boxes on white wood background

What Your Customers Are Really Looking For From Your Cannabis Retail Store

Danielle Poirier

Key Offerings to Boost Customer Retention

Today when you place an order online, the expectation is that delivery is fast and streamlined. 96% of customers consider “fast delivery” to mean same-day delivery, and in a world where the immediacy of delivery is such a sought-after and influential factor for online shoppers, experiencing an efficient delivery process is the ultimate convenience, and consumers are willing to pay for it.

Shoppers want to be able to place their orders, see the delivery progress and know when they can expect their package. 80% of consumers stress that same-day home delivery is an important factor when they decide where to shop online, and even 61% of these shoppers want their order within 1–3 hours of when they placed it. Online shopping and instant gratification is a reality for modern e-commerce, and to date, more than 51% of retailers offer same-day delivery and this number is growing every single day. You too could be apart of the online revolution when it comes to your own store.

Delivery boxes lined up on a neutral background
Fast delivery is going to be a key factor for the legal cannabis market to make a true impact on the illicit market

The future of e-commerce will accommodate anything and everything you see online, including cannabis. Where regulatory models allow, home-delivery is taking the legal cannabis market by storm, and the momentum has already started with same-day home delivery in places such as Saskatchewan, and even Ontario took a step forward during COVID-19 emergency measures to provide safe and convenient shopping. By offering online ordering and same-day home delivery, modern and loyal customers are reaping the benefits of comfortable and convenient delivery options that make it easy to shop and get your product without leaving your home. Acquiring a platform that supports online ordering and same-day home delivery is a crucial step for making cannabis safe and accessible, and we’re going to tell you why.

Mail-Order Weed Trialed and Errored

Using our home province of Ontario, Canada as an example: when cannabis was legalized, the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) created a monopoly and launched their online platform while preparing their brick and mortar stores for launch in Spring 2019. With over 100,000 orders placed on legalization day and no alternative way for Ontarians to acquire legal cannabis, the OCS platform was overwhelmed. There were long processing periods, cannabis stock became limited or sold out immediately, and mail-order deliveries were backlogged as far as weeks if the orders weren’t canceled by OCS during the process. Now, this was simply a scaling issue that the OCS just wasn’t quite prepared for, and who could be with over 1.3 million in user-traffic on the first-day cannabis was legalized in Canadian history. The OCS has learned from its launch and is proactively working toward a regulatory model that accommodates everyone.

Accessibility of Cannabis is a Major Step Toward Eradicating the Illicit Market

As of right now, legal cannabis occupies only 11% of total cannabis sales, which means that the illicit market still has a stronghold on the industry regardless of government intervention to-date.

“In an era where customers are used to Amazon Prime experiences … anything the government can do to allow these legal markets to reach consumers on channels they’re already on is a step in the right direction,

Rod Phillips, Ontario’s Minister of Finance.

The push toward fast home delivery is something that the government recognizes as an integral piece toward eliminating the illicit cannabis market — the original reason for legalizing cannabis in the first place. The Government of Ontario aims to take money out of the hands of criminals and to put it back into society while creating a safe and accessible outlet for Ontarians looking to acquire cannabis legally.

“It makes the legal market more consumer-friendly … but it would be that much better if they coupled that with the ability for stores to provide delivery services,”

— David Clement, Manager of North American affairs for the Consumer Choice Center.

Service Customers with Mobility Issues

Offering online ordering services and same-day home delivery opens your business up to be able to cater to those who can’t leave their homes as easily. Mobility limitations are among the top 3 impairments for Canadians, and only now is modern e-commerce beginning to accommodate for them.

86% of legal cannabis sales come from those who use cannabis for medicinal purposes to treat ailments such as chronic pain, and trends show that they purchase about $40 worth of product each month, amounting to approximately $500 annually per user. By expanding your reach to service those with mobility limitations, you could be greatly increasing your sales and providing the convenience of home delivery for those who cannot physically visit your store.

