Cannabis retailers, here’s how to use IT to improve your customer experience

February 25, 2022

Outside of the cannabis industry, there is a wealth of research that shows a positive customer experience leads to better business. A happy customer is more likely to return, recommend the business to others, and spend 25% more. In so many points of your pipeline, CX can be improved by making ordering easier for customers and making marketing more personalized. It is clear that data collection and good integration is important to the cannabis industry for regulatory and business purposes, but these same strategies and others can be utilized to create a more positive customer experience.

Web and mobile services, in house offerings, supply chain software, and the programs running behind these to keep them all up-to-date are just some of the areas to ensure technology is serving customers strategically. Consider all the different touch points customers have with your customer and how that can be improved to make their experience even better.

Behind the scenes

An integration layer works to pull and sync all the varied product, inventory, and customer data between CRMs and an eCommerce platform ensuring that all information displayed to customers is up to date and correct in real-time. In fact, it can pull from any source within the company to get necessary information while keeping the details of the system hidden. The language of the integration layer is agnostic so components using many different languages can be integrated smoothly. This layer then acts as a central point of information to get information to the right place at the right time, reduce data silos, and build a better purchasing experience.

In-store Experience

Perhaps the most obvious touchpoint customers have with a business is that of shopping in a brick and mortar store, therefore, the strategies implemented here can pull from information  gathered behind the scenes and a more surface-level display to help positively shape the interaction.

Ease of documentation

One of the first interactions a customer will have at a dispensary is going through the appropriate documentation in the reception area. If you can make getting into the store as seamless as possible, you are already off to a good start. A way to leverage tech here is automatic document scanning and digital sign-ins as well as having a welcoming waiting area.

This can also be done on an online account where customers can also manage their opt-in status for marketing, order notifications from their account settings, and add specific notes like veteran status or medical information safely.

Stock with things customers want

One of the strongest drivers of CX and profitability is having the right amount of the right products. Track what is being sold and what isn’t so you can always have favorites in stock and don’t waste inventory space with products that aren’t popular amongst consumers.

Display matters

An attractive display that conveys specific information and is directly connected to the inventory available makes shopping easier for customers and budtenders to get exactly what they want. That experience is made all the better when you have high quality images, a clean organization, and all the key information readily available.

Online Experience

More than ever before, people are leaning towards shopping online. To accommodate this, it is important your business is able to mirror all the best parts of an in-store experience in a way that is even more convenient to shoppers.

Content availability

You remember all those beautiful informative displays you have in-store? Make a digital version available online! Let the customers see high-quality images of the products with detailed descriptions. This is also a place where you can link similar products to recommend.

Dynamic delivery

One of our clients is interested in getting products to customers faster and easier through a method they are calling dynamic delivery. By following purchasing trends and market trends, they will keep drivers on the road with a selection of the most popular products in high-traffic areas. A customer can then order from the eCommerce site or the app and a driver in the area will drive to them and deliver the product. This is kept in compliance with California law by making sure drivers are only on the road for an allowed window of time before looping back to the store. Different than a courier, the drivers can be preparing for the orders they expect to come in rather than waiting for the order and then putting it together and delivering. This saves time and makes it easier for shoppers to get high-quality products delivered to them.

It works by being connected to the abstraction layer to stay connected to inventory, be a part of business analytics to know how to work best within its limitations, and operate off a  dispatching system.

Better support

Customer Support has the ability to have a negative impact on a customers’ experience, but there are many IT tactics to offset this. One example is a live chat service that can have proactive conversations and faster resolutions. It can also be personalized based on customer data and be tended to by either a bot to sort things more quickly or a human who has more personal knowledge. Additionally, support can be offered on multiple channels including on social media platforms, SMS, email to direct lines with the business. There is also the option to do automatic translation to reach larger multilingual audiences.

Individualized experience

Perhaps the most unique place data can be used to curate the customer experience is by honing in on each individual customer and their shopping patterns.

Rewards programs & saved documents

Incentivize customers to return and develop brand loyalty by rewarding them for it. These return customers can also have a slightly easier time by having their documents saved in the system to cut down on future work.

Personalized updates

Based on their purchasing history, customers can be notified when their favorite products are back in stock or going on sale. Personalized product recommendations can also be made based on order history.

Multichannel engagement

Consider the different ways you have to communicate with your customers on a personal level: targeted ads, marketing campaigns with their information (if they give you permission!) such as emails or texts, and now via push notifications on apps. While there is a limit to how much a customer wants to be contacted, these direct marketing strategies have always been an effective way to bring people into your marketplace and keep in communication about the cool things your company has in the works.

This can also offer multiple ways to shop, pages to explore and educational content for customers to engage with.

Focusing on CX can be a sure-fire way of improving your business and your IT practices are a way of strengthening that in all areas your customers come into contact with.  Between data collection and use, integration between varied parts of the business, online services, and more, using the many technologies in your toolbox can help you strengthen your relationships with your customers.

If you would like to talk further about how to leverage your IT to benefit your business, reach out to us in the box below!