How Cannabis Retailers and Their Customers Interact Through Design

by Mike Coner

design in cannabis

Look Through The Design Lens To Discover & Engage Customers in New Ways
Blog is co-authored by Osiris Santos, a subject matter expert in Cannabis retailer experience design

MacBook Pro on brown wooden table beside white mug


Design isn’t just a term that digital marketers and product manufacturers throw around. It is a concept integral to the way people interact with technology and culture.

The same kinds of mental processes are behind figuring out how to use the latest smartphone hardware and finding the right product on a retail store’s shelves. Design is the way to guide people towards the outcomes they’re looking for.

Retail store design is just one of many different types of design. Designers rely on observation and analysis to determine the layout that will best serve customers’ needs in the retail environment.

But retail store design can go far beyond layout. The decision to use digital signage, background music, and themed displays falls squarely into the work of the retail designer.
3 Ways Design Benefits Cannabis Dispensaries
There are three main areas where retail design impacts cannabis dispensary success. Dispensary owners who pay attention to these concepts are able to boost revenue and lessen the burden of regulatory compliance in states like California and Maryland.

1. Easy-to-Use Software Helps Employees
A business is only as good as its employees. This is especially true for cannabis dispensaries, where your budtenders are the face of your brand.

Keeping employees productive requires gathering in-depth data on their transactions with customers. Good software captures this data and displays it in a way that is easy to interpret. User-friendly design is what makes that data easy to interpret while encouraging employee accountability.
2. Retail Ethnography Helps Customer Service
Ethnography is the process of observing customers in the natural retail environment. Taking a step back and watching how your customers interact with the store can lead to powerful, actionable insights about the retail experience.

You may find that certain displays confuse customers. You may find that your store layout isn’t driving customers to the checkout counter. You might find that changing the physical point where your customers interact with your personnel improves sales. These are all design decisions informed by the customer experience.
3. Process Design Improves Business Efficiency
Cannabis dispensaries with point-of-sale (POS) technology that integrates with mandatory seed-to-sale software like METRC are also enjoying the fruits of design-oriented thinking. The ability to automatically feed processes into one another while ensuring data security compliance and adhering to HIPAA is fundamentally a design decision.

Processes, like products and store layouts, are also designed. Dispensary owners who spend time designing efficient business processes are able to automate many of their most time-consuming activities, leaving more time for higher-impact, strategic initiatives like marketing.
Incorporate Design Into Your Cannabis Dispensary Approach
As a dispensary owner, you already have a lot on your plate. Running a cannabis dispensary is a demanding and often thankless task—but it is the best foothold into one of North America’s fast-growing industries. Design your business to run with efficiency, and you will equip it with what it needs to stand the test of time.


Sources:
https://www.driveresearch.com/single-post/2019/02/21/4-Key-Points-About-Retail-Ethnography
https://www.motivatedesign.com/how-to-use-ethnography-to-drive-retail-marketing-decisions/
https://www.frogdesign.com/sector/retail
https://rangle.io/design-systems/
https://blog.percolate.com/2018/06/percolate-next-design-system/#


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