4 step to building your dispensary website – How to work with outsourcers

4 step to building your dispensary website – How to work with outsourcers

This is a list of what you need to have on your website and which parts of the process you should outsource. Anything else you add is added value but not a must.

Keep in mind that a website is infinite and you will forever be updating it with offers, pictures, products, information and this is the way to start with your best foot forward.

 

Two Main reasons why your dispensary needs a professionally built website.

#1 – Reputation

Everyone does their research online and what should appear is not the poor review your competitor added on yelp, but your website which shows how much you care about your customers plus info on what you do. As cannabis providers this is even more important. You must build trust, as you are involved in the health of your consumers.

#2 – Growing your business

Most cannabis users will search maps on Google for their closest dispensary or will search the web for cannabis info. To be present on all of these channels its best to have a website with your presentation and menu as the foundation of your brand online.

72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles.

 

4 Steps in the process

Step 1 – Know what you want

  • Goal of the site

Will you sell products online? Do you want people to find your address so they visit your store? a branding effort where you present who you are and what you stand for to build trust? (Its ok to say all of the above – just keep one as a most important focus)

  • Target audience and why you’re awesome

Young or more mature? Is your business a family feel or professional services? are you the one with the most options or only a few best?

  • What is the feel of your brand – picture yourself walking into your store, what feeling do you hope arises?

Examples: luxury, sleek, “apple” like, barn, comfortable (Place next door), rustic, nature, relaxed, etc.

Step 2 – The content on your website

The first time I built a site, I paid $2000 for the content. Now we build it ourselves. But I’ve learned that the best approach is to answer all the questions you’ll find below and then spend a few hundred on a copywriter (Look here) and have that person put it into proper sentences. Money well spent.

Before starting, keep in mind Step 1: who is your audience, what’s the feel of your brand and what do you hope they do once they land on your website

 

Home page – Intro to your business and what you do

– Whats the name of your business and whats your mission? (ex “To provide a safe environment with great cannabis products. You can always trust that our products are of the best quality. We look out for your health”)

– Is your quality control process the best in the history? why?

– what do you sell?

– Do you have reviews of your customers? which ones?

– How can users buy from your shop?

– Do you think cannabis helps society? (not necessary to add, but every step we take to move the movement forward, brings the movement forward)

– Footer should include your address and links to your social media accounts and a way for users to sign up to your email list.

 

Shop page – your products

– In depth photos and info with Categories on the products you sell. Your web designer will work with you to get this set up.

 

About page – who you are and why you care

– Again, whats your brand name and mission

– What’s your story, why are you here, how did you get here?

This will give users a connection to your business and can empathize with your efforts. A tip vulnerability triggers connectivity so if your business has been fighting the good fight, showcase it, talk about the struggle and show how you’ve persevered and succeeded. The user loves the warrior story. And keep going.

 

Blog page – To teach your users about cannabis and also to grow your traffic

– This is a space for you to grow, add blog posts for your consumers on how best to use Cannabis. spot to add value

 

Contact page – How your customers can connect with you and your store locations

– List all the ways you can be found, phone, email, address, social networks, soundcloud, etc.

– Add a contact form that is forwarded to your email

– Add a map of your location(s) (really important for SEO)

 

Member section – Optional

– How your users can become members and how long it will take to be approved.

Step 3 – Finding the right designer to build your website.

I can guarantee that spending a few thousand on your professional presentation will return thousands back in return. When you showcase a poorly built presentation online, it diminishes the credibility of your products. A web designer is again money well spent.

Before you go on Google to find a designer, start by asking your friends and colleagues if they can recommend. That at least guarantees that the designer will have reputable customer service. (If you don’t come up with leads contact us, we’ll give you a hand and connect you with great designers.)

The first step once you connect is to have a look at their portfolio to make sure you like what they design. (If you don’t know what you want, have a look around the web and find some websites you like, colors and presentation for reference)

Second- ask for the price – Websites can run between $2 500 – $10 000 depending on how fancy you get. But on average you will spend between $3500 and $4500 – if you pay $5000 or more you are getting more than you need.

