June 3, 2020

Cannabis shopping times impacted by COVID: A look at Nevada

Nevada is one of many markets that are shifting popular shopping times during COVID-19. Find out what's changed in this blog post.
Written by
Cassie Thielen
Published on
June 3, 2020
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Retail customers’ preferred shopping hours is valuable information to help structure and plan business operations efficiently. By understanding these numbers, it’s easier to manage employee work schedules to ensure customers have enough resources while roaming the dispensary and to guarantee shelves are sufficiently stocked with products on more popular days. 

COVID-19 has forever altered consumer behavior across all markets and it’s useful to be aware of how it has changed. Headset looked at the Nevada market for insights into exactly how consumers are shopping amid a pandemic. 

Nevada is a sizable market with roughly $639M in revenue from medical and recreational cannabis sales in 2019. It’s also unique given that 55 million people travel to Nevada annually to visit its popular destinations such as Las Vegas and Reno. With those tourists gone, we used our Hourly/Day of Week Dashboard to compare data from January and February (before the COVID-19 outbreak) against March and April (during COVID-19), looking specifically at when sales were taking place by day of the week as well as by hour. 

Here are the notable shifts we discovered in both domains.

Percentage of total $ cannabis sales by day of week before and during Covid-19
Percentage of total $ cannabis sales by day of week before and during Covid-19

Difference in sales by day of week before and during COVID-19

Comparing sales by day of week from January-February to March-April, we see patterns have changed with consumers favoring weekday shopping over the weekend. We see increases in total sales on Sundays and all weekdays, save for Thursday. Nevada deemed cannabis dispensaries essential but limited in-store shopping, making delivery the next best option and opening up opportunities for consumers to purchase products during the week without leaving their homes. Those working from home are allowed greater flexibility in their daily routine, presenting more opportunity to shop in-store during the week at dispensaries open for walk-ins. Since Nevada’s cannabis market relies heavily on tourists, with about 55 million visitors per year, a lack of weekend visitors probably negatively influenced weekend shopping, as well. The most notable change is Saturdays where, prior to COVID-19, Saturdays captured 17% of total weekly sales. During COVID-19, sales on Saturday decreased to only 13%. Fridays took a reasonable hit, as well, dropping from around 20% to roughly 17%. 

Changes in hourly cannabis shopping trends during Covid-19
Changes in hourly cannabis shopping trends during Covid-19

COVID-19 has also altered the peak shopping hours. Before the pandemic, popular shopping hours were from 3pm to 5pm. Now, during the crisis, consumers are shopping earlier in the day with a more even spread between noon and 5pm. Again, this is most likely due to greater flexibility in people’s work day where they are able to take a break in the afternoon to visit a dispensary. With delivery now an option, they are also capable of ordering products mid-day or whenever the desire strikes.

Nevada is one of many markets that are shifting popular shopping times during COVID-19. Before the pandemic, 4pm was the most popular time of day for Nevada, but now consumers are shopping evenly between 11am and 5pm. Without the normal 9am-5pm structure of working in the office, consumers are venturing out during the afternoon and during the week to stock up on supplies. To understand how shopping hours and days have shifted in your market , check out Headset’s Hourly/Day of Week dashboard.

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