Top 5 Ways to Enhance the Legal Cannabis Dispensary Experience
Apply the principles of user experience design to improve customer satisfaction.
This Blog article is co-authored by Mike Coner + Masha Belinson a Chief Vision Officer at Extract Collective in Florida.
Cannabis dispensaries must often bridge the gap between conventional retail stores and clinical pharmacies. They need to offer a wide variety of cannabis-based products while remaining compliant with track-and-trace reporting laws and cannabis taxes, but they must also serve their customers in ways that increase loyalty and sales.
The fact that “cannabis culture” exists is a testament to this need. Cannabis is unique among medically valuable commodities for many reasons, but the cultural element is one that should stand out from a customer experience point of view.
To illustrate the point, there is no such thing as “Humira® culture,” even though the arthritis drug is America’s #1 best-selling pharmaceutical. The way cannabis connects people – including sick people – with one another is wholly unique. Dispensary owners that understand this are in the best position to serve those peoples’ needs.
What Dispensaries Can Do to Improve the Customer Experience
We asked Masha Belinson, Chief Vision Officer at Extract Collective, to list some of the most important elements of the in-store cannabis experience. Dispensary owners that implement these tried-and-true methods for enhancing customers’ in-store experience achieve greater sales and improve customer loyalty.
1. Capitalize on Customer Wait Times
If you can reduce the amount of time customers spend waiting in line, you should. However, sometimes cannabis software and point-of-sale (POS) systems don’t let budtenders instantly complete sales. Picky customers often take an extra five minutes deciding which particular strain of cannabis they’d like to try out today – these things can’t be helped.
But customers who are waiting don’t need to be waiting idly. Leverage customer wait time to expose people to branded cannabis promotions, cannabis education materials, and in-store technology. Mobile touch screen menus like those that Sticky Guide provides can turn idle wait time into branded customer experiences.
2. Automate Compliance with Check-In Scanning
If everyone who purchases cannabis from a dispensary needs to present an ID card, why make them do it at the checkout counter? In many jurisdictions, customers aren’t even allowed inside the store without a valid ID. Make the process easier by offering hand-held scanning and mobile check-in using ezGreen Compliance’s enterprise POS software.
3. Personalize the Buying Experience
You’re already gathering, storing, and reporting customer data. Put that data to work by checking customer IDs against product expiration dates and purchase patterns. You can even offer to sign customers up to cannabis loyalty apps like Sprout and send them personalized text messages with branded deals and discounts.
4. Implement In-Store Activations
You can’t let people consume cannabis products on-premises, but there are potentially limitless complementary product experiences you can offer. Consider water, coffees and teas, non-psychoactive terpene bar tasting sessions, or even a simple Q&A booth for cannabis newcomers.
5. Get the Tone Right with a Dedicated In-Store Playlist
It’s a well-known fact that music affects customer psychology in the retail environment. The same holds true for cannabis dispensaries. However, the playlist best-suited to match the dispensary vibe has to be different from the one your local grocery store relies on. Put together a playlist with Best Cannabis to hone your retail edge.
Focus on the Future of the Cannabis Market
In-store experience design is a dynamic field that must constantly adapt to new customer expectations. Technological, cultural, and economic advances will continue to change the way customers wish to be treated inside cannabis dispensaries, and tomorrow’s most successful dispensary owners will be the ones who begin concentrating on continuous improvement today.