Third – Ask how many revisions you get – the right answer is unlimited revisions until you’re happy, if they give you a fixed number (say 3 revisions) means you’re paying on the low end otherwise make sure they don’t limit you

Fourth – Delivery time – a website project lasts on average 1 month, the first 2-3 weeks to build it and another week or two for you to prune and make changes. Feel free to keep changing until you’re happy – this is your business presentation on everyone’s phone and laptops. Don’t take that lightly.

The right designer is the right combination of a portfolio you liked, the right price, unlimited revisions and will deliver within a month or less.

Once you’ve met your designer – share everything that you put together above and let them run free on their own.

Step 4 – clean up and launch

The first look at your new website should happen on mobile as that is where the majority of changes happen – mobile friendly should be a given from any designer.

Spelling matters – triple check the spelling on your site, having misspells is a fast way to lose trust and credibility with your users. It appears you’re not thorough.

High quality photos – if the pics are blurry or not clear it will again question the credibility as you did not pay attention to detail on your site, how can we trust you pay attention to detail on your product?

Calls-to-action – this is a term used to describe an action you want your web visitor to take, is it prevalent? (“Visit us” “Buy now”)

Keep it simple – it’s easy to want to stuff information on a page as you want your customers to know all the value you bring. But there is a lot more value in having one point to make on the screen than 15 points. Everyone is already used to swiping up when they see clutter and wont read it.

Remember to keep cleaning until you’re happy, once happy then launch!

A few parting tips

1- Choose a domain name that is short and easy to spell. (Google, Greendoor, weedmaps) We are GetGreenline.co in large part because it’s easy for you to find us and it’s easy for us to share with you. Avoid foreign language names, really long names, underlines or any other foreign characters.

2- Build on wordpress – its the best platform for SEO and it’s an “easier” way to manage your website. Also there are solutions out of the box you can add to your site such as loyalty programs, referral programs or affiliate programs. More ways to grow.

3- have a system in place so that any changes to your inventory, phone number or anything that goes on your website is updated when changed. You must always keep your information up to date; this is the first resource your customers will use to get in touch with you.

4- one of your main goals should be to build trust. If you have large social media followings, then showcase that. Have you received awards? Showcase them, are you involved in the community? Share it. Connect with your users.

5- Own your hosting – get a hosting account with godaddy and have your designer place your website in your own hosting environment. Often times you will have designers offer to host your site for $50/month but for $70/year you can have your site hosted on godaddy and their customer service is great in case you have issues. Also you want to always control access to your business presentation.

Its good practice to always own your assets.

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That’s the story – if you have specific questions or if we can help in any way, get in touch with us. Your success is our success!

Team GetGreenline.

Email Marketing guide for Cannabis Dispensaries – 80/20 Style

Email Marketing guide for Cannabis Dispensaries – 80/20 Style

I’ve created this guide based on the Pareto principle of 80/20

The steps that will bring you 80% of the potential value from 20% of effort.

You can definitely go much deeper in segmentation and separate your customer list by customer type (young, old, male, female), types of products they use and so on – but I’ve never met a dispensary team with that type of time.

Once you see the value, you’ll be ready to hire.

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You never know whats going to work with cannabis

I remember the first time I had a Instagram account shut down. I was pissed. so much efforts in engaging with users and building good photography and now all that work out the window.

All because I decided to use an Instagram bot to get more followers. Big Mistake.

In fact out of everything that I ever tried, it was SEO, ads and email that produced the most noticeable impact on sales.

Dispensary steal customers

Email created a clear path to connecting to the consumers and it was also an opportunity to grow,

Our fans now had a way to share the products and information with their friends, which in my experience was more likely to happen on email than on Facebook because its Cannabis.

Not everyone is ready to voice how they live their lives publicly, however all users have some friends that they do share with and the discrete way to share is email.

