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What Makes a Recreational Dispensary Stand Out?

Running a successful cannabis dispensary varies from place to place because each local market differs in customer demographics and regulations. What makes one shop stand out can greatly differ from one location to another. Whether you are starting your business or trying to improve an existing one, it’s crucial to focus on creating a fantastic dispensary experience for customers as a foundational aspect of your strategy.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the essential elements that make a great cannabis dispensary — from product selection and pricing to customer service and convenience — and provide tips on how you can stay ahead of competitors in your area while offering memorable experiences every time someone visits!

recreational dispensary

1. Aesthetically Pleasing and Efficient Retail Space

One common feature of most successful dispensaries is their effective use of retail space, both in aesthetics and workflow.

First, ensure your store layout is logical. According to a survey, 53% of retail shoppers cited disorganization as a main reason for not revisiting a store. It should be easy for both staff and customers to locate products, check-in, and make payments. Use a planned method to arrange merchandise, allowing customers easy access to budtenders.

Next, inject some personality into your brand. While practicality is vital, being imaginative with your interior design can leave a strong impression on your customers. Decoration is part of what sets your store apart, and you have many styles to choose from. You might opt for a modern industrial look or a warmer, more relaxed vibe. 

No matter your choice of decoration or design, keep your shop clean for your customers.

  • 95% of consumers say the outside look is important when choosing a store
  • 32% of customers cited a dirty store as the main reason for not returning

Don’t let poor aesthetics hinder your business’s success.

2. A Well-Trained Staff of Helpful Budtenders

A successful business relies on the people who work there. It’s a team effort, indeed. Consider this: 70% of Americans are willing to spend more at businesses with good customer service. Therefore, every successful dispensary prioritizes fostering a culture of exceptional customer service.

It starts with selecting the right budtenders for your business. Simply hiring someone who believes their years of ‘independent product research’ make them more qualified isn’t sufficient. You need individuals who share your values and understand how to treat people. Personality and perspective matter.

Afterward, dispensaries should train their staff to be customers’ best buds (yes, we went there). This involves comprehending cannabis products and the people who use them. Ensure your staff receives thorough training in critical areas such as:

  • Providing customer information
  • Understanding purchasing limits
  • Reading packaging labels
  • Recognizing product potency
  • Operating the point-of-sale system
  • Familiarizing with your loyalty rewards program

Cross-training your employees is also beneficial. The more they know about your dispensary, the more assistance they can provide to your customers. Remember, knowledge is power in the cannabis industry.

3. Choosing a Dependable and Effective POS System

CRM Customer Relationship Management for business sales marketing system concept presented in futuristic graphic interface of service application to support CRM database analysis.

With a variety of point-of-sale (POS) systems available, it’s crucial to conduct your research and pick a POS software that fits your dispensary’s needs.

Key features to consider when choosing POS software include:

  • Inventory tracking
  • Accessibility
  • User-friendly platform
  • Online ordering
  • Pricing
  • Real-time reporting
  • Cannabis compliance assistance
  • Integration options

A user-friendly POS system can significantly enhance the customer service experience. Having access to detailed reports allows you to monitor your expenses, manage inventory, and strategically select marijuana products for your dispensary’s marketing efforts. All these features of your POS system simplify many other tasks on your list.

Moreover, a POS system that supports integrations with other dispensary technologies can create a more holistic customer experience, including a loyalty rewards program. These systems are vital for managing the combination of cannabis options available, particularly in regions with both a medical program and cannabis by adults for recreational use. Engaging cannabis experts to guide your POS choices can further streamline your operations.

4. Establishing a Dispensary Loyalty Rewards Program

One of the best moves you can make to promote your dispensary’s success is to set up a loyalty rewards program. These programs not only help keep customers by offering personalized rewards but also promote certain buying behaviors and gather important data about your customers. This data aids in crafting targeted marketing that’s more direct and impactful.

Our findings from dispensary clients indicate that loyalty members represent about 10% of all customers, yet they contribute to nearly 75% of total spending over 12 months! This suggests that incentivizing loyalty program members is a potent method to elevate sales and enhance customer spending over time.

As a dispensary owner, you have several choices in how to structure your loyalty program. You might consider offering:

  • Exclusive discounts on products
  • Free gifts or store contests
  • Branded merchandise
  • VIP experiences

Shape a loyalty program that aligns well with your dispensary’s business approach and brand identity. Then, utilize it as the main tool in your marketing strategy. For instance, decide if you want to use a visit-based or a spend-based system. While any system is beneficial, our experience indicates that spend-based systems are typically more effective as they reward your most dedicated customers more accurately.

Ultimately, a dispensary loyalty program pleases your customers and keeps them returning. It enhances your dispensary’s reputation and strengthens your relationships with customers, especially effective when paired with a text message marketing platform.

5. Communicating with Customers About Specials, Deals, and Promotions

Communication is crucial in any modern marketing strategy. Customers, especially those who consume cannabis, expect it. What’s the use of having great deals and exclusive promotions if your customers aren’t aware of them?

A successful dispensary uses the best method available to stay in touch with its customers — text message marketing.

Texting is the top form of communication for American adults under 50. Text messages boast a 99% open rate, with 90% of texts being opened within 3 minutes of receipt. This effectiveness makes it a much better marketing tool compared to emails or push notifications.

However, different states have various laws regarding SMS advertising, governed by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Thus, it’s crucial to use text marketing software that complies with cannabis marketing laws and is experienced in the field.

With SMS and MMS text marketing, your cannabis dispensary can directly engage its most valuable customers, keeping them informed about:

  • Deals and promotions
  • Special events
  • Changes in store hours
  • New inventory
  • Social media updates

With springbig, our cannabis text marketing software, your dispensary can target your audience based on data collected through your POS system. This allows you to send messages tailored to individual interests, purchase history, and a variety of other criteria to maximize your campaign’s effectiveness.

Combined with our loyalty rewards platform, cannabis text marketing is a powerful tool for any dispensary.

6. A Passion for Cannabis

Many people are eager to enter the cannabis industry, attracted by its significant growth potential. It’s anticipated that the US legal cannabis market will hit $66.3 billion by the end of 2025. As more states support cannabis legislation and a growing number of Americans advocate for legalization, the cannabis market flourishes.

However, if you’re motivated solely by profit, you might find it a tough journey. We believe that the most successful dispensaries are driven by a genuine passion for cannabis, particularly in today’s environment.

Despite its increasing popularity, cannabis retail faces numerous challenges. To put it plainly, there are many obstacles and bureaucratic hoops, which can be frustrating and discouraging for those not deeply committed to the industry’s future. Even obtaining a license can feel like a formidable challenge. While big companies might enter the market and profit, small business owners and startups need creativity, persistence, innovation, and passion. It’s important to care about the people who visit your dispensary, understanding their needs and preferences regarding cannabis.

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