The cannabis industry is growing at a steady pace, as more states and territories have legalized cannabis for either medicinal or recreational use. 38 states in all have legalized marijuana use in some capacity, including 19 states and Washington DC fully legalizing it for recreational use.
With the competition for dispensaries growing in every local market, the ability to merchandise cannabis products effectively can be a differentiator.
We will look at some ways in which you can differentiate your dispensary through effective use of aesthetics and retail merchandising.
Keep the Sales Floor Uncluttered
There’s a reason that upscale retail stores keep their entryways tidy and uncluttered and have a sense of order to their displays. These stores also tend to have a specific selection of items on display for sales. Higher-end retail stores emphasize having ample room to browse, and do not display every item they have available for sale. Compare this to clearance stores that tend to crowd the sales floor with an abundance of displays. While displaying everything on your sales floor may seem like a good idea, the science says that limiting the number of product choices can lead to a more effective sales process.
Studies on retail shoppers have shown that a limited number of choices vs many choices leads to more sales. Cannabis customers are like any other retail shoppers, they can be overwhelmed by too many choices.
The effective way to set up displays is to draw customer focus to your best-performing or most popular items and avoid overcrowding the sales floor with extraneous displays.
Use the “Right Turn” Preference to Your Advantage
Several studies have shown that shoppers turn right more often than they turn left in a retail store. Perhaps this has to do with most people being right-handed vs left-handed, maybe it’s an unexplainable cultural preference. But this can work in your favor when designing the layout of your dispensary.
By placing featured products along the right-hand path and other strategic locations, running counterclockwise from the entrance, you can encourage sales of products you wish to promote. Be sure to add some product education displays along this well-travelled customer path.
Use Different Levels to Display Products
Every dispensary has a certain amount of floor space with which to display products. For most dispensaries, utilizing the available space strategically can be the key to increasing average order size. Placing product displays at varying levels and using horizontal and vertical displays can be an effective merchandising strategy.
Wall displays make use of the perimeter of the sales floor, highlighting products, and drawing customer’s attention. Waist level table displays allow shoppers to examine cannabis samples attached to securely tethered displays. Tall vertical display cases can catch customer’s attention from across the room. Small countertop display cases can be used to upsell at the cash register. Products can also be displayed in eye-catching cannabis display cases, or on the wall behind the counter. The key is to strategically use the space you have available to highlight products that customers want to buy.
Organize Product Displays with Intention
Another way to reduce cognitive load for customers is to arrange products by category in your dispensary. Staying organized makes it easier for customers to find the product they need.
Cannabis flower may be shown in a central table display, using locking ring cannabis pods to keep products compliant with local regulations. This will allow your clientele to sniff the terpene aroma of the flower at their leisure. CBD products may have their own area. Concentrates and extracts can be displayed in another area.
Remember to keep similar products grouped together, but keep the displays uncluttered, so customers are not overwhelmed by too many choices. Create captivating and engaging displays that grab the attention of dispensary shoppers.
Stimulate the Customer’s Senses
Cannabis customers are discerning, and if they can, will want an opportunity to see, smell, and examine the different flower samples that are available to buy. Most modern dispensaries have a display system that uses securely sealed “sniff pods” in order to smell the terpenes of each flower. Smelling the aroma of each flower will give them a good idea of what that strain is like.
Examining the intricate details of each flower through a built-in magnifying lens allows shoppers to see what the product looks like up close. By stimulating the senses of the customer with the cannabis flower strains, they will be more inclined to buy. Professional displays may show strain information using a placard, so customers can make a good decision.
Inspecting samples of cannabis is part of the buyer’s overall customer experience.
Use Lighting to Highlight Products
A secret that many experienced retail merchandisers understand is good lighting will make products look more appealing. Dispensary products are no exception. Overhead lighting is often not enough to create a professional effect. Shelf lighting or built-in LED lighting can make any bud display case or CBD display case look even better. Behind the counter displays and countertop product displays can also look remarkable with the proper lighting.
Don’t Forget About Holidays
Almost all retail stores have special displays and merchandising for important holidays. In the cannabis world, 4/20 is a huge cannabis day, as is 7/10. But, what about other holidays? Some holidays lend themselves naturally to cannabis sales and promotions, such as New Year’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, or Christmas. Some holidays that are usually big three-day weekends are good for promotions as well, like Labor Day, Memorial Day, or Independence Day. These are perfect occasions to change your displays and merchandising. It’s important to note, keep the displays professional, and don’t go overboard on the cheesiness. Complementing your products with seasonal décor and increasing sales is the goal.
Ready to Level Up Your Retail Merchandising?
If you are looking to radically improve your cannabis displays and dispensary merchandising, Bud Bar Displays has a complete product line to help you market your products more effectively. Check out our cannabis display pods (sometimes known as “sniff jars”) and concentrate displays. Our online store also features a line of bud cabinets, CBD displays, and product displays.
Don’t see what you need? Our design team has been creating custom retail displays for over 35 years. We can create displays that are made custom for your dispensary. Contact us if you have any questions, or give us a call at 916.858.2000.