You can also set up referral programs which give your customers benefits from your store (They love that) – as well as invite them to give you reviews so others can learn about you.

If you’re not growing – you’re dying

Email is also the best way to discretely reach a mobile audience – everyone is always on their phone and where SMS could be intrusive, emails sit in their inbox until they’re ready to be read – you need to be there.

dispensaries reach customers

BUT… I hate emails

Granted, not everyone wants your email this is true and those users will unsubscribe, however the ones that do open them and are excited to see whats new with your store will not only become more engaged but this is the tribe that will help you grow and be there for you long term.

By the numbers

On Avg advertisers receive a 38X return on money invested through email

big roi on email

86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly, and 15% would like to get them daily.

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Step 1. If you don’t send emails yet, this is how to start

Grab an account on Mailchimp (Its free to use if you have less than 2000 email addresses) and upload your customer list (they have step by step videos).

Create your first campaign. The first email you send should be a simple text email, welcoming your members to your “Newsletter” and letting them know about the emails they’ll be receiving, how often you will send (remember to keep this promise) and what type of info they can expect to see. Maybe even include a gift, like a discount coupon.

Let them know how to unsubscribe as well as the purpose which is “to help them be most informed from the comfort of their inbox.” (feel free to use that – no copyright. 😉 )

Also set up this initial email as an automated message to the next set of users that sign up to your list  – Here is how to set up a Mailchimp automated welcome email

I can guarantee you’ll be surprised to see how many people are excited to receive emails from you going forward – If they buy their cannabis from you often, they’re your fans.

dispensary email

Step 2. Designing your emails

Design matters but there is no value on someone that is not a designer to spend 3-4 hours setting up an email. (I learned that by wasting a lot of hours myself)

The best use of your time and money is to go on Fiverr and run a search for Mailchimp Templates, on the page you’ll see a big list of freelancers that offer to create your mailchimp templates in an inexpensive way.

I recommend you use someone whose previous work you like and matches the feel of your brand + has 25 or more positive reviews and a 4 or higher star rating, thats usually a good sign.

If you’d prefer to create the templates yourself, Canva provides you a free way to create images for your emails and the design options on Mailchimp are very easy and flexible to use. Give it a try.

 

Step 3. What should you talk about?

All you need are 4 different email types

Product release (Once a week)

Special offer/Discount (Don’t over do it – once or twice a month max so you don’t cannibalize your list)

Releasing a Blog post or video with info (Once a week – Ideally for your SEO) – if you need help writing blog posts I’ve used this service in the past and had good experience with Cannabis content or if you’re ready to go up to the next level then these guys are the ones. Just know that great writing comes at a price.

Special message/Holiday Hours/Special Event/run a survey/etc. (as needed)

These should cover 98% of your needs.
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If you’re just getting started, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, so keep it simple.

Start with one email a week which includes an image and info on new products at your store. Thats it. These were the type of emails that received the highest readership and response rate on average.

Like Foodies, Cannaseurs want to know when there are new products to try Or if you’ve got great products back in stock. So send us that info and let us know how we can get our hands on it.

This email alone will not only grow your sales and customer engagement but it will also create the habit for you to be sending emails on a weekly basis.

Once you’re ready to expand you can up your schedule to 2 times per week, just remember the magic formula. send 2 emails giving value before the one where you sell.

cannabis love through email

Step 4. How to write for your audience

Point #1 – Over time you’ll learn the importance of your “voice” and that the goal is not to talk to yourself about yourself but to talk to your consumers about the information they want to learn.

Pay close attention to the tone of your emails, if your audience is younger then feel free to use slang, however if you have a more mature clientele then a more toned-down approach will likely work best.

Make it personal – don’t pretend to be anything other than honest. Imagine how you want your members to feel when they receive this email.

Point #2 – remember that most people don’t deeply read emails, they scan and scroll down to get to the point.

