As the marijuana industry in the US becomes ever more lucrative, more and more entrepreneurs are looking to get in on the action.
Applications for cannabusiness licenses are increasing year on year, with the number of issued retail licenses jumping by nearly 30 percent in the past year.
In this increasingly competitive environment, marijuana retailers need to always be thinking of ways to gain an edge over their rivals if they want to succeed.
One way in which they can do this is by leveraging data from sales to better understand the needs of their customers so they can better meet them in the future.
While many cannabis retailers are already harnessing data-driven retail to inform marketing strategies and product options, there’s still much more to be gained. Here are three ways marijuana dispensaries can make use of the data at their disposal to drive the growth of their business.
1. Data Standardization
If you want to use retail data to inform your decision-making, then that data needs to be reliable. And for it to be reliable, it needs to be standardized.
This means each product sold should have its own unique and consistent SKU, whether it is manually logged by staff or entered automatically into your POS system.
If there is no standardized template, then you will have an incomplete or misleading picture of your sales and the data you collect will essentially be useless.
To avoid this, marijuana retailers need to ensure each product entry is consistent. Doing this manually can be laborious and remains prone to error, so it is well worth considering the use of an automated data cleansing solution that can reliably input data, and which has the added benefit of reading that data and providing predictive analyses.
2. Advanced Reporting Techniques
This last point leads on to the second way marijuana dispensaries can leverage retail data.
Without an understanding of how to interpret this data, it isn’t going to be beneficial. That’s why many retail data platforms include advanced reporting techniques based on specific KPIs considered most important by the retailer.
These insights into customer habits can include favored shopping times, preferred brands and products, spend per visit, and visit frequency, and they enable marijuana retailers to tailor marketing campaigns accordingly. These techniques are already in widespread use across retail industries, but their adoption among cannabis retailers is still relatively low for now.
3. Customer Loyalty Through Feedback Data
The final way to leverage retail data depends on active customer participation, but it is also perhaps the most powerful technique for ensuring customers will keep coming back.
More and more retailers now employ the first two techniques in this article to automatically send surveys to customers when they are considered most likely to respond. These surveys ask the customer about their overall experience, but also for more specific insights into, for instance, customer service, product selection, and price.
Indeed, these surveys can be ultra-specific to a marijuana retailer, and if enough responses are aggregated they provide a powerful tool to inform various decisions on how to fine-tune a cannabis outlet to best meet and exceed customer expectations.