were from e-commerce. In fact, in 2022, more than twice as many online orders were placed compared to 420 in 2021.

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With e-commerce, legal cannabis businesses can reach a wider audience, offer a broader range of products, and provide an engaging and seamless shopping experience for customers. This year the cannabis industry continues to actively apply advanced technology, utilizing POS systems, online retail, delivery services, and curbside pickup to make the shopping experience more convenient than ever.

Legal cannabis online stores face challenges in complying with state regulations for labeling, packaging, and shipping to legal states, as well as ensuring fast and reliable online store performance with secure payment processing and seamless checkout experience, which are key factors in creating a positive customer experience and driving repeat business.

Why Performance Testing before 420 Day is a Must in 2023?

With the growing popularity of eCommerce, consumers are increasingly demanding faster and more efficient websites and apps. According to a report by Akamai, almost half of users expect a website to load in just 2 seconds, with 30% expecting it to load in under 1 second. If a page experiences performance issues, a staggering 50% of visitors will feel disappointed and are likely to switch to a different website. Furthermore, if their expectations are not met, 22% of visitors will never return to the site again.

To prevent any potential issues and ensure a smooth 420 shopping experience for your customers, it is crucial to begin addressing and preparing for website and mobile app performance in advance of the date. A slow or unresponsive website can result in lost customers and revenue. This is especially true for legal cannabis businesses, where the eCommerce landscape is becoming increasingly competitive.

Tips for Having a Successful 420 Day Sales

Falling on a Thursday, this year’s 420 Day is expected to be a significant event for the cannabis industry, with two consecutive weekends of heightened demand. To be ready for the surge in sales, businesses should review their loyalty programs, product lines, and conduct performance testing to ensure a smooth and successful shopping experience for their customers.

Here are some tips to maximize profits:

  • Offer promotions and deals
    To stand out from competitors and attract more customers, consider offering promotions and deals. Discounts, bundle deals, and free shipping are popular promotions that can entice customers to make a purchase. Make sure to promote your deals and specials on your website, social media channels, and email newsletters to maximize their visibility.
  • Stock up on popular products
    Take a look at your sales data from previous years to determine which products were popular during the 420 holidays. According to Flowhub, 420 Day in 2022 saw flower as the most popular product at 59%, followed by concentrates at 23%, edibles at 13%. Make sure to stock up on these products to ensure that you can meet the demand. Consider offering limited edition products or special strains to generate excitement and drive sales.
  • Prepare for high traffic
    With the 420 Day approaching, it’s essential to prepare your online store for a surge in traffic. Conduct thorough performance testing and optimize your mobile app to ensure fast loading times, secure payment processing, and a seamless checkout experience. This will help prevent crashes or slow loading times that could lead to frustrated customers and lost sales.
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