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6 Ways Cannabis Retail Technology is Changing

6 Ways Cannabis Retail Technology is Changing

Advancements in retail technology and software is changing the one-on-one consultative sales models we know today.

How dispensaries can change the one-on-one consultative sales model for the better

Retailers want an educated sales consultant to perform the highly consultative sales process that educates the consumer, but the one-on-one consultative sales process is costly, outdated, and time-consuming. Modern shoppers feel empowered to shop in different ways and are taking charge of their shopping journeys, reducing the need for traditional consultative selling. Here’s how retailers can get the same result with a new, tech-driven sales model.

The one-on-one consultative sales model 

The one-on-one consultative sales model is a longstanding tradition for cannabis dispensaries who want the best education for their customers. However, retailers are left wondering how valuable consultative sales agents are for meeting smart shoppers’ needs. The modern shopper is independent and can find ample information to make decisions, so the labor-intensive model reduces ROI rather than adds to it.

One-on-one consultative selling requires hiring and onboarding more employees and becomes a common customer complaint for shoppers who have been educated on the products and now want to explore without employee interaction. Rather than aiding in the sales cycle, the one-on-one consultative model becomes a barrier that’s cumbersome to both parties. With the high costs of staffing a cannabis dispensary, store owners want to ensure that employees can use their time efficiently and aid the sales cycle, rather than being stuck behind a sales counter. 

Customers who are left standing in line aren’t free to explore new products, and the traditional one-on-one consultative sales model keeps customers waiting. The modern shopper prefers to be in control of their experience, and consultative sales models don’t fit the inherent shopping habits of independent consumers who would rather take control of exploring products. Instead of relying on a consultative model that’s labor-intensive and requires expensive consultative selling training for employees, innovate the sales process with the new, tech-driven sales model.

6 reasons a self-guided shopping experience is the future of retail:

  1. Information Customers receive the same product information they would find online right there at their fingertips in the store. Seasoned shoppers can buy their favorite products quickly while new customers can learn more about products by reading through linked articles. With a self-guided shopping experience, customers take charge of their product education and choose the products that will be the best fit for their lifestyle. Interactive smart displays showcase more product information than customers might normally see, creating brand loyalty and turning casual shoppers into fans.
  2. Faster Service Customers can shop and submit orders without staff. Empire, a popular L.A. cannabis dispensary, sees a thousand customers a day but has zero wait times. The self-guided shopping experience means that customers who are ready to purchase can do so in the lobby without even entering the shop. Ordering stations in waiting rooms allow for customers who want less face-to-face interaction to purchase their products quickly and safely.
  3. Increased Speed No lines mean that brick-and-mortar stores can maintain social distancing guidelines and lead to even more purchases. Instead of idly waiting in line, customers spend more time exploring and building their cart. They can purchase at their own convenience with contactless payment options that offer the safety and ease of online shopping with the ideal customer experience of experiential retail.
  4. Interaction Shoppers build relationships with staff members who can offer help when needed. It’s a common misconception that integrating innovative retail technology removes human interaction. By changing the roles of staff members, shoppers can build closer relationships that are based on education rather than increasing sales. Rather than keeping staff members behind the cash register or tethered to one customer in the consultative selling process, they’re available to help and answer questions. Customers who are unfamiliar with the smart store experience will be onboarded and educated about the experience, creating even more opportunities for them to connect with staff members on their own terms. Customers love the innovative retail shopping experience and instead of feeling the pressure of a one-on-one sales process, they can build relationships with the staff.
  5. Affordability Tech-driven products such as kiosks offer the additional benefits of being more affordable for store owners. Beyond their relatively inexpensive price tag, kiosks are functional without needing meal breaks and are becoming even easier to install. With interactive stations, staff members can be utilized for more complex tasks.
  6. Data With the tech-driven sales model, dispensaries can analyze consumer insights to personalize campaigns and make future decisions. Customers can learn more about products by reading linked articles, leading to even more data for dispensary owners to analyze. This data allows dispensary owners to make better decisions about their staffing and inventory choices to create the best bottom line for their dispensary.

The new, tech-driven sales model creates an ideal customer experience

Tech-savvy customers are looking for the product tangibility of brick-and-mortar retail shopping with the ease and empowerment of online shopping. While some customers are interested in learning more about the products, other customers are making repeat purchases and just want a simple purchasing process. With self-guided digital displays and interactive merchandising stations, customers have their ideal shopping experience. 

The tech-driven sales process provides customers with an efficient shopping process and gives retailers important data they can use to analyze purchase patterns and customize client interaction. Everyone wants the best education for their customers, but the consultative model is outdated, expensive and time-consuming. Self-service shopping stations allow customers to make their own purchase decisions without feeling pressured by heavy-handed sales models for an optimal experience.

What does this mean for the dispensary owner? Beyond creating a shopping experience that consumers will look forward to, the new sales model allows dispensary owners to utilize their staff members more effectively instead of keeping them behind a counter. The cannabis industry is constantly evolving, so shouldn’t your sales models evolve too? There’s no need to stick to the status quo of a burdensome one-on-one sales model that doesn’t meet the needs of consumers who are more and more preferring independence while shopping.

Related: 7 Reasons Why These L.A. Dispensaries Are Crushing It

Embrace innovative tech-driven sales models and move beyond the outdated consultative approach

In 2021, brick and mortar stores can move beyond the expensive and time-intensive traditional one-on-one selling model. Choose modern tech-driven sales to create a self-guided experience for customers that empowers them in their shopping experience and creates customer loyalty. Get in touch with The Peak Beyond to learn how you can move into the future with innovative tech-driven sales processes.

Published On:
November 27, 2023