Pickup and Home Delivery Cut Your Queues

With legal cannabis dispensaries licensed and operating, some may find that the nearest one to them isn’t only a small road trip from their home, but once you arrive, you’re then forced to wait in a crazy lineup because the demand is for access to legal cannabis is so high and licensed cannabis retailers are hard to come by currently. We’ve even witnessed dispensaries that purchase parking lots next to their stores to hold the lineup, and even provide a porta potty for customers who are willing to wait in line to purchase their cannabis products from a legal source.

By offering your dispensary products on an online platform, you’re allowing your customers who are running low, those who know exactly what they want, or those who just don’t want to leave the comfort of their own home the convenience of having their products delivered right to their front door — saving them time, effort and the stress of leaving their homes, especially now that we’re entering the stay-at-home season of Winter (at least here in Canada, that is.)

Pickup and Home Delivery Become Competitive Advantages

Brand Exposure

Legal cannabis retailers can choose to be apart of directories like Verda, where, anyone accessing the platform to purchase knows that all the canna-businesses listed are verified legal cannabis outlets, and will provide their customers with regulated safe and high-quality cannabis products without the fear of illicit market contamination that is breaking the news recently.

Not only will you get the brand exposure for being on the directory, as well as customizations to make your virtual presence as accurate as possible to your in-store experience, but your customers will have the option to search your products by category, and buy directly from your store’s online platform and receive their products same-day. Adding capabilities like this to your existing dispensary comes at no cost to you, but adds so much value for your customers.

Increase your Service Reach

Having your name within a trusted directory such as Verda is going to open your business to service those who wouldn’t otherwise know about your business based on where they live.

When you sign up customers to Verda’s directory, for instance, these customers’ accounts will hold your dispensary as their default store to purchase from. So by signing up users to have the option for home delivery, you’re automatically extending your reach from your store to their door.

Be First to Offer Them When Regulations Flip

The key for success, once regulatory models in your area allow for online ordering and home delivery, are to organize and introduce streamlined operations to your business to accommodate for your customers that come into your store, for processing online orders for pickup, as well as home delivery batches for your couriers to pick up.

Get established with online ordering and same-day home delivery while regulations are still young and it will make you a leader in your service area and build your brand as one of the first to offer services like these.

74% of consumers say they’re more likely to purchase again from a company after receiving same-day delivery, so just imagine how your online portal will perform once you launch with online ordering and same-day home delivery already prepared to handle volumes for the climbing legal cannabis demand.

Delivery Doesn’t have to be Difficult

You could do this in-house, but operating expenses catch up on you, and delivering cannabis has its own set of rules and regulations that you have to abide by. By partnering with a company like Verda, we do all the heavy lifting for you and connect you with trusted licensed couriers that service your area. They handle the delivery aspect of the process, so you don’t have to worry about the product once it leaves your dispensary, but rather, you can reap the benefits and customer reviews raving about speed of service and satisfaction around the products you sell.

All of our couriers are hand-selected and abide by the delivery regulations in the area they are servicing. So, unlike companies like Lyft and Uber, gig-economy delivery services don’t fly for the cannabis industry. There are restrictions for how cannabis products can be delivered from body cameras, the number of delivery people present, what is surveyed during the process, as well as identity verification and (if applicable) payment methods. However, with Verda, this is all taken care of for you. You just have to focus on your storefront and stocking the products that your customers love you for.

Security, safety, and compliance are what Verda is all about, so we only partner with the best of the best in the cannabis industry.

With how technology is evolving into the shopping experience and the uproar for same-day home delivery, adding services like these to your legal dispensary once regulations allow is going to be crucial to kick-start your business’s online presence and excite your customers.

It’s clear that online platforms are critical for the future of retail, and if you’re not already offering same-day delivery, or if regulations aren’t quite there yet then this can be an incentive for you to begin investigating the process. The sooner you’re integrated with a platform that supports online orders and same-day delivery in your area, like Verda, the sooner you can take advantage of the growing trend that instant e-commerce brings while reaping the benefits of the ultimate customer satisfaction.

Future-proof your business while giving your customers the convenience of shopping in the comfort of their own home. If online ordering and/or home delivery models exist in your state or province, contact us and we can get your legal recreational dispensary set up for success on the Verda Platform.

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