Planning notes

stand out from the competition

A dispensary loyalty program is a must-have in today’s cannabis retail market in order to retain a strong customer base. Gone are the days when people would shop at your business just because you have what they need and come up on search engines for “cannabis dispensaries near me.” These days, there’s always someplace else that offers the same thing. Consumers need a reason to become repeat at the same place, this puts pressure on cannabis retailers to come up with a dispensary marketing plan to turns them into loyal customers instead of splitting their attention with the dispensary down the street.

It’s true, some people have personal allegiances, but the majority of preferences align with a satisfactory product or service and enjoyable customer experiences. Then again, any retailer can supply that. But there’s a hack: 58% of people say their choice of dispensary depends on where they are “members”.

What’s the big deal about loyalty program member? You probably get dozens of new people coming into your shop every day, so what’s all the fuss about keeping a few? Because loyal customers are worth 10x more than their first purchase and acquiring new customers can cost up to 11x more than retaining an existing one. According to the leading data analytics company in Cannabis, Headset, dispensary loyalty program members spend 35% more on each purchase than regular customers. They also typically spend almost 70% more 31-36 months after joining compared to the first six months, so you’ll have to keep customers happy to reap the real benefits of customer loyalty.

how to encourage customers to join your dispensary loyalty program 

83% of people say a marijuana loyalty program will make them continue doing business, but the hardest part is getting existing customers to actually join. Lucky for you, there are a number of different ways to incentivize enrollment into your rewards program, Here are some ways to boost awareness of your dispensary loyalty program encourage enrollment, and ultimately increase revenue.

1.  employee promotion and support training

As I’m sure is already part of your model, your employees will be engaging with every person that comes through your doors, and since 30% of in-store visits result in a purchase, that:

– guarantees 30% more interactions with employees at the POS (where there’s hopefully signs about your program), so just a simple mention about your program woven into the checkout process will easily entice people to join, because…

– they already trust your product enough to spend money on it. Almost 70% of shoppers saying that ‘trust’ is the biggest driver of brand loyalty, so if they already trust your product enough to have brand awareness it’s fair to say they’d be interested in your marijuana loyalty program.

Along with mentioning the program, your employees need to be familiar enough with it to help with any customer feedback.

2. allowing non-members to enjoy the perks of members when they join- but not too much

75% of customers enjoy a small, quick reward without many hoops to jump through and 54% say it takes too long to earn a reward. A great way to get them nibbling is giving them incentives for signing up- a little taste of what it’s like to be a member but still leaving enough to be desired to pique their interest.

Examples of “just a taste” coupons:

  • “FREE pre-roll when you join before Labor Day”
  • “Sign up now for 20% OFF your next purchase”

A great way to turn a newbie into a repeat customer is to fashion the coupon so that it’s only redeemable in-store. That gives the customer a great reason to come back and spend more in your store and maybe earn better rewards. 49% of customers agree they spend more after joining a loyalty program, and enough satisfaction with your product will result in wanting more of it. Offering to save money on it and/or getting some for free makes joining a no brainer.

Ex: “We want to get to know you. Get $10 off your next visit just for filling out a survey of your interests”

3. social media

If you want to get noticed by anyone without coming across as intrusive or annoying, popping up in their everyday lives every so often, purposely or not, will open up more opportunities to become part of their everyday lives (just don’t go too crazy). Especially in the cannabis business, where retailers have to dodge numerous digital marketing regulations, social media is a great dispensary marketing strategy to relate to the public and generate brand awareness and online word-of-mouth marketing.

The average American has about 7 social media accounts that they’re on for over 2 hours a day, so the chances of you coming up on their timeline are high. And since over 60% of people, especially millennials (55%) and Gen X (38%), love surprise rewards, sign-up reward offers will be especially popular (social media + millennials/Gen X + free stuff… hellooo??). Plus, ever heard of DM’s (direct messages)? Social media posts are very easily shared between users, translating into more visibility in places where masses of people are, basically for free- it’s just an Instagram post.

4. customer tiers

Respect is a highly sought after commodity virtually everywhere, and it’s astonishing how far people will go just to feed their egos and competitive spirit, even if no recognition will come from it. 50% of people admit to changing their behavior to reach a higher tier in a loyalty program- no articles in magazines, no praise from their peers; just an upgrade from ‘Lieutenant’ to ‘Master.’ Dangle some easily-attainable rewards to get the ball rolling and they’ll get to ‘platinum level’  and extend the incentives you create for customer retention.

5. on your website

An often underutilized promotion tool, for any aspect of your brand and especially your marijuana loyalty program, is on your website. More specifically, on every single page of it. An obvious move is to just slap it on your homepage and hope someone notices it, but that’s not even half of it.

Before going into how to market your dispensary loyalty program on your website. You first have to make sure people can actually find it by performing search engine optimization (SEO). For guidance on this visit our friends at Foottraffik, the leading SEO and Digital Marketing Consultants for Cannabis Dispensaries.

The homepage of a website offers by far the most exposure, so make sure there’s a clear call to action (e.g.. its own tab on your navigation bar) is present.

But if your website is even half-way helpful, there will be some clicks to other pages to look further into your brand, and the further they go, the more interested they are in your work, and therefore, your vision. Leave an offer to join that’s visible throughout your website, maybe combined with some reward for joining.

It’s becoming more important than ever for brands to align with customer preferences because of the sheer volume of competition in each market. So what is going to be the difference-maker that will put you over any other competitor? A relationship that both parties can enjoy and build off of, each side rewarding the other for their attention and cooperation. Done right, a loyalty program can become a highly-effective customer acquisition and retention tool.

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