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Cannabis App Development

Here’s What You Can Do To Increase Cannabis Sales

Posted by: Nikki Tabberrah

November 11, 2022


Ever heard of the word “Omnichannel”?

Omnichannel retailing is what powers the global retail industry right now. Leading brands like Starbucks, Nike and Target are contributing their massive growth to this sales approach. While coffee and cannabis products are two different things, these discretionary goods still remain highly profitable and are now integrated into people’s lives and lifestyles. With that said, we might learn a thing or two from their best practices. 

But first and foremost, what does Omnichannel mean?

Omnichannel is a holistic multi-channel strategy aiming to provide customers with a connected and frictionless shopping experience across various contact channels. For retail, this includes brick-and-mortar, hotlines, websites or marketplaces, and even mobile applications. 

Shoppers nowadays are fluid when it comes to the way they shop. They would like to be able to browse an item on the website, go in-store to check the item out or look for other options, and finally make the purchase on a mobile app a few days later. And over the past two years, major retailers have seamlessly connected and optimized their operations to leverage this consumer expectation.

If you’re a cannabis dispensary, chances are you have a physical store in place. You probably have a website as well or have joined a third-party online marketplace to help distribute your products. But given this trend, would you say that your brick-and-mortar and other distribution channels are enough to seamlessly bridge the gap between in-store and digital experiences? 

If you’re not sure, you can start by asking these questions:

  • Are my distribution platforms well-connected and do they provide a cohesive shopping experience for my customers?
  • Do my store and website allow customers to shop around, place orders, arrange pick-ups, do curbside pick-ups, earn/spend rewards, and chat with our budtenders in a seamless and hassle-free manner?
  • Are my current in-store sales and marketing processes optimized?
  • Are we making any effort to maximize our business potential by automating and streamlining sales and customer service?
  • Do I have enough first-hand data on hand to help me develop personalized shopping and marketing experiences for my customers?
  • Can my current platforms and marketing efforts take my business ahead of the competition?

If yes, then you’re on the right track. But if not, then keep on reading.

Bridging the gap between in-store and digital is vital to retail success, especially in this day and age. Not only that this is the preferred way of shopping, but this approach is also proven to strengthen brand loyalty, enhance brand engagement and in turn increase overall sales. 

How Do We Bridge This Gap?

Going omnichannel means putting your business where people might be at any given time. That’s why a successful Omnichannel retail approach typically combines physical, web and app-based options. If you haven’t explored the latter, well it’s about time you do. And here are a few reasons why a custom mobile application may be beneficial for your cannabis dispensary:

A mobile app satisfies modern consumer expectations

According to Harvard Business Review, 73% of shoppers prefer omnichannel shopping or have the preference to combine in-store and online experiences. Your custom dispensary app can tie all your sales, customer service and loyalty processes together. It allows customers to shop and engage with your brand in a way that fits their shopping behaviors and preference at any given time. 

Mobile is the future

Forecast shows that people will continue to shop more through mobile today and in years to come. Whether it’s a mobile website or an app, consumers are always on the lookout for easier and quicker ways to transact online. Between a typical e-commerce website and a custom app, a mobile app has more competitive advantage in terms of accessibility, comprehensiveness of features, transaction speed and its ability to fully integrate with other softwares and third-party providers. As to what features this small yet mighty dispensary platform can do, sit tight and we’ll touch base on that in one of our future posts.

Apps are integral to the success of mobile commerce

Mobile commerce is categorized into three basic functions: mobile shopping, mobile banking and mobile payments. Look at your phone and we bet your bottom dollar that you have a mobile app for each and every one of these functions. 

Mobile shopping? Got Amazon, Target or Walmart. Mobile banking? There’s Bank of America and Chase with their full-service banking apps. And lastly, mobile payments? You’ve got Venmo and PayPal on the mainstay. With that said, we, everyday consumers are living testament that we gravitate towards app-based solutions more often than not. 

The Opportunity: In the cannabis space, there aren’t a lot of apps in the market that offers a full suite of features, just like what these leading brands use to drive sales and engagement. So imagine getting ahead of everybody else with a custom app that does it all. This not only sets the standard within your industry, but it could also help your dispensary become top of mind for consumers. 

Apps can make marketing easier

Buyers are not the only ones benefitting from this handy tool. With an app, dispensary owners can securely communicate with their buyers without getting tangled in privacy and censorship issues. Likewise, owning an app will give you access to your own dashboard where you can manage in-app marketing efforts with ease. Some additional features to help increase cannabis sales would be push notifications,location-based in-app promotions, custom achievements and so much more. 

To give an example of how retail brands used apps to their advantage, let’s dive into Burger King’s iconic tech-enabled trolling campaign. 

The King’s Award-Winning Campaign 

In 2018, Burger King geofenced 14,000 McDonald’s across the country. A geofence is a virtual perimeter around a physical store that detects app users who opted into location services. Burger King then gave 1-cent whopper coupons to people who opened their app within 600 feet of a McDonald’s. 

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This campaign boosted the Burger King brand by generating 1.5 million app downloads and a whole lot of foot traffic in-store. This is thanks to their witty Twitter marketing as well as the advanced capabilities of a mobile app to push promotions within the app to a targeted set of users. 

To put it simply, with the right technology, creativity in business can thrive. And that’s the beauty of a custom-made app, you can work with a developer to build a suite of compliant features that suits your business best. 

Mobile apps are key to personalization and customer loyalty

To increase cannabis sales, emulate what the giants are doing in the retail space. Leading retailers like Starbucks cited a 13% net increase in overall revenues in the continent due to customization and strategic decisions on food and beverage offers. Part of their strategy is to do personalized and customized upsells in-store and through their mobile app. These sales were complemented by a robust in-app rewards program that drove customer loyalty in the process. No wonder why Starbucks take their app seriously. They placed this tool at the center of their digital ecosystem. This enabled faster content delivery, quick payments, and a platform where their famous reward program thrives. 

With a mobile app, you can personalize shopping experiences for your customers by turning first-hand data into effective upsells and promotions. You can also learn from your own analytics and use these insights to inform your marketing plans. Moreover, a custom app can integrate with your existing loyalty program or software, or you can even create your own as part of its build.  

Mobile App Development in the Cannabis Space:

Gone are the days when people would just be shopping online or going in-store. In order to be a successful retail business in this era, businesses must adopt an integrated approach to retailing.  We’re only at the tip of the iceberg at this point. Stay tuned for our future posts where we will discuss more about custom cannabis dispensary apps and the role of loyalty in driving top dollar for retailers like you. 

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