Having a streamlined and user-friendly e-commerce platform is more important than ever this year. Ordering online for pickup or delivery is widely available and even encouraged in every state where cannabis products are legal, and retailers across the country have rapidly pivoted to this new reality. While many dispensaries are solely focused on getting their sites up and running in order to minimize sales disruptions, retailers should not overlook critical site features that will drive long-term dispensary brand loyalty. Here are some of the most common dispensary e-commerce mistakes that may be hampering customer engagement and product sales.
Traditionally, retailers were able to educate customers about their dispensary rewards program through in-person interactions. While the ongoing pandemic has abruptly cut off crucial ways for dispensaries to engage with current or potential loyalty customers, there are still ways to build these relationships digitally. Integrating dispensary rewards programs with e-commerce platforms is a simple yet effective way to add value to a customer’s purchasing experience and stay tuned into their product preferences. springbig’s integrations with Dutchie and iheartjane allows consumers to seamlessly log into their loyalty accounts and acquire or redeem points without leaving the app.
Loyalty integrations are also important because it allows retailers to know how much and when products are purchased in order to implement more strategic triggered dispensary texting campaigns. If a customer bought a 20 count box of edibles and a new vape cartridge at the end of August, the dispensary can text the customer in 30 to 40 days with an edible or vape promotion. Customers who return more than three times are often considered customers for life, so it is important for dispensary marketing strategies to incentivize customers to stay engaged even on a new digital platform.
Another common e-commerce oversight is using vague product descriptions, or even worse –no descriptions at all, on product pages. For retailers figuring out how to push cannabis products, providing a product’s taste, terpene profiles, potency, effects and consumption instructions are all important in helping consumers make their purchasing decisions. Retailers should assume that customers are visiting their e-commerce sites as cannabis novices and provide as much educational information as possible to alleviate any concerns that will deter potential customers.
Additionally, dispensaries should also post verified product reviews to help take the stress out of the purchasing process. Marketing studies have shown that posting five or more reviews will increase the purchasing likelihood of a product by 270%. Cannabis product promotion tools like this can be easily sourced from existing customers, and dispensaries can even incentivize customers to leave a review by offering them a discount on their next purchase.
In a similar vein, retailers should also have educational resources readily for both new and experienced customers. The product landscape is constantly changing, and most consumers are not up to speed on the industry’s latest offerings and may be overwhelmed by a dispensary’s selection. A dispensary’s vast inventory should never be a deterrent, and stores should have budtenders that are available over live chat to help with any time-sensitive questions. These budtenders should be knowledgeable in not only the store’s selection but also be trained to promote the dispensary rewards program and any ongoing cannabis product marketing campaigns. In the long-run, a responsive and helpful customer support team will likely boost overall sales and increase dispensary brand loyalty among satisfied customers.