Legal cannabis is a growing industry in the United States with no signs of slowing down. Standing out as a dispensary is vital, as competition is ubiquitous.
Currently, cannabis is legal in 37 states with a doctor’s prescription, with 18 states, Guam, and Washington DC fully legalizing cannabis for recreational use. Additionally, a 2022 report by Leafly shows that 428,059 full-time equivalent jobs were in the legal cannabis industry as of February 2022, an increase of 33% from 2021.
With an abundant amount of cannabis dispensaries opening in major and small markets alike, the need to differentiate and retain customers is of prime concern to dispensary owners.
Below, we have put together a list of ways that your dispensary can distinguish itself from the crowd of competitors.
1. Establish a Brand That People Love
Your dispensary brand is more than a logo or an aesthetic, it is everything that people associate with your company. The work culture, customer service, company mission, overall customer experience (online and in-person) all contribute to your brand perception.
Every dispensary finds their own unique way to connect with customers, and great cannabis brands have a positive perception. Maybe your dispensary delivers excellent value or innovates in product delivery. Take time to decide what characteristics and values you want customers and the public to associate with your cannabis business.
2. Unify Your Online Properties
Customers will undoubtedly research your dispensary before traveling to your location to pick up their products. Create a highly polished website that reflects your professionalism and trustworthiness. Make sure your messaging is consistent on satellite properties like Google Business Profile/Google Maps, Yelp, Weedmaps, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and other social media. Use a professional looking logo and display the same information in all your web properties, like hours of operation, and contact information.
Most dispensaries are physical locations, though an increasing number have mobile delivery. Having a unified presence on all your online touchpoints creates a consistent and positive customer experience.
Most dispensary websites have a menu listed, and many have pre-order e-commerce capabilities. Make sure your website is professional-looking and easy to navigate. User testing to ensure customers can order products without friction will help solidify customer loyalty.
4. Look and Design of the Dispensary
Modern cannabis dispensaries are clean, upscale, inviting, well-lit, and professional looking. Customers get a similar experience to an upscale retail store. Each dispensary can put their own unique flavor on this experience, but the overall aesthetics should make customers feel right at home.
Shopping for cannabis products should be one cohesive, integrated experience. The outer waiting area should be well-lit, with proper signage, and with an appealing storefront. In the waiting area, customers are greeted by the store receptionists and checked in. Within the main dispensary area, customers see products clearly displayed, and are moved through a flow where they can see different products, they might be interested in.
Within the showroom of the dispensary, products are displayed using professional display cases and lighting. Budtenders attend to individual customers with courtesy, patience, and expertise to help them select the right product for their needs.
Leaving the dispensary, customers should remember that they had a safe, positive, and delightful experience shopping, reminiscent of a fine retail store.
5. Distinct Designs, Colors, and Aesthetics
Weaving your brand colors, mood, and branding materials into the retail displays in and around the storefront and dispensary is part of the overall experience. Little details can create an aura of professionalism, and make visitors want to return.
Each dispensary is unique in their design, though researching what the most successful dispensaries are doing can give you inspiration and ideas.
6. Educating Customers on Products
A large area of opportunity is educating your customers on the different cannabis and CBD products you carry, and the applications for each product.
This information can come from your company website, an email newsletter, the dispensary staff, or ideally all of the above!
Many people are still new to trying cannabis and CBD products, and may not know what products are right for them. By taking the time to listen to each customer, your budtenders can help them make informed decisions. By contributing your knowledge via resource pages or articles on your website, you can help potential customers learn what products are the best fit for their needs.
7. Design a Complete Sensory Experience
Customers in other retail stores take in information with their eyes, but also with their other senses. Cannabis dispensaries are perfectly suited for combining different sensory experiences like visual, smell, and touch. Displays like the Flower Tower™ allow customers to smell the aromas of different cannabis strains, while looking at the flower specimens in a secure container through a magnifying lens.
Specialized displays like the Sensory Station™ intermingle digital information with the visual appearance and terpene aromas of the different strains.
Customers are curious about what they are purchasing, and looking at flower through a locked display case only gives them part of the information they crave. Modern dispensaries use innovative designs to display cannabis flower in secure pods, tethered to display stations. This allows the customer to inspect the product before they buy.
8. Friendly and Welcoming Staff
You can create a stunning dispensary sales floor, but if the budtenders and staff aren’t excellent at customer service, it can ruin the experience for customers. Budtenders who have soft skills and empathy as well as expertise are a valuable asset to your dispensary.
9. After Store Experience
Once your customer leaves the dispensary, the brand experience isn’t over quite yet. If you have an email newsletter, or other email marketing tools, you can continue to inform them of deals and specials that are coming up. Text marketing is another way to send notifications about upcoming sales specials. Social media marketing is another way you can continue to keep your brand top of mind and build brand affinity with customers.
Professional Displays for Your Cannabis Dispensary
Do you need high quality display cases, fixtures, and product displays for your dispensary?
Bud Bar Displays designs and creates innovative displays for cannabis dispensaries. If you need display cases, cannabis display pods, extract displays, or other retail displays for your dispensary, browse our e-commerce shop, or contact us directly for help with your order.