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What is a CRM and What Role Does it Play in the Cannabis Industry?

A Customer Relationship Management software (often only referred to as a CRM) is a tool used to build customer loyalty and repeat business. In the cannabis industry, CRM solutions help dispensaries and brands convert one-time or occasional buyers into regulars.

Like any retail business, loyal customers are significantly more cost-effective than new customers. Not only do they have repeat business, but their average order size is higher.

Whether you are a medical or recreational dispensary, a CRM can help you find new customers and turn them into a regular at your dispensary. It facilitates customer loyalty through targeted messaging, loyalty programs and personalized marketing campaigns based on customer preferences. A CRM, like Baker can boost your dispensary revenue by up to 15%.

Is a CRM Built Into My POS?

Many dispensary owners already realize the importance of mobile-driven, targeted customer communication. Because some Point of Sale (POS) systems offer customer communication, it is commonly thought that a CRM is built into a dispensary’s POS. However, the capabilities are limited, and a growing business requires more specialized marketing tools. Ultimately, a POS is designed to be that...a point of sale.   

While such a solution may work for collecting sales data, it does not even come close to realizing the profits of a real full-blown CRM can get for a cannabis store. Let’s now see how a CRM helps boost your dispensary business.

Creating a Central Database of Your Customers

A core function of a CRM is to register all the customer and patient details. This includes purchase history, product and communication preferences, and even customer interests.

Here’s why this is so important for your dispensary:

Your dispensary attracts different kinds of users. For example, some of your customers are patients with medical prescriptions. Others are recreational users. Some people who walk in are just “exploring.”

Of these, the patients that come to buy medical marijuana might use it to treat anything from chronic pain to cancer.

Recreational users, in turn, may have difference product preferences and levels of experience. For instance, some might be vape enthusiasts while others might prefer oils or edibles.

Furthermore, some of these people are likely to be first-time buyers for your dispensary. While others might be routinely dropping by.

To convert, market, and sell to these different customer groups with different preferences and buying histories, you need to track all their data somewhere. This data center or your “Book of Business” is your CRM.

This is not merely sales data, it’s customer data. It’s all about the person and what makes that customer unique. If your dispensary does not have a CRM, all this data that can be used to make compelling offers is not fully utilized. Worse still, your budtenders will note down ad hoc data in non-standard formats, which will render it useless anyway.

A CRM doesn’t just store all this data for you but it also lets you leverage it to craft excellent marketing  messages that rake in a lot of revenue.

Building Rock Solid Customer Loyalty

A CRM comes with a host of features to prompt users to keep coming back to your dispensary and buy more of your offerings.

Here are just a few ways a CRM helps get more sales for cannabis store:

  • Generating demand: By promoting your latest cannabis merchandise and products, you can instantly generate demand for it. With a good CRM in place, all you need are a few clicks and you can launch an SMS text campaign to promote your latest products.
  • Personalizing offers: By using the data in your CRM stores, you can send hyper-targeted offers to your customers. For example, you can promote mini joints to someone that is always on the go, or new topical to a patient treating backache.
  • Running loyalty programs: By rewarding your loyal customers with points, discounts, gifts and more, you can remain their favorite. You can also customize your loyalty schemes to incentivize your newer repeat customers.

When all these functions work together, your dispensary customers get excited about buying from you. Your dispensary will become their go-to place for all their cannabis needs.

Syncing Customer-Facing Operations


Like any other retail business, even a cannabis business has three key customer-facing operations: 1) Sales, 2) Marketing, and 3) Customer service.

A great CRM is the linchpin of all these customer-facing operations as it (ideally) integrates with all the essential dispensary software like POS solutions, other marketing tools (eg. digital signage or customer acquisition platforms), and customer service portals.

With access to data from all these operations, a CRM software helps avoid unpleasant customer experiences – from reduced wait times to better online and in-store product education. For instance, when the website of Infinite Wellness Center (a Colorado-based dispensary) crashed as a result of high traffic on 4/20 making their online menus and deals unavailable, they were grateful that they could use Baker to text their customers a link to the native Baker shopping page.

Customer relationship management software solutions sit at the intersection of sales, marketing, and customer service, and by doing so, it ensures that your customers get the best buying experiences.

Selecting a Dispensary CRM Software

When you look up CRM software, you’ll usually find options such as Salesforce, HubSpot, Zoho, etc. But these solutions aren’t right for a dispensary business. Most CRM solutions are designs for a particular industry or business type. For the cannabis industry, Baker is the go-to because it is built exclusively for cannabis retail businesses. Which means it is also built around the legal and compliance needs of the business, that vary by region.

If you have other software needs designed specifically for the cannabis industry, check out this article on choosing tech for your cannabis business. All the tips apply to choosing a CRM as well. You can also see a demo with Baker to see how we can help grow your dispensary.

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