CBD and hemp products have found appeal with a wide market in recent years, and markets for medical and even recreational cannabis have opened up in several countries as well as many, but not all, US states. Whether due to rules and regulations or personal preference, some customers will always prefer to purchase their cannabis and CBD products in-person at dispensaries rather than online. How can retailers make their dispensary locations easy to find and appealing to a broad audience, especially in an environment where digital advertising is still challenging that makes word-of-mouth referrals, repeat customers and being easily found via map searches so critical?
Initially, many dispensaries used garish and cliched marketing and signage (think bright green neon) but as cannabis and CBD go mainstream – and more locations open up due to market growth and relaxation of local laws around where and how many of these stores can be opened in their jurisdictions – it’s important for locations to appeal to and be easier to be found by a broader swath of customers and offer more personalized, better curated customer experiences when they arrive.
The most important thing a business can do to be found is to optimize their Google My Business presence, ensuring that all of their services, products, locations and hours of operation are represented. Unlike Google’s advertising services, which are currently not available for use by many purveyors in this space, Google My Business can be used by these legal businesses for location management to increase the visibility of their physical location.
Take a look at the growth, for example, of searches for “dispensary near me” (5 year US chart):
Many potential customers may not yet know your brand, but they are in search of a location to obtain cannabis, or CBD or hemp products. Robust location management ensures your locations are represented with all the elements search engines like Google look for to highly rank your locations in map results, driving more customer traffic. A solid location management strategy should also involve managing and responding to reviews, thanking customers for positive feedback and responding to resolve any negative comments.
Designed by Studio Paolo Ferrari, the Alchemy space is a rejection of ‘staid cannabis clichés’ and a simultaneous embrace of art, nature and technology. The goal behind the interior, in other words, is to make consumers feel as if they are visiting a contemporary design or fashion store. ‘The best retail environments are about celebrating the human experience and presenting highly considered, multi-sensory environments,’ thinks Ferrari, who calls the store something between a ‘laboratory and a temple’. ‘If a retailer earns the privilege of a consumer stepping out of their online platform and into a physical retail space, that space had better be astounding.’
A focus on drawing in more customers with robust location presence and earning more repeat business with a premium in-store experience can help dispensaries and CBD retailers thrive and grow, even as the legal framework allows more entrants into the marketplace. Contact us if you’re interested in learning more about location management and customer experience management.