How Pandemic Affected Dispensaries’ E-Commerce: Tips to Reshape Your Business
Cannabis businesses have had to change a huge amount in their relatively brief history. The industry has changed a lot due to legal restrictions being changed, but as a pandemic struck in 2020, the whole industry, from dispensary wholesale supplies to individual E-Commerce retailers had to change.
How do you reshape your business in the face of this pandemic? What have people been doing to make life easier for the customers and eliminate risk?
Cannabis supplies are optional for some, whereas others need them for medicinal purposes. During the restrictions that have been introduced in a lot of areas, people have been unable or unwilling to go and get their cannabis products.
Unfortunately, a high proportion of those who need cannabis medically are also in vulnerable categories of society due to the fact they are suffering from ongoing conditions. This means that they can take no risks of getting the virus. Businesses always need to adapt, so what has been the answer for marijuana businesses?
Finding Customers Differently – Boost Online Sales
If you have a high street dispensary, you can’t rely on “footfall” as much, and even advertising via word of mouth is different. Not as many people are socializing and discussing their purchases.
On the flip side, people are spending a lot of time online, and this presents new opportunities to find customers. Running PPC campaigns on ad networks, SMM ads, email marketing, and active social media marketing will all make a difference.
Making clear that your business is still operating and going strong throughout the pandemic is a great way to reach new customers.
Similarly, you might have staff that no longer need to be within a physical location. You can potentially convert these staff and allow them to work on your marketing, social media presence, and other ways to obtain customers.
Improving E-Commerce Offerings With a Clear Message
It is vital that you make it as easy as possible for people to order online, and to understand what their options are. People will be reluctant to order if they do not know what they are allowed to do, whether you are open, and how they will get their cannabis orders.
Your E-Commerce platform is a chance to explain to people what you are offering and how you can still fulfill their needs in 2020 during the pandemic.
Always stick to restrictions in your state. If deliveries and curbside pickups are allowed, make sure these are provided as options on your website. A good-quality website with an efficient ordering system can fill people with confidence in these times. For example, if you can find a website offering a specific pickup slot and instructions on the process, you are far more likely to order from here.
Talk to a cannabis packaging supplier about how you can package your products properly and keep people feeling good about the safety precautions taken. Containers and any other dispensary packaging must be cleaned and disinfected. Plus, orders can be processed with gloves so that you can keep your customers and staff safe.
As well as the packaging itself, the act of packaging should be done with care. Communicate to your customers that you are using gloves and masks, and minimizing the risk of infection.
Efficient Curbside Pickup
Curbside pickup is one of the ways that businesses have had to adapt. Deliveries aren’t always possible as you may need to see ID or other documentation, and this is difficult when you are not able to open your store or make face-to-face contact with someone.
Curbside pickup is a way around this. Customers can show their documentation, and you can provide the product without having to be too close.
Customers won’t want to wait hours, so organize efficiently and provide pickup slots and parking spaces if you can to ensure that the process runs smoothly.
Of course, you will need to stick to the regulations in your local area, which will be set out by each state, just like the restrictions on selling cannabis products always are. This will dictate what you can do, and the adjustments you are legally allowed to make to combat the disease.
It may be the case that you can remain open, with social distancing and limited numbers of visitors to the store, but whatever situation your physical location is in, an efficient system for online orders can make all the difference.
In business, any difficulty can be an opportunity. If you are able to rise above the competition during a challenge like this then your business can likely survive, and thrive, for many years to come.