The emergence of the adult-use cannabis market in states like California, Colorado and Washington, has had a truly exciting impact. Not only do more customers have access to the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, but thousands of thriving businesses have sprung up supporting the industry. However, as more businesses emerge, there is consequently a fierce struggle to win over customers.

In the spirit of healthy competition, we’ve provided some good practices for all types of cannabis businesses to optimize operations and marketing efforts to rise above the crowd.

  1. Be the Best Cannabis Business You Can Be

While this one is both obvious and easier said than done, optimizing every level of operations should be the priority when developing or expanding a cannabis operation. Retailers and cultivators know all too well that cannabis consumers are appreciative of quality but can also be fickle and demanding.

Retailers must make a concerted effort to keep the best and freshest product in stock. The same goes for businesses throughout the supply-chain, competition will increase among distributors, cultivators, and manufacturers as the industry grows.

  1. Put Your Cannabis Business on the Map (literally and figuratively)

Attracting interest is the first step toward earning loyal customers. Now that adult-use is legal, cannabis businesses can (and should) start marketing themselves like any other business would, albeit mindful of the myriad of marketing challenges the industry faces. This means getting your business accurately listed on everything from niche apps and media outlets to big databases like Yelp or Google Maps. The key word here is “accurately” as mistakes, in anything from hours of operation to on-hand stock, can cause potential customers to dismiss you completely.

This also means getting your name out there in other ways. Even if your marketing budget is non-existent, building a following on social media sites like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook helps build word-of-mouth and draw customers in. There are many ways to navigate marketing efforts and the industry is poised for innovative ideas in this space.

  1. Kill Them with Kindness

Customer service is the key to success in countless industries, and cannabis is no exception. According to a customer experience report published by Rightnow, the number one reason customers stop doing business with a company is a poor customer service experience. Especially in today’s social media saturated world, if your service isn’t up to par, not only will customers not return, but they’ll tell their friends – and strangers on the internet – to stay away.

That’s why it is important to keep the vibe at your location light and helpful. Most customers want to be “regulars” and have on-going rapport with their budtenders and key service staff. If your staff is friendly and knowledgeable (especially for medical vs adult-use customers), you’ll see more repeat visits.

  1. Harness the Power of Customer Loyalty Programs

While consumers love rapport, the one thing they love more is discounts. Customer loyalty programs reward repeat visits, help track previous purchases (which makes budtender recommendations more helpful) and can help with all kinds of operational and financial activities (i.e. tax payments, inventory tracking, etc.).

There are a wide variety of point-of-sale and loyalty systems that can help you easily implement customer loyalty programs. For a consultation on which is the best for your cannabis businesses, reach out to us for a consultation.