Keep your emails short and with minimal text. Make them easy to read. if you’re sending a new product email, just add a photo of it and short blurb with the description of the feeling, price and how to get it.

Keep it to one or two points only – people just scroll over the middle of your email, so give them one thing to focus on.

Step 5. The subject line

Sounds simple but it might be the most important part.

Picture 30 emails in an inbox, how do you make sure your email stands out and its read?

Be creative with your headline, add emojis to attract the eye to the colour or keep them hanging with a teaser, here are some examples I’ve tried in the past that worked:

– “The power Indica is back and its better than ever!” (Mystery)
– “Our big event, this weekend only!” (urgency)
– “Don’t Open This EMAIL!!” (reverse psychology)
– “Don’t make this mistake when picking up edibles” (Teach)
– “Our strongest sativa is finally here” (Curiosity)

email cannabis

Step 6. Growing your list

Your list should grow every time a new member signs up to and anytime someone that is not yet a member wants to learn more about you.

Every time I was going to send an email I would go through the process of merging my member list with mailchimp, testing the sign up form on the website, blog and social accounts to make sure it was working and after doing that I would look for other places where we could potentially grow our email list by providing value.

I would entice non-members to join the list by offering a discount – maybe 15% on their first order. Gifts proved to almost double the sign up rates!

Again, If you’re not growing you’re dying and the practice of growing your email list is one of the most profitable ones for your business.

It adds an audience to your products.

Step 7. Getting better at email

There are many tools that will show you detailed information, but the best way to learn is through your members that read them.

Ask them what they think of your emails, how can you improve, what type of information do they want to read, what do they think of the design.

Don’t be shy to send one email (after you’ve sent at least 15) and ask what they think of your email and anything else you’d like to know. (out of the opened emails we would get 5% response on those questions)

The goal is to make your customers happy, and there is no better way to learn than by asking them. If they love your cannabis they’ll be happy to help you.

More tips: Look at your competitors to see what they do, think outside the box, look at brands that you like from other markets like Whole foods, or a supplement company or maybe a pharmacy and see what they do with their emails. Copy and try it!

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We’re in a mobile first world and if you can reach your consumer while they’re going about life, they’ll be excited to have a reason to stop in and say hi and pick up some of your finest of the finest.

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If you have any questions or if you need help getting started, reach out to us, our goal above all is to make sure cannabis dispensaries succeed. If you succeed, the whole industry succeeds so we’re happy to help you in any way we can.

Alejandro – Team Greenline

Top 3 Things to Look For When Hiring Budtenders for your Dispensary

Top 3 Things to Look For When Hiring Budtenders for your Dispensary

Budtenders might hold the most important position in a dispensary. If you don’t have a good team who cares about your customer and welcomes them in with a smile, you will never grow.

Here is what to look for when hiring budtenders for your store:

 

hiring budtenders

Hiring Budtenders

#1 Presentation

The look and feel of your team should match the look and feel of your store. If you want to present a clean dispensary experience you’ll have to make discerning choices when you hire.

Tattoos running up the neck can fit if your environment is part of that feel. However, if you want to cater to a more mature clientele that did not grow up with the trend of tattooing, you’ll have to present a lighter feel so they can feel welcomed.

Dispensaries create relationships and trust with their clientele and whomever you have welcoming your customers will set the tone for who shows up.

Smiling Team the medicinal

#2 – Self-Awareness

You might have to deal with folks who react loudly and even aggressively, the awareness that it might not be about you personally but may actually be a mental condition allows you to show compassion and be more patient when someone requires medicine.

Having self-awareness and paying attention to detail also gives you a better feel for the store, who’s there, and how to manage it.

Here are some interview questions to learn about people’s self-awareness:

  • Can you tell me a time when you made a mistake at work – how did you handle it?

You’re looking for honesty about what they did and brownie points are given if they share what they learned from the experience. Red flags come up if they blame everyone else for the mistake.

  • Out of your weaknesses which one would you like to get better at right away?

