Cannabis retail has come a long way during the last few years with the legalization of weed across many US states. The erstwhile recreational herb emerged as a potent medicinal aid, with many scientific studies validating its benefits. But the pandemic acted like a shot in the arm of the industry. The number of consumers witnessed a massive surge as people embraced it for relieving stress