In the competitive landscape of the cannabis industry, dispensary loyalty is one of the most important things to consider if you’re looking to drive success. Use this guide to discover a few practical tips for dispensaries to increase customer loyalty and perpetuate the customer attraction and loyalty cycle.
The Importance of Attracting Customers to Your Dispensary
The more customers you attract, the more money you make, right? Attracting customers to your dispensary is essential for your business’s survival, but it also goes a little deeper than that. In an increasingly competitive market, your business needs to stand out by offering a genuinely exceptional experience. Having a solid foundation of customers that keep coming back is also vital for success in the long run.
That said, attracting customers is one thing, but retaining them is another. The more customers your dispensary can attract and keep, the more free marketing you get from your happy customers. According to statistics from this year, 97% of people read reviews for local businesses and found that positive reviews increased customer spending by 31%.
To take it a step further, 49% of people trust online reviews as much as word of mouth from people they know in real life. All of that is to say that by focusing on customer attraction, you can create a loyal and devoted customer base that not only supports your business but also helps it thrive by leaving you positive reviews and spreading the word, which can, in turn, attract new customers for you to nurture and increase your revenue over time.
Increasing Loyalty: Tips for Dispensaries
Increasing customer loyalty creates a ripple effect that extends beyond the existing customer base. Satisfied and loyal customers become brand advocates, spreading positive word-of-mouth and social proof, which in turn attracts new customers. Your dispensary’s reputation, customer referral programs, and positive online reviews all contribute to the overall perception of your business and play a crucial role in attracting a steady stream of new customers. In the following sections, we’ll break down a few tips for dispensaries to boost brand awareness and customer loyalty, which can keep your business thriving for years to come.
1. Understand Your Target Market
One of the most important things you can do as a business is define the types of customers you want to attract to your dispensary. An excellent place to start is with what you already have. You can look at your dispensary’s existing customer data to identify patterns and trends, like gender, age, location, and the types of products they buy, which you can use to change up the types of products you carry or how you want to tailor your marketing. Identifying the demographics that make up your customer base allows you to tailor your offerings to their specific interests, preferences, and consumption habits. Whether it’s millennials seeking alternative wellness solutions, baby boomers looking for pain relief, or professionals interested in cannabis as a recreational option, knowing your audience helps you curate a selection of products and services that cater to their needs.
Asking your customers for feedback on preferences through surveys and looking at how they behave in-store or on social media can help you provide the right products to the right people at the right time, increasing customer loyalty and retention.
2. Create an Attractive and Inviting Storefront
First impressions matter, and when it comes to attracting customers, a visually appealing and inviting storefront can make all the difference. Evidence suggests that intelligent retail design is vital to helping customers enjoy your brand and products and can help boost sales and improve customer loyalty. It’s important to remain authentic to your brand, but you can also take a strategic approach to align with your target market. For example, if your primary demographic were women aged 21-35, you’d want to go with a theme that reflects some of their interests. Identifying a buyer persona is an excellent way to meet customers where they are in your design stage.
By understanding your target market’s demographics, interests, and consumption habits, you can create a storefront that appeals directly to them. The exterior design, signage, and window displays should reflect your dispensary’s brand and create a welcoming atmosphere. A well-designed interior layout, comfortable seating areas, and an aesthetically pleasing ambiance can further enhance the customer’s experience and encourage them to spend more time exploring your products.
3. Invest in Quality Products
This one’s kind of a no-brainer. If you don’t sell things worth stopping for, you’re going to have a hard time attracting and an even harder time retaining. To attract and retain customers, refer back to your customer base and see what products they like. You want to offer high-quality products that meet or exceed their expectations. Investing in a larger range of products, including different strains, edibles, topicals, and accessories, ensures that your dispensary becomes a one-stop shop for all their cannabis-related needs.
While it’s important to offer products at every price point, you should also consider what your customer base spends on average and ensure that cheaper products, like waxes and shatters, are still high-quality and worth the trip. Providing consistent quality and staying updated with the latest industry trends to always be aware of what the people want will help build trust and loyalty among your customers.
4. Build a Knowledgeable and Friendly Staff
Your staff can make or break your business. Positive interactions with your team can leave a lasting impression and encourage a positive review and repeat business. However, people who have a bad experience with a staff member are more likely to take it to the Internet. In the same survey, 94% of people said that negative reviews have made them avoid a business, so you’ll want to make sure your customer service is top-notch.
Hiring knowledgeable and friendly employees who are passionate about cannabis and go the extra mile to support even difficult customers is essential. Your staff should be able to provide accurate product information, offer personalized recommendations, and address any concerns or questions customers may have with patience and a friendly attitude. Going above and beyond for your customers can encourage positive reviews, which helps with customer attraction and retention.