Again, you’re looking for awareness, examples include “I’d like to be more focused”, “I’d like to be better at managing my time”. Brownie points are given when they mention where they would like to get better and what they’re doing about it to get better.

Red flags include “I don’t have weaknesses” “I don’t really feel I need to work on anything.. I’m busy” we all have weaknesses and if you don’t know them then you’re just not aware.

hiring budtenders

#3 Can you hang out with them

You will be spending many hours per day with your staff. Make sure you have some things in common and can have fun together.

The vibe of your store is directly correlated to you and your team, if you guys are in a light vibe with smiles and positivity, it will reflect. Everyone that walks in the store will enjoy it and look forward to coming back to for that feeling, and maybe even tell their friends.

The positive energy and cohesiveness of your team will translate into spectacular customer service.

If everyone is happy and enjoying the day your customers will feel that and keep coming back.

Some questions to learn more about your team:

  • Did you build lasting friendships while working at another job? Do you still spend time with ex-coworkers?

You want to see positivity. This is a team environment and most definitely a people job. If they roll their eyes or complain about previous co-workers it’s a bad start. This means that they’re not over whatever happened previously.

  • Ask them where they hang out, what do they do for fun, are they into sports.

Look for commonalities between you (The manager) and your team. The more cohesive you guys are the more it will translate into good customer service for your members.

A cohesive team is a winning team and it starts with the right players. Take your time and if you don’t find what you’re looking for keep going. Go through hundreds of applications if you have to.

The right team will set your store apart.

GetGreenline.co

Dispensaries Build Trust With Customers Over Time – This is How

Dispensaries Build Trust With Customers Over Time – This is How

The goal of your dispensary should be to build trust, when trust is present your customers will continue to shop with you and also be proud to tell their friends about you.

Here are the 3 main points for building trust.

#1 – Cleanliness

Cannabis is a consumable, whether I eat it, smoke it or however I ingest it, it’s coming into my body.

If I walk into a dispensary that is dirty, hasn’t been mopped, the glass isn’t “windexed”, I automatically assume that my health is not your number one priority.

Your store doesn’t need to be the biggest or shiniest, but it does need to be clean!

Any doubt to cleanliness adds a question to your quality and makes me doubt whether I should shop there.

clean dispensary

Always keep your dispensary spotless!

Solution: set a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the daily cleaning of your store.

Give the task to sweep and mop your store ½ hour before opening to one person and then have someone in charge of checking every hour that the store cleanliness is on par.

After each task is finished they have to sign the task sheet – This way the store manager can validate that its up to date and the cleanliness of your store is never left to chance.

It might sound tedious – but it matters.

#2 – Quality

Quality doesn’t mean potency. Quality means cleanliness.

We’re not interested in smoking mold, pesticides, or secondary nonsense. We want clean cannabis that will provide the response we want.

Dispensaries with poor quality control systems that sell everything under the sun are missing the point.

The long term value of building trust with your consumer is whats going to keep you in business.

Selling shit product because you get it for cheap does not improve my life.

Over time users will be more and more educated and will make smarter decisions based on quality. Don’t get left behind.

Erbachay Raspberry queen

Solution: create a quality control structure, either send all your product to a lab to test for impurities or hire a professional that can validate with confidence the quality of your cannabis – give them the tools and space to do it.

#3 – Service

Cannabis stores should never “Sell” they should always “Help”.

The goal isn’t that your customer spends more money on their visit, the goal is that your costumer always comes back to your store for their cannabis.

Service means, they feel welcomed and comfortable at your store, they have confidence in your staff’s recommendations and your product as a solution.

Service means issues are immediately rectified, emails and phone calls are answered fast.

Service means when a costumer walks into your store everyones first reaction should be to welcome them.

Service means your customer is the center of attention.

happy to serve you

Remember this, if you have a customer that comes by once every 2 weeks and spends $50, after 6 months that person has spent $650 at your store.

