How’s your 2024 planning coming? As the new year rolls in, with dispensary sales it’s important to make time in your business for reflection and planning. As the old adage goes, those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
Many parts of your business benefit from reflection and planning, including your overall business plan, your risk management plan, your marketing plan, and your growth strategy. Review your sales from the previous year and spend some time putting together a plan for sustainable growth in the next 12 months.
Not sure where to start? Let us help.
The State of the Cannabis Industry
2023 was a year of turbulence in the cannabis industry. The market moved forward as three new states created recreational cannabis programs (Delaware, Minnesota, and Ohio) and dispensaries opened in Missouri, Maryland, and Rhode Island. Today, over half of the country lives in a state where cannabis is recreationally legal. Cannabis tech picked up as the knowledge of artificial intelligence increased
Yet challenges remained. Mergers and acquisitions were slow and funding has continued to dry up. Investors took action against several large cannabis customers, and there was little movement from the federal government to legalize weed.
But despite it all, people kept buying weed. Sales on Green Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving) were up 12% from last year. Sales of flower, prerolls, edibles, and cannabis drinks continue to grow, and every new market brings a possibility and opportunity to people. The key is turning that opportunity into profit through sales.
How to Increase Dispensary Sales in 2024sary sales
There are many ideas to increase dispensary sales, some tried and true and others outside of the box. There’s holiday-based sales, retargeted emails to lower shopping cart abandonment, and SMS geotargeting, to name a few. But if you’re looking for more out-of-the-box ideas, consider the following.
Customers love when brands make it easy for them — and what could be easier than clicking “check out” on a carefully curated box of products tailored to a specific need or theme? You can make these boxes recurring monthly or quarterly, or tailored to a one-time purchase. Having a “relaxation”, “sleep”, and “pain management” box of products covers the main three reasons people buy weed, and may encourage customers to spend more than they otherwise would on a single product. You could also get creative with “girl’s night in” or “date night” boxes tailored to activities.
Consumer interest in edibles is growing, but many canna-curious consumers need help to realize how easy it is to incorporate edibles. You could partner with a local chef to lead a class to make a simple edible treat or bring in a bartender to show people how to make infused mocktails with beverage enhancers. Dispensaries with more event space could consider hosting a cooking class featuring an infused product.
Cannabis brands are shut out of most traditional advertising mediums — and it’s hard to track impressions on a highway billboard. Research local cannabis influencers and reach out to them. Find a collaboration that serves you both, whether that’s a podcast episode, sponsored Instagram Reels, or a news feature.
Align with customer values
Today’s customers are savvy shoppers, preferring to save their big spending bucks for brands they know align with their values. Assess your sustainability practices; can you source more local products? Offer recycling for old containers? Offer products with biodegradable packaging?
Tips for Dispensary Owners to Create Loyal Customers
There’s an old saying in sales that 80% of revenue comes from 20% of your audience. So it’s important not only to increase your sales overall, but to tap into your customers to create a fiercely loyal base that spends more than your average customer. So how do you turn a canna-curious consumer into a raving brand fan?
There’s a lot of misinformation about cannabis out there, and even someone who’s smoked weed for decades may be confused with all the information out there today. Your customers are looking to you as the experts, and dispensaries have a responsibility to educate people. But there’s a balance — no one likes to feel dumb, and you can quickly lose people when you dive into the more scientific side of weed. Educational content must be engaging and approachable, without shame, for customers to appreciate it.
Offer curated product selection
Most dispensaries have a lot of products — a catch-22 for the canna-curious consumer who loves options but has no idea where to start. Help them out by offering a curated selection of products. This selection should change regularly and you can theme it however you like. Show off your budtender’s favorite products in January, the best weed for Valentine’s Day in February, and lean into the green theme of St. Patrick’s Day in March. This helps products stand out to your customers and keeps the selection fresh when they return.
Offer a loyalty program
Loyal shoppers should be rewarded! Loyalty programs may seem cheesy, but consider how useful they are. Your grocery store has one, gas stations use them, and even coffee shops lean on rewards programs to keep people from coming back. The best part is, rewards don’t need to be huge to make an impact. Offer 5% off when customers spend more than $50 on a visit or gift a .5 gram pre-roll on someone’s 10th visit to your store.
Host events and promotions
This is a tried and true marketing strategy — if you host it (and promote it) they will come. Celebrate the anniversary of your store’s opening with live music and giveaways, offer a discount to people wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day (or red on Valentine’s Day), and lean into the holiday spirit. The more your dispensary does to draw people in and engage with the community, the more integrated it becomes.
What do your current loyal customers like about your store? What makes people come back for a second visit — or write you off after their first? You’ll never know if you don’t ask — but don’t forget to throw in a reward for the people who answer.
How does regulatory compliance create loyal customers? Trust takes time to build but only seconds to destroy. A dispensary that gets caught selling products out of compliance or not displaying information properly makes headlines, and you don’t want your name on the front page next to the ways your business has failed compliance.
The cannabis industry is a hub of creativity and innovation, from new products to cannabis tech. Take advantage of this to bring the best selection to your customers and to reach them when they need you.
Remember to Retain Customers Using Tech
If you’re not taking advantage of the targeting power of cannabis tech, you’re leaving money on the table. There are many ways to integrate tech into your business, but if you need a few suggestions to get started, we’ve got you covered.
- Personalized Product Recommendations: Combine the powers of AI and data analytics to offer your customers personalized product recommendations. You can tie this into your loyalty program for regular customers and have new customers answer a few questions. This helps your customers feel seen, enhances their satisfaction, and helps you create robust customer profiles to inform your purchasing decisions.
- Virtual Reality (VR) Education: VR in a dispensary? Why not! Most cannabis consumers don’t know much about the plant or how it goes from seed to sale. Utilize drone technology and VR experiences to immerse your customers in the wonderful world of weed, walking them through cultivation facilities, site tours, and taking them deep into the molecular side of cannabis. VR experiences are education meets interaction, and gives your customers a unique experience.
- Personalized Product Recommendations: Utilize AI and data analytics to offer personalized product recommendations based on individual customer preferences, purchase history, and desired effects. This personalized experience can enhance customer satisfaction and encourage repeat purchases.
- Virtual Reality (VR) Education: Immerse customers in the world of cannabis through VR experiences showcasing different cultivation methods, product variations, and potential effects. This educational and interactive approach can build trust and inform purchasing decisions.
Protecting your cannabis company can seem confusing; however, we’re a full-service insurance brokerage working with carriers worldwide to offer you the best coverage possible. We’re here to help! Please reach out to us today by emailing [email protected] or calling 646-854-1093 for a customized letter of commitment or learning more about your cannabis insurance options.