How to give every dispensary customer an exceptional experience

Now that stores are opening up, many customers are eager to experience in-store shopping again. How can weed dispensary owners deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences? Here are three areas to focus on: store flow, customer service and checkout and payments.

Store flow

While every customer will follow the same journey while in your dispensary, starting at the check-in, then finding products and finally checking out, different customers will have individual needs, and your store flow should allow for that. A welcome booth near the entrance is always a good option to answer common questions and help new customers feel comfortable shopping in your store.

Design your store’s layout around the experience you want customers to have, but don’t forget to make the space welcoming for every customer. Even if your goal is to offer a higher-touch educational experience, for example, some shoppers may prefer to have a quicker, in-and-out shopping experience.

A good way to accommodate different customer preferences is to use kiosks. Customers who are new to dispensaries may need a more extensive consultation with a budtender, and store employees can use kiosks to support a curated shopping experience, accessing detailed product information. And for customers who know what they want to purchase, kiosks make it easier to shop without employee assistance, and can even provide an express checkout option.

Every retailer’s goal is to minimize customer wait times, but sometimes delays are unavoidable. Consider using an online check-in to let customers know when it’s their turn to shop, so they can safely wait in their car or do other shopping. Customers waiting for help also benefit from a dispensary store layout that has space to deliver additional information, such as cannabis education or facts about cultivation.

Customer service

Great customer service is more than just suggesting products to customers, it’s getting to know what customers are looking for, then suggesting the right products to meet those needs. Give your budtenders the training necessary to help them connect with customers, and make sure they have access to detailed information about different cannabis products (concentrates, edibles, oils, etc.) as well as the specific inventory carried in your store. They should also know about the different cannabis strains, their chemical profiles and how customers may experience them.

Encourage your customers to ask questions, whether they’re looking for more detailed information about a product, or advice about how to use it. And make it easy for staff to access prior purchase details, so they can check in with customers about their experiences and offer suggestions for their next purchase.

As customers transition from shopping primarily online to in-person shopping, cannabis retailers also have an opportunity to build stronger connections with customers by connecting the digital and in-store experiences. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly, and consider using QR codes so customers can access product information on their phones while in store. Offering online shoppers promo codes and deals for in-store shopping is another way to encourage customers to shop in person.

You can also encourage customers to leave reviews online. Responding to those reviews is a great way to build a stronger relationship with customers, which can then translate into in-person shopping. And if loyalty programs are allowed in your jurisdiction, they’re an opportunity to capture email addresses, making it easier to follow up with customers after purchase. You can then use email to send additional information about your products, give advance notification about new product launches or let customers know that you’ve got a sale coming up.

Checkout and payments

When checkout – including following all compliance requirements – is as seamless as possible, every customer will have a positive experience when they leave your weed dispensary store. Rather than sending customers to a single POS, consider a tablet-based POS system, so your budtenders can complete the sale anywhere in the store. These POS solutions give your staff access to detailed product and inventory information, and they support a wide range of payment technologies, so customers can pay how they want, using credit, debit or digital wallets.

As an added bonus, because many cannabis POS solutions also link seamlessly to ID scanners, complying with regulatory requirements is easy. These scanners also make it easy for customers to share their contact details so they can buy the same products again the next time they visit.

More than many other industries, the in-store experience is essential to establishing your dispensary’s brand and culture, and it will play a large role in your store’s success as customers embrace in-person shopping once again. Our experts have experience working with the leading cannabis technology providers in this space. Get in touch with us today to learn more about opening a cannabis store. Call us at 1-800-957-0534 or email us at marketing@merrco.com.

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