Last year, dispensaries saw some interesting shifts in consumer behavior.
Before COVID-19, sales trends would be relatively lower at the beginning of the week and spike on Fridays for the weekend. During the pandemic, however, sales remained steady throughout the week, as more customers spent more time at home.
This indicated that more consumers were spending more money at dispensaries, but more importantly, permanent changes in the industry were coming.
If we learned anything in our recent webinar with RipeMetrics and the Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, it’s that our dispensary POS software empowered dispensaries to navigate COVID-19.
BLAZE CEO Chris Violas chatted with Chris Boudreau, CEO of Ripe Metrics, about the challenges that consumers experienced during the pandemic.
In what was such a pivotal year for cannabis, Violas & Boudreau explain how BLAZE dispensary POS software gave dispensaries the tools to overcome those challenges and retain customers.
This article will highlight the three main takeaways from our webinar:
More Demand for Delivery
Cutting-Edge Cannabis Tech Retained Customers
Innovative Integration Improved the Customer Experience
Watch the full webinar and Q&A recording below.
Cannabis Delivery Reached More Dispensaries
When the pandemic caused states to enact stay-at-home mandates, more dispensaries sought delivery services to reach more customers. Since these mandates caused sales to rise while decreasing in-store purchases, a demand in cannabis delivery changed dispensary operations nationwide. BLAZE and RipeMetrics helped dispensaries adapt by providing simple integration solutions and insightful customer data that made delivery possible. Violas noted that dispensaries should consider ACH payments that allow customers to pay before their delivery.
BLAZE Technology Empowered Customer Retention
BLAZE CEO Chris Violas revealed that consumers exhibited more exploratory behavior during COVID-19, noting $5 jump shopping cart check-outs. Customers looked for more products, consumption methods, and brands to meet their needs. This means it was important for dispensaries to have real-time inventory management updates with cannabis POS software that supports larger menus.
Additionally, BLAZE has software that supports contactless payment methods such as online ordering, curbside pick-up, and BLAZE PAY. Chris Violas mentioned some BLAZE app features like scanning and online payment support kept customers safe and sped up the buying process.
Customers Experience was at the Center of Everything
In order to maximize customer retention, enhancing the customer experience during COVID-19 was imperative. An increased focus on checkout speed and omnichannel inventory updates created the best experience anywhere and everywhere possible, according to Violas. During the pandemic, customers were able to check in to dispensaries and add items to their cart for pickup and delivery. Digital display integration also played a factor in faster customer service by letting customers see the full menu before reaching the register.
Chris Bourdeau noted that alerts and advanced communication with the customer were vital. He also noted that personalization is important, but contextualization is key. Contextualization, he says, refers to the timing of when customers receive personalized updates and thank-you messages after a purchase.
In this case, combining context and personalization enhanced customer retention by creating more channels for customer support and feedback.