As dispensaries around the country begin shifting their businesses to online, pickup, or delivery-only platforms, retailers must also consider how to maintain loyalty engagement when stringent health regulations are discouraging personal interactions. Since the consumer experience is largely determined by the unique personalities that make up a dispensary, retailers should utilize creative cannabis marketing tools to sustain customer loyalty during this period of uncertainty.
One method for cannabis retailers to increase customer engagement is by honing in on active engagement rates in their loyalty program. The active engagement rate is calculated by dividing the number of customers who are actively participating in the loyalty program by the number of total customers. Customers who are “active” are the ones referring friends to the loyalty program through text or social media, redeeming rewards, or regularly posting about the store in a measurable way.
Not to be confused with participation rate, which is the number of loyalty members divided by a total number of customers, active engagement rate most likely consists of a smaller portion of the customer base but can generate considerable ROI if retailers learn how to fully leverage its clout. Actively engaged customers are essentially the store’s biggest fans and have the potential to generate free marketing, provide a steady stream of new customers, and create sustainable dispensary brand loyalty.
Dispensaries aiming to increase their active engagement rate have several tools at their disposal even in these challenging times that have largely reoriented consumer patterns. Although retailers may not be able to rely on face to face contact to engage with customers anymore, SMS marketing is still an effective way to personally connect with both new and returning customers. Retailers can send out text messages that offer bonus rewards or promotions to customers for referring friends or mentioning the dispensary in their social media posts.
Another way to boost the active engagement rate is to provide an accessible e-commerce platform for shoppers in this period of social distancing. If a dispensary is known for its exceptional in-store customer service which keeps customers coming back, the same should carry over in the online shop. A dispensary website that is easy to navigate with a seamlessly integrated loyalty program is more likely to retain its customers and incentivize them to redeem rewards. An integrated user-friendly website can also easily suggest products and brands that align with customer preferences, which can generate increased cannabis brand loyalty in the long run and provide a mutually beneficial shopping experience.
Increasing active engagement rates is a reliable way to boost loyalty participation and redemption rates within a dispensary. Retailers should consider providing incentivizing rewards and a seamless and safe shopping experience to encourage customers to continue engaging with the business. Dispensaries that consistently communicate their dedication to providing quality cannabis products and exceptional customer care will likely see their active engagements rise in the near future.