Cannabis retailers offer excellent growth opportunities for business owners, but not everyone can expect to win the game. Some storefronts have long queues in waiting, while others struggle to attract customers. Profits boom for some sellers and others hardly make ends meet. The competition is daunting in states where cannabis licenses are easy to obtain because entrepreneurs are more than keep about joining the bandwagon. Gaining a competitive advantage is easier said than done, but it is the only way to differentiate your store and increase its market share. Let us share some proven ways to gain a winning edge as a cannabis retailer.
Impress with Merchandise
Since you are in the retail domain (hopefully in the cannabis retail domain soon), you must have the apt products on your store shelves. The best way to do it is by knowing your customers closer and aligning your offerings with their expectations. Demographics, lifestyles, and location have a role because products that work in a suburban community may not sell well in a classy city. Likewise, you must keep pace with the trends and offer a mix of products like flowers, vapes, edibles, concentrates, and topicals. Be open to testing new products because they open the opportunity to an early advantage. You may never know which products will fly off the shelves.
Invest in a Great Team
Besides offering great products, you can gain a competitive advantage by having a talented team on board. Invest in knowledgeable, loyal, and dedicated resources willing to go the extra mile with customer service. Education plays a pivotal role in the in-store experience, so bring in seasoned budtenders to answer questions and address the apprehensions of buyers. But the hiring landscape is competitive, and it may not be easy to secure top talent. Invest efforts in building and retaining quality staff with the best recruitment and training practices. Offering competitive salaries and benefits is equally important. Spending more on your team shouldn’t be an afterthought because employees are the face of your shop.
Stay a Step ahead with Personalization
Personalization can take your business a notch higher as it goes a long way in enhancing the customer experience. When buyers are spoiled for choice, the only way to retain them for the long haul is by showing how much you care about them. Luckily, you can rely on software solutions to stay ahead of buying history and product preferences of individual buyers. You can even find a seed to sale software application that helps to track customer behavior. Once you know what a buyer prefers, it is easy to personalize recommendations and offers.
Win with Loyalty Programs
The cannabis marketplace, i.e., cannabis retailers of some kind, is saturated. Developing a base of repeat customers will be a daunting challenge. The key to success lies in bringing people back to buy again and spreading the word with positive recommendations about your dispensary. Loyalty programs can help with both, as customers will have a good reason to stick with your business and propagate its reach. You can get creative with loyalty programs with ideas such as offering deals, rewarding repeat customers, giving referral bonuses, and incentivizing with freebies and contest prizes. Loyalty programs increase traffic, boost retention, and consolidate your brand. Invest in these programs without thinking twice because they always pay for themselves.
Explore Multiple Sales Channels
Considering the diversity of the industry and customer expectations, sellers must think outside the box with sales channels. You must offer multiple channels to enable buyers to shop easily and efficiently. It becomes even more essential in pandemic times, when in-store sales are no longer the safest way to buy cannabis. No one wants to step out and visit a crowded dispensary when the virus is around. E-commerce delivery and curbside pickup models go a long way in keeping the sales flowing. These models also offer convenience and time savings for people leading busy lives. Look to provide as many ways to buy as possible because they propel sales and reduce operational costs for your business.
A cannabis retailers domain is rapidly growing and evolving, making it a melting pot of opportunities. But before exploring them, ensure to know your competitors and have a strategy to beat them. Achieving success will be much easier if you stay ahead of the others with these actionable tactics.