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How Cannabis Merchants are Changing the Dispensary Experience

Cannabis consumers are becoming more sophisticated every day.  Faced with more choices, they’re becoming harder and harder to please.  In order to survive in today’s hyper-competitive market, retailers need to invest in improving their customer’s shopping experience.

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Meeting Cannabis Consumers’ Demands 

The proliferation of legal cannabis has brought waves of change which have now extended to nearly every corner of our country.  With cannabis coming into the mainstream, it’s easier than ever to find legal cannabis, but unfortunately, not much has changed when it comes to buying cannabis.  On a visit to a typical dispensary, a consumer can expect to grapple with long lines, ambiguous product information, expensive ATM fees, and cumbersome checkout processes--all adding up to a disruptive and unpleasant shopping experience. 

As the industry continues to evolve and mature, consumers’ expectations of their dispensary experience are beginning to change.  The days of long lines of people who are eager to wait for hours and pay outrageous prices for their product are long gone. With cannabis becoming ubiquitous, consumers are making less of a distinction between shopping for cannabis and shopping in general.  Today more than ever before, cannabis retailers who fail to adapt and meet the ever-increasing expectations of their consumers will quickly be weeded out by the market. 

By eliminating awkward, in-store workarounds, providing solid product information and offering value-add services to customers, retailers have an opportunity to distinguish themselves amongst the competition and grab valuable market share.

 

Make it easy to choose high-quality products

With any new market or product, one of the most important obstacles to mass adoption is education.  Since its inception, the legal cannabis market has suffered from disinformation and subjectivity. Most cannabis products are sold based on misleading categorizations of strains into sativa, indica and hybrid and most retailers lack an authoritative source of information about the products that they’re putting on their shelves.  This makes it nearly impossible for customers to make informed decisions about the products that they consume, and hinders cannabis’s adoption.

Providing high-quality, objective information about the contents of the products on the shelf should be a priority for retailers in order to make product selection simple and eliminate confusion.  However, that’s only half the battle--retailers also need to make it easy for customers to understand the different parts and forms of the plants, and the effects of the active ingredients. Only when customers have both sides of the equation--reliable information and a framework for interpreting it--can they make an informed decision about their product.  Demystifying cannabis’ effects and making it accessible to notice customers will be the key to customer acquisition.

 

Streamline the purchasing process

Even after a customer has overcome the challenge of choosing their product, their struggle isn’t over; the tight cannabis regulations, along with the federal prohibition on credit and debit card processing for cannabis retailers has necessitated some cumbersome workarounds which have resulted in inefficient and confusing checkout processes at cannabis retailers across the country.  Many stores still only accept cash from customers, necessitating an extra trip to the bank or an ATM fee which comes at a great inconvenience.  

 

Let your customers shop on their terms

The strict regulations that legal cannabis companies across the country face have made it difficult for customers to purchase cannabis.  Retailers’ hours, locations and product offerings are restricted by regulators, and many cannabis consumers face obstacles to access which are uncommon in modern retail.  Modern consumers are accustomed to shopping on their terms--whether online or in-store, and at any hour of the day. Retailers who accommodate this desire in their customers by hosting online menus and stores, offering access to their product via delivery and make payment easy by accepting digital payments will surely reap the benefits.

 

Give your store the edge

Alt Thirty Six partners with industry-leading eCommerce, delivery and POS systems in order to provide efficient, compliant and secure digital payments for the legal cannabis industry.  To learn more about our services, visit our site or speak with a member of our team.