With a cannabis dispensary on every corner of every street (in some states!), it is important to understand what factors draw customers and make them come back time and time again. Here are some tips for making your marijuana dispensary stand out from the crowd and stand the test of time.
Focus on customer interaction and share on social media
One of the most important factors affecting longevity is the interaction with your customers. If you want sales to be consistent, you need to build trust and familiarity with them. To set yourself apart, you will need to hire employees who are not only friendly but who can offer knowledgeable advice to customers. Your employees can make or break your business.
The customer should be taken into account at every point along the way, from the initial greeting to shopping for a product, to knowing exactly how to use it at home. Neglecting quality customer service because you think you are dealing with stereotypical stoners who just want to buy pot is a big mistake.
Social media provides a way to promote your dispensary and to make sure that people know it exists. They can’t choose you unless they know you are there! Create blog posts, share images and videos, comment on relevant news and the more you share, the more customers are able to interact with you. By answering their questions and engaging with them, you can demonstrate your approachability, reliability, and interest in the local community.
Your local community not only needs to be aware that you are there but that you intend to have a positive impact on it. Community outreach can be done in many ways such as organizing a canned food drive, hosting a barbeque or becoming a sponsor of an event like a concert.
Create effective, consistent branding
First impressions are important and effective, consistent branding will help customers to remember you. It will also help you to reach your target audience and impress upon them the quality of your products and services.
You need a strategy that ties all aspects of marketing together such as images, slogans, and promotions. Without this verbal and visual “voice” customers do not know who you are, what you stand for and whether they can trust you.
To develop your branding strategy, you need to decide how you want people to view your company. You need to decide what you want them to think and how you want them to feel in order to decide on the design elements that convey this.
If you want to stand apart from the cannabis counterculture, for instance, you will need to focus on the health and wellness aspect. To draw customers who may be new to cannabis but who want to experience its medical benefits, your products have to be positioned as a medical solution to a health problem and you will need to use health and wellness terminology and images.
Pay attention to store design
The design of a store, from layout to décor, can make your customers feel comfortable straight away and make them more likely to keep coming back. The way products are displayed, the colors used for décor and the way employees are dressed will all create an impression. Even the way products are packaged has an influence.
People in your local community will provide an important part of your customer base so you need to understand them before deciding on your design. The atmosphere of marijuana dispensaries has tended to vary from strictly clinical to extremely laidback. You need to ask yourself what type of atmosphere will attract your target clients.
Dispensaries can now be found with many different designs related to their customer base. In a hip neighborhood, for instance, a dispensary may have a modern design with hip vintage décor. The whole shopping experience, including store design, is changing the way people look at cannabis and helping to remove the stigma.
Stock high quality, diverse products
Quality customer service and effective branding won’t help if you don’t have a diverse range of quality products to choose from. Some dispensaries have only a dozen or so products on offer and the customer may have to go elsewhere to find what they are looking for. Others may have a wide range of products but they may not necessarily be of a high quality. Both of these factors need to be taken into account when stocking your store.
You need to know where to find high-quality cannabis strains and explore innovative products such as CBD oils, topicals, and edible products. New oil blends targeting different conditions are being developed every day. You will need to stay ahead by following industry publications and attending industry events to make sure you can offer your customers the most innovative products on the market.
If you do surveys at your store or on your website, you can gauge the type of products your customers are looking for and you can find and stock these products.
Offer customer incentives and run promotions
It is not enough to just get customers through the dispensary door. They have to keep them coming back and a great way to do this is to use customer incentives and promotions.
In-store promotions are a way of giving back to customers for their loyalty. This may be in the form of buy one get one free, a free pre-roll with a certain purchase or daily strain on sale.
A way to stay constantly in customer’s minds is to send them daily SMS messages with promotional deals.
If you don’t work hard to build up and maintain a loyal customer base, you won’t have consistent sales. The fierce competition for market share means you have to find ways to stand out from the crowd. Good customer and social media interaction, solid branding and design, customer incentives and promotions will all help you to gain the trust of the local community and ensure the success of your dispensary.