5. Enhance the Atmosphere
There’s a lot of psychology behind the atmosphere in any business. When people like the atmosphere, they’re more likely to spend more time in your dispensary and spend more money. The right ambiance, carefully chosen in-store music that resonates with your target market, attractive decor, and cleanliness all contribute to the overall subconscious experience. Customers should feel comfortable and relaxed while browsing your dispensary. By paying attention to the details that make up the atmosphere, you can create a unique and inviting space that sets your dispensary apart from competitors and makes it much easier to attract and retain customers.
6. Leverage Social Media and Online Platforms
In the cannabis industry, your website is your best friend. Implementing effective search engine optimization strategies ensures that your dispensary appears in relevant search results, increasing your visibility and customer reach and ultimately driving people to your store. An effective content marketing strategy is a great low-cost option for getting the word out.
However, you can also take to social media to meet customers where they are and engage with them. While it’s becoming increasingly difficult to post real product photos aligned with the terms and conditions on many social media sites, you still have the opportunity to flex your knowledge, promote special offers, and talk to people. Whether customers find you through engaging content on social media or you answer their questions with thoughtful blogs and articles, they’re seeing you, and you’re well on your way to attracting and retaining them once they make it into your store.
7. Host Events and Collaborations
Hosting events and collaborating with other businesses, like concentrate or edible companies, in the community is an excellent way to attract customers and create buzz around your dispensary. From educational workshops and cannabis-related classes to product collaboration launches and artist collaborations, these events provide opportunities for potential customers to discover your dispensary in a dynamic and energizing way that they’d be happy to share with their friends. If you want crowds, foster a sense of community and offer unique experiences. You can leverage events and collaborations with other businesses to establish your dispensary as a community figure, increasing brand awareness and a vibrant community of loyal customers.
8. Develop Loyalty Programs
Nothing encourages customers to keep coming back than well-planned loyalty programs. One study found that customers who belong to a loyalty program are 59% more likely to choose that brand over competitors. Further, they’re also 43% more likely to buy weekly and 62% more likely to spend more money with that brand over others.
By offering unique perks, discounts, freebies, or exclusive access to certain products or events, you can create a sense of appreciation, exclusivity, and belonging. All of which strengthens the bond between your customers and your dispensary. When executed effectively, loyalty programs, rewards, and exclusive deals can incentivize repeat patronage and encourage customers to choose your dispensary over others.
9. Get Involved
Demonstrating your dispensary’s commitment to the local community goes beyond dollars and cents. By supporting local businesses, charities, or events, you not only contribute to the betterment of the community but also enhance your dispensary’s reputation. Customers appreciate companies that give back and are more likely to support and remain loyal to those that align with their values.
Further, evidence suggests that philanthropy encourages purchases because giving back makes people feel good. Actively participating in community initiatives can lead to increased customer perception, trust, and loyalty. When your customers feel good about shopping with you, they won’t want to stop. Further, they’re also more likely to advocate for the good you’re doing through social media and word of mouth.
10. Adapt to Trends and Innovations
The cannabis industry is constantly evolving, with new trends, technological advancements, and regulatory changes shaping the market. To stay competitive and attract customers, you must stay informed and embrace the new stuff at all times. Keep an eye on emerging consumer preferences, innovative product offerings, and evolving regulations to ensure your dispensary remains relevant and meets the changing needs of your customers. It helps to make sure your staff is regularly testing products and innovations so they can better support customers. Keeping up with the latest changing trends and interests within your target market and being able to provide knowledge and education on everything in the world of cannabis will keep those customers coming back.
11. Ensure Safety and Compliance
In an industry heavily regulated for safety and transparency, maintaining a commitment to safety measures and legal compliance is crucial. By strictly adhering to industry standards and regulations, you build trust with your customers, assuring them they can rely on your dispensary for safe, high-quality, tested products. Transparent labeling and clear product information, as well as notices about changing compliance laws and regulations, all help customers feel safe and comfortable enough to stay loyal to your dispensary.
12. Gather Customer Feedback
Listening to your customers is key to improving your dispensary’s offerings and attracting new customers. As we mentioned, positive reviews are almost essential in today’s world to encourage new customers to visit your storefront. To help it along, you can incentivize customers to provide detailed feedback by offering a freebie or a coupon.
It’s more than reviews, though. You should encourage customers to provide feedback and reviews through surveys, online platforms, or in-person conversations. Actively seek opportunities to learn from their experiences and make changes to your business wherever possible based on their needs and preferences. By showing that you value their input, you not only build stronger relationships with existing customers but also attract new ones who appreciate a customer-centric approach.
Dispensary Loyalty: A Continuous Journey
Remember, attracting customers isn’t something you do once and then forget about when you have a few regulars. Instead, it’s a constant that requires consistent effort and a commitment to exceeding customer expectations. Attracting and maintaining a customer base for your dispensary requires dedication, innovation, and a deep understanding of your target market. But focusing on nurturing current customers after the sale and encouraging them to come back through your products, customer experience, online presence, and community involvement is crucial if you want to establish a loyal customer base that supports your dispensary’s growth and success. Keep these tips for dispensaries in the back of your mind at all times, and you’re well on your way to nurturing loyal customers and encouraging them to attract new ones.