Never let yourself lose a customer over a $50 dollar vape pen that they say doesn’t work or a batch of edibles that didn’t have any effect.

Compensate them. Its easier to retain a customer than to gain a new one.

Make sure your customer is always happy and feels an emotional reason to recommend you to their friends


Dispensaries build trust over time.

If you continue to deliver, people will continue to comeback to your shop and ultimately build the trust that will ensure your business grows and flourishes.

AA-G

Adaptable Dispensary Inventory Management

Adaptable Dispensary Inventory Management

Adaptable dispensary inventory management is critical for evolving cannabis stores. Everyone wants to expand and grow their brand. Some dispensaries want national distribution via a sleek online store, others want brick and mortar locations in every major city center. Excellent management software will scale with dispensaries and relieve growing pains. Never have business growth be confined by technology.

How can dispensaries tell if a POS solution will grow with their business?

 

  • Unlimited locations. Yep, that’s right. A POS provider should be able to handle as many locations as you can.

 

  • Visibility and inventory management throughout every location with custom reporting locks. Inventory and transfers of a product should be manageable throughout every location, at any location. This means that there should be two tiers of inventory management available to you:

 

1. At the company level, where the entirety of your business operations can be viewed on a single screen for executive access.

 

2. At the individual location level, where store managers can see the data for their location and no other location.

 

Responsive support is important.

 

Many POS companies will operate on a growth first model. This means that they focus on client acquisition and often cannot provide high-quality service consistently to their existing customers. Good software providers should always give excellent one-on-one customer service.

Look for live chat widgets integrated into the POS and website. These can provide instant help with your problems. One of the most important factors in quality service is how quickly dispensaries get a response from support staff. Nobody wants to wait around for their POS company to answer a question when they could be doing more productive things.

This is why Greenline Systems has been using Drift chat service. It hooks up to our internal messaging systems nicely and gives us a way to provide top-notch customer support.

Dispensaries Need Multi-location Inventory Management

Dispensaries Need Multi-location Inventory Management

Multi-location inventory management is critical for dispensaries. Cannabis stores must run a POS and inventory management system that can track product stock across multiple locations. Record keeping done by the management software must account for cross location product movements and sales from different inventories.

This applies to single location dispensaries as well as larger chain stores. In other words, multi-location inventory management doesn’t necessarily mean physically separate stores. Locations are defined by inventory management units. Take for example, this small dispensary. It consists of five inventory management units:

  • Main Warehouse / Processing area
  • Off-site Safe
  • Back of Store
  • Front of Store
  • Online Store

 

Having multi-location inventory management keeps your product stock safe. If one location experiences theft or robbery, your losses will be minimized. Control and visibility is increased if your inventory management software tracks transfers, losses, purchases, and sales of inventory properly at each step. With that information, dispensary operators can see exactly what stock amounts are lost at what point along the product chain. This actionable data can help dispensaries cut losses and gain more revenue.

When choosing a software package to manage your dispensary there are several things to look out for:

  • Does the POS allow you to design your business’s inventory flow and manage stock the way you want? Or is the system structured in a particular way so that you need to change your inventory structure to adapt to the system? A good robust POS/administrative system conforms to the way you do business, not the other way around.
  • Can the POS track your inventory accurately throughout every step of the supply chain? Transfers, supply orders, and sales need to be instantly and accurately reflected in the POS/administrative software’s inventory tracking system whenever a stock movement occurs.
  • is the POS simple to use? How quickly can you edit/add/delete products, pricing, product categories, or make/fill purchase orders? An efficient and streamlined POS should be designed in a way that allows for these operations to be completed quickly with minimum navigation within the system. Daily operations should be easy and quick, no matter how complex the underlying code is; this speaks to good product design.
  • Is the POS easy to learn? This is closely tied to the prior point. Nobody wants to spend extra time teaching employees how to use a POS when they purchase the software. Ideally the new system should be approachable for someone with zero tech experience and simple enough to use so that on-boarding the new tech should only take a couple days to get your employees trained.

