by Joanne Van Zuidam
As the number of states legalizing the sale of recreational and medicinal marijuana continues to grow, so does the competition. The problem is that this does not mean business as usual. Local and federal regulations limit marketing and advertising efforts, making it tricky to promote your dispensary.
Because of this, it is crucial to ensure your retail displays, store fixtures, and in-store incentives stand out against your competitors. Here are seven on-site marketing tips to help draw more attention to your cannabis business:
- Offer Great Customer Service
- Upsell, Cross Sell, and Bundle to Boost Sales
- Design Dispensary-Worthy Displays
- Market Marijuana with Signage
- Reward Programs
- Attend Events and Host Experiences
- Get Involved with Your Community
1. Offer Great Customer Service
Your staff is the ultimate gateway to customer sales. After greeting a shopper, the associate can ask “is this your first time here?” Then, depending on the answer, they can respond with “welcome back!” or ask, “what can I help you with today?”
This initial exchange helps your team assess the customer quickly so they can ask follow-up questions to determine what type of product they are looking for, what type of benefits they are hoping to receive, etc. While someone new to cannabis may not be sure how to answer, more experienced consumers may relay exactly what they want. Either way, this presents an opportunity to share any promotions that the store is currently offering.
2. Upsell, Cross Sell, and Bundle to Boost Sales
This is a tried and true method that your employees should always be offering to shoppers. For instance, tiered pricing of products gives your sales team a means to upsell a different item at a slightly higher price point. Reviewing your POS data can help identify products that are frequently purchased together to cross sell or bundle.
An effortless way to bundle is to assemble some grab-and-go gift items. From traditional gift-giving celebrations like birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and the December holidays to weed-specific days such as Green Wednesday, Danksgiving, and 4/20, there are many opportunities to curate a few merchandise bundles. Package them at a discount and arrange them on a display table.
3. Design Dispensary-Worthy Cannabis Displays
Successful dispensaries offer a variety of products that appeal to an array of customers. This includes product type, strain, price, and size. Use those categories as a starting point when organizing your displays. Group items such as pre-rolls, vape cartridges, edibles, and topicals, together to make it easy for shoppers to find what they need.
Whether you are using mason jars or cannabis-specific pods with more sophisticated features like smell ports, security tape, and LED lights, maximize space and make products visible to customers. This can be done by utilizing shelving, countertop cases, and risers. Customized cannabis displays present merchandise offerings while boosting brand-building recognition and opportunities.
4. Market Cannabis with Signage
Clear, visible signage directs cannabis enthusiasts exactly where they want to go. On the other hand, the new-to-cannabis customers may need to be walked through your product offerings. Stellar customer service, along with educational signage, (listing a strain’s benefits, recommended dosages, and prices) will help this.
Signage can include menus, deals, educational, clinical, and/or state and federal legislation information, but they should also introduce or reinforce your brand and logo. Do not forget digital displays. Beyond easy-to-update menus boards, they can also tell your brand’s story or share how your product moves from farm to (display) table.
5. Reward Programs
If your market allows you to have a loyalty reward program, you should take advantage of this. Memberships benefit customers by providing exclusive discounts, advanced notice of sales, product bundles, or even small gifts on their birthdays. Beyond discounts, you can offer points-per-purchase or referral rewards.
Dispensaries can benefit by fostering long-term relationships with consumers. Since there are limitations on how you can promote your business, it is smart to focus on customer retention — and it is easy to involve them. Just ask shoppers for their email address at checkout or set up a tablet in store to capture their information.
6. Attend Events and Host Cannabis Experiences
Take your show on the road. Trade shows and conventions are a terrific way to get the word out about your business. A table with a custom-printed cover or backdrop branded with your logo will help customers remember you. Handing out marketing materials, merch, and other swag also helps you make a memorable connection with attendees.
Even better, draw shoppers to your physical location with fun, educational experiences. Host in-house events geared toward the cannabis aficionado and the cannabis curious. Events can include an introductory to marijuana seminar, a yoga and weed class, and pipe-making workshops.
7. Get Involved with Your Cannabis Community
Giving back is big. It is not only meaningful to potential customers, but also benefits your store by boosting brand awareness and putting your business in a positive light with your local community. Opportunities are everywhere: downtown beautification projects, adult sport league sponsorships, food/clothing drives, and charitable donations are just a few of the more common volunteer projects.
While we wait for cannabis marketing and advertising regulations to loosen up, be sure to keep up on industry trends to continue making your dispensary stand out. It is easy to pivot and switch up products along with their displays to meet customers’ needs — whether they are recreational users, medical patients, health and wellness enthusiasts, or newcomers. Follow these marketing tips and see your business grow.
Joanne Van Zuidam is a professional journalist, lifestyle content creator, and a writer at shopPOPdisplays.com, a leading manufacturer specializing in quality stock and customizable retail point-of-purchase (POP) displays and merchandise.