Unlike generic tech solutions, dispensary software solutions must be customized to business needs and compliance requirements. Despite this hindrance, cannabis technology has continued to improve at a rapid rate.
This list encapsulates the latest features of cannabis technology, and their corresponding benefits. It is useful for cannabis industry professionals with expanding tech needs, or simply looking to improve their use of technology.
1. Making Compliance Easier
In the cannabis industry, maintaining compliance is a complex, yet necessary task. According to the CEO of Adherence Compliance, “Without operational compliance, everything is at risk."
Yet compliance continues to drive consolidation. After all, maintaining compliance is not straightforward. It is complex and inconsistent across state lines.
Luckily, dispensary software solutions have adapted to this. Many now integrate with the state’s regulation and tracking systems (such as METRC and BioTrackTHC). This makes compliance more attainable and easier for cannabis retailers.
POS solutions such as Flowhub syncs your data with these regulatory compliance solutions. This makes your state regulatory compliance hassle-free. Flowhub currently supports cannabis regulations in Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, California, Michigan, Maryland, and Nevada.
2. Dispensary Kiosks for Faster Transactions
The latest in cannabis tech are product dispensing kiosks. Currently, Grasshopper offers the only legally compliant ADA-approved machines on the market. Their device accepts all payment methods and integrates with your POS system.
They offer self checkout, in an “express lane” with as little as 1 minute transactions. The whole customer experience is a digital experience – and it’s fast and easy. As Grasshopper says, “Everyone in the industry is rushing to offer competing customer experiences...and pretty soon, picking up an eighth is going to be as easy as calling an Uber.”
Quick transactions give budtenders more time to dedicate to the patients that request their assistance. Additionally, kiosks help increase the order value with marketing, data collection, and upsell opportunities.
This finding is consistent across all industries. Taco Bell recently reported a 20% higher order value compared to human cashiers. This is primarily a result of people ordering extra ingredients. Product dispensing and self-checkout kiosks increase sales, while reducing operating costs and errors.
3. Integrations with your POS
When dispensary software first took off, integrations were uncommon. Then, integrations between POS systems and state regulation systems began to flourish. The latest in dispensary tech offers integrations between POS systems and other dispensary software, such as Baker.
In any industry, POS integrations provide insights to make better business decisions. and streamlined operations process. In the cannabis industry, they also help you maintain state-specific compliance requirements.
The key benefit of a POS integration is experience. Integrations create a seamless experience for you, your dispensary staff, customers, and your patients.
One key integration is between your POS and CRM. Baker now integrates with 5 major cannabis industry and dispensary POS systems. The result? Things are faster and easier for day-to-day operations.
Integrating sales and customer relationship data, automates several of your staff’s daily tasks. This means your staff is more productive. You will also get better understanding of which products and medicines your patients might want. These integrations also help your dispensary marketing team. Integrations between these tools provide them with insights needed to drive customer loyalty.
4. Business Intelligence and Reporting
Collecting data is an easy task. Your technology solutions are all gathering data – sales, inventory, marketing, product and vendor performance, customer data. The challenge is turning this data into the actionable information that’s needed to make the best business decisions.
Getting the right data is not always easy. Even getting information from point of sale system often requires exporting spreadsheets and restructuring the data to get the answers and insights you need.
But here’s where turnkey data analytics solutions like Headset help. Headset eliminates spreadsheets and instead provides dispensaries with with real-time reporting in easy-to-use dashboards. They can provide you with valuable information like sales trends, brand and product performance, inventory and even budtender performance.
Additionally, the more systems that you can integrate, the more thorough your data and the insights it provides will be. not only does this sync the systems, but it syncs the data. For example, you can combine data from sales, customer and customer loyalty is now possible for cannabis retailers.
5. End-to-end, Dispensary Marketing
If cannabis business consolidation isn’t driven by compliance, then it is driven by competition. Boosting transaction times and customer experience help… but like any other business, a cannabis business also needs a full-blown marketing system to reach new customers, and foster customer loyalty and repeat patient visits. The latest features that your dispensary marketing stack can feature and support are:
- Boosting exposure: The cannabis industry has its niche hangouts like online cannabis communities, directories, forums, social media groups and more. To get higher visibility before your target customers, a strong presence on these portals is necessary. Cannabis product information platforms, such as Leafly help with sponsored content, ads, social amplification and more to get your dispensary or business before your target buyers. Again, for best marketing results, you must connect your customers (via a CRM) with these platforms so they can make build awareness about your products and make them more discoverable.
- Fostering customer relationships: A cannabis business is a people business. Thus, a customer relationship management tool is very important. It enables you to build strong patient relationships and build customer loyalty. Baker is the leading Cannabis CRM solution often dubbed as the “Salesforce for Cannabis.”
- Reputation management: Third-party review websites portals PotGuide and StickyGuide let you collect reviews of your products and boost sales. Such portals when integrated with CRMs make it easy for your customers to leave reviews for your products and bring referral sales.
With seamless integrations, all your marketing solutions can work together and offer end-to-end marketing automation.
6. In-Store and Online Digital Signage Sync
A CRM that integrates with a POS can see when a particular product is out of stock – so you can avoid promoting items that are unavailable on your in-store digital menu, or online menu. This prevents poor customer experiences such as a customer driving out to your dispensary, only to find that an item out of stock.
Digital signage that syncs your inventory with your in-store digital and online menus ensures that you never (even accidentally) list or promote unavailable products.
Updating your digital menus based on inventory gives you complete freedom to start, and stop your special promotions as you wish. For example, you can push out a promotion for a new product, and boost awareness and sales instantly.
Digital signage that syncs with your POS, CRM, and other solutions doesn't just improve your customer experience, but also helps bring more sales. There are quite a few cannabis companies like BudBoard and GreenScreens that offer great digital signage solutions that also support integrations with other tech providers.
7. Seamless online ordering and delivery
Easy online ordering and delivery is a must-have feature for any dispensary business to grow. But with so many online selling channels, setting up a cohesive ordering and delivery environment can be a challenge.
For example, a customer can buy using an in-store kiosk or via an app like Baker.
All orders must be directed to the POS so that sales records remain clean. In fact, all Baker orders automatically integrate with the POS solution.
Likewise, all the other channels you use for selling must integrate well with the POS, or at least a system connected to it.
Wrapping it up
When you buy any piece of cannabis retail tech, make sure you check the solution provider and see if you’ll get a dedicated customer success resource. Don’t confuse a customer success resource with a customer support resource... because they are different. Customer support helps with resolving product issues whereas a customer success manager helps get the most of a solution.
For example, at Baker, you get a dedicated Customer Success Manager who helps you with get onboarded and set up with Baker. As soon as you join, you’re teamed up with a Baker expert who will show you how to use Baker, and how to make the most of it.
In addition to giving you a headstart, customer success resources also help optimize your business strategies using the solutions and improving the bottom line.
Another essential thing to look for when building your latest cannabis retail tech stack is making sure that all the solutions can talk to each other and exchange data. Otherwise, all the data will sit in silos inside your different SaaS products, and you’ll lack the insights to make critical business decisions.