Besides these points, another important thing to look for in a software package for your dispensary is how adaptable the POS company is. Unless the program is absolutely immaculate and perfect in every way, the software must be structured to be adaptable and evolve according to either your dispensary’s growth or the rapidly changing legal atmosphere. Customization is key. Because of how uniquely dynamic the cannabis industry in Canada is, your business management solution needs to always be able to keep up with how fast the world is spinning.

Pre-packaged Cannabis in Dispensaries

Pre-packaged Cannabis in Dispensaries

Pre-packaged cannabis can offer tighter inventory control and product accountability for dispensaries but also introduces unique challenges. Some jurisdictions may require particular packaging labels or even plain packaging laws. Pre-packaged cannabis weighed before the sale changes dispensary operations in the following ways:

 

Image result for cannabis package

Example of what compliance packaging may look like.

 

  • Inventory checks are easier. It is far simpler to account for individual unit packages than it is to account for multiple containers based on weight.

 

  • Pre-packaged cannabis is faster to process. Budtenders can make sales much quicker by scanning barcodes on pre-packaged cannabis instead of weighing out customer orders at the point of sale.

 

  • Selling packets of a product creates less room for error by removing several steps from the sale process. User inputs on scales and weight calculation are removed at the storefront, allowing for accurate sales with lower chances of mixups.

 

However, dispensary operators must note that:

 

  • Pre-packaged cannabis loses weight if left for too long. The weight of product during packaging is different at the point of sale. Dispensaries need to know what stock is fresh and what stock is growing stale.

 

  • Packaging cannabis for sale affects product visibility. Customers do not know about the quality of the product inside a pre-pack. Transparent packaging and keeping fresh packages help ease customer fears.

 

  • Customer experiences may be affected by selling pre-packaged cannabis. Packaging means that the customer loses out on interacting with the sight and smell of the product. It’s best to keep a small open jar of cannabis for customer experience purposes while still selling in a packaged format.

 

Customer experiences like this are unavailable with a pre-packaged system.

 

For dispensaries, selling pre-packaged cannabis makes operational and logistical sense. Unit values are easier to work with, there is less room for human error, and sale processing speed increases. However, dispensaries using a pre-packaged system must also be aware of the potential impact to customer experience when it comes to shrinkage inside of packages, lower customer visibility, and loss of intimate budtender-customer interactions.

Dispensary Internal Security with Event Logs

Dispensary Internal Security with Event Logs

However, recording and tracking every action in your store creates a vastly unmanageable list. The key to a great event logging system for dispensary internal security is readability.

 

In summary, proper event logs should track all of the following:

  • What type of item was moved (tracking is not limited to products and can include cash movements and shift start/end)
  • Type of action performed (know if an action is a sale, transfer, update, purchase, or loss)
  • Time stamps for every action (see exactly when actions are performed to the second)
  • Employee tags for every action (understand who is accountable for that action)
  • Locational tags for all product movements (know where product is bought, sold, and transferred from)
  • Can assign additional notes to actions (for increased detail on why an action is performed)
  • Ability to filter by locations, employees, and products. (be able to find what you want when you want it)

 

Not only is event log tracking critical for smooth dispensary operations, it is also necessary for future compliance. it’s best to track absolutely everything if you feel any uncertainty about what compliance reporting requirements will be.

Be prepared to provide your cannabis governing agency any data they may demand of you. Diligent dispensary owners would get started with event logging as soon as possible. Having robust historical records will save you the pain of scouring excel files and manually creating reports.

A proper POS should be able to provide excellent dispensary internal security with event logs automatically.

Catching Theft in Dispensaries with Tech

Catching Theft in Dispensaries with Tech

Here’s a story of how a dispensary owner used his POS to catch theft in his store. One early morning we received a live chat message from a store owner that we work with:

Hey guys, I think there may be something wrong with the inventory tracking. My dashboard tells me that I’ve made a few grams in sales but I’m seeing much more of that product missing? Could you check the system to confirm this.

We validated his inventory levels and replied back in 10 minutes:

We’ve done some looking into your issue. There doesn’t seem to be any errors in the accounting. This may be a user input error. Could you check with your employees? The reporting section will tell you who was working the tills today at what time.

This is an example of a POS that tracks and displays inventory in an easy to access format. The system alerted the user to an inventory discrepancy. And so, this prompted the owner to investigate further.

He checked the event logs and matched it with his security camera footage. From that footage he saw an employee slip cannabis into their pockets during every transaction. The offending employee was promptly fired.

The budtender that was caught had stolen $50 worth of product that day. If left unnoticed, that employee would have stolen over $1,500 of product that month.

 

catching dispensary theft with tech

What’s your warning system? How do you know if something’s wrong?

How dispensaries can identify and catch theft with tech.

 

1. There needs to be a regular schedule of auditing product stock for inconsistencies. This ensures that you notice any out of place stock changes and catch theft. Your POS needs to track inventory in your store accurately for this to work. Stock needs to be be up to date by the second. Your system should recognize and account for change whenever a transfer or sale is made.

 

2. Multi-location dispensary chains will need to adopt a pre-packaged RFID/bar coding system. This ensures inventory accuracy across all locations of organization. Selling pre-packages units instead of weighing per gram makes the most sense. Furthermore, tracing multi-location product movements is far easier with packaged units instead of decimal weights.

 

3. The best dispensaries are automating their processes. Bar coding and RFIDs leave no room for human error and internal theft at the counter. One scan equals one item in cart, no exceptions. Having automatic inventory stock checks and updates is the new cannabis industry standard. Dispensary owners and managers should never have to manually update stock for any product movement. There are far better uses for your time.

 

catching dispensary theft with tech

It’s 2017, time to let machines do the grunt work for you.

 

Dispensary Data Security

Dispensary Data Security

Dispensary data security is critical for the smooth day to day operations of a cannabis store. Losing client data can cripple customer verification systems. Not only does losing data throw a wrench into daily operations, it also lowers client trust. Nobody likes having their personal information and government ID’s leaked onto the internet.

 

Securing data prevents situations like the MJFreeway hack earlier in early 2017 linked here (and the more recent hack linked here). In this technological world, business owners need to be up to speed with dispensary data security. The days of pen and paper are over.

Fortunately, there are simple steps dispensaries can take to make sure their data is safe.

1. Take regular offline backups of dispensary data

 

A dispensary’s POS or inventory management solution needs to allow them to make automatic offline data backups on a regular schedule. Backups can reset dispensary data to a previous save point and minimize losses. This ensures that data losses are recoverable, avoiding catastrophic failures that prevent day to day operations. 

 

Keep calm and make backups. Simple exports to CSV takes no time at all!

2. Set dispensary data security roles for staff to limit access to sensitive data

 

Budtenders shouldn’t have access to company-wide reports. Discounts and sales history editing must not be available to everyone. Ensure that proper permissions are setup to prevent untrained employees messing with critical store data. A dispensary’s POS or management software provider should always have security rules and locks in place for you to manage employee permissions.

 

3. Always be up to date with POS software providers and know what security measures they take

Take the time and ask your POS provider these important questions:

 

  • How does your POS provider store dispensary data? Find out if they host servers themselves or if they use services provided by another company. Typically, POS companies that host their own servers are more prone to hacks if they are not well educated in the latest data security measures. If hosting is provided by multi-billion dollar corporations like Amazon, your data is generally safer.

 

  • What are their in-house security protocols like? No matter how robust and impenetrable a system can be, it still cannot prevent someone from looking over your shoulder and stealing your passwords. Does your POS provider have measures in place to prevent employees from working in insecure networks? Are they accessing your store data while in line at Starbucks? Ask and learn how and when your POS provider accesses your data. It is a immediate red flag if they cannot answer your questions.