In order to stay competitive, cannabis dispensaries have to keep up with the latest trends and technologies. Fortunately, there are many great technology options available to help streamline day-to-day operations and improve customer service.
There’s a lot of technology that’s designed to help you run your dispensary and business efficiently. From point-of-sale systems to track inventory and sales to security cameras and alarm systems. In order to run a successful cannabis store, you need to have a handle on the latest technology. Knowing which you need, and which to pass on is the biggest job.
Today’s Tech: Apps, Systems, and Subscriptions
Opening or running a cannabis store can be a daunting task. The trick is to find the right balance, embracing the tools that boost efficiency and sharpen the competitive edge, but not paying for functionality you don’t use.
This blog post will outline six must-have technology solutions to dial up your cannabis stores shopping experience. From signage, apps and subscriptions.
6 Must-Have Technology Solutions Your Cannabis Store Needs
Cannabis dispensaries are now using digital signage to create a better customer experience. Many cannabis retailers are turning to digital signage, erasing the old chalkboard menus, to display information about products and prices, current special offers, inventory and to build brand awareness.
Statistics show that digital out-of-home (DOOH) media, with its bright colours and moving visuals, has a greater emotional appeal to consumers than the images of a static menu.
Digital signage can be interactive, eye-catching, and highly informative. For dispensaries, this means they can showcase their products in a more engaging way will connect with customers on a personal level.
Digital signage also allows dispensaries to update their information in real-time, so you can keep their customers up-to-date on the latest products, promotions and brands.
Touchscreen kiosks are another popular tech trend in cannabis dispensaries. The kiosks allow for an interactive display, letting customers browse a menu of products at their fingertips and make their selection with only a tap. Payment is also easy and contactless, thanks to built-in credit card readers.
Touchscreen kiosks also eliminate the need to wait in line. This tech advancement allows customers to self-serve, make their selection, and enable discrete shopping for those that want a quick and easy experience.
Additionally, touchscreen kiosks allow customers to learn more about the products on their own if they're interested before making a purchase.
Experience from other retail sectors shows that users of digital kiosks may order more products than consumers doing so conventionally.
Inventory Management Systems
Running an efficient cannabis retail business requires an inventory management system that enables you to monitor product levels in real time—allowing you to restock when necessary, mark down slower moving merchandise and transfer product items between stores. It must also communicate with regulatory databases, for seed-to-sale tracking.
A good inventory management system will synchronize with multiple sales channels from third-party sources, ensuring supply information is always up to date, and that customers don’t pay for an item that is out of stock. It should also provide daily, weekly and monthly reports that give an accurate view of product movement, including what’s selling, what’s not, and what has the highest turnover ratio.
While there are standalone inventory management systems, some comprehensive POS solutions integrate an inventory management platform that meets federal and provincial compliance regulations and offers a user-friendly design and lightning-fast transactions.
A Cannabis Compliant POS
A Point of Sale (POS) system is essential to any cannabis dispensary. A POS system is a computerized system that helps customers pay for their purchases using their preferred payment method. Dispensaries use POS systems to process payments, track inventory, and manage customers.
In addition, POS systems can help dispensaries comply with state and local regulations regarding tracking cannabis sales.
A POS system can help you comply with regulations and avoid getting penalized by managing customer check-ins, not accepting transactions after closing time and rejecting transactions when the daily sales limit is reached. POS systems are convenient because they do all this automatically. You don’t have to wait for your employees to remember.
Customer Relationship Management System
Every business wants to increase its customer base, but it's just as important to focus on retaining the customers you already have. A good customer retention strategy can help you boost profits and ensure long-term success. And one of the best ways to retain customers is to use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
In the simplest of terms, CRMs are computerized systems that help businesses track and manage customer data. By using a CRM, dispensaries can keep track of their customer's preferences and purchase history, allowing them to provide better service and address any issues that might arise.
In addition, CRMs can help businesses identify VIP customers and send them targeted offers or discounts. CRM systems help dispensaries manage customer data, track sales and marketing campaigns, and nurture relationships with customers.
CRM systems make good marketing sense, and are a powerful tool for dispensaries looking to build a loyal customer base.
Cannabis dispensaries are required to have a strong security system. A good security system can help deter criminals and provide evidence if a crime occurs.
Cameras are an essential part of any security system, and many dispensaries are now using advanced surveillance systems that include features such as night vision and motion detection.
These cameras can be monitored remotely, making it easy to watch the dispensary even when no one is on the premises. In addition to cameras, you can also use alarms and access control systems.
Connecting a Cannabis POS and Online Ordering
Especially after the pandemic, many brick-and-mortar stores have discovered the importance of developing the online side of their business. Table stakes for cannabis retailers are simple, static websites that serve as brochures for their businesses.
Increasingly merchants are developing more robust, fully functioning e-commerce sites. They often feature online menus integrated into the sites and synchronized with the stores’ POS. They are able to provide inventory displays in real-time with accurate pricing, helping to drive traffic to the store.
To implement a cannabis pick-up program, merchants require a payment processing system that can display transaction from multiple sales channels and that integrates with leading POS systems and ecommerce platforms.
As a cannabis dispensary owner, it is important to stay ahead of the curve and invest in technology that will help your store run more efficiently. By implementing digital signage, CRM system, inventory management system, security system, touchscreen kiosk and POS system into your business plan, you will be able to streamline operations and improve customer satisfaction.
How Can Merrco Help?
Whether you sell in-store or online, Merrco has the right payment processing solution for you, including retail (card present), ecommerce (card not present), click and collect, and gift card solutions.
Merrco provides payment solutions to cannabis, CBD and regulated businesses in Canada and the US. Contact us today to find out how you can get industry-leading payment technology working for you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call our toll-free line at 1-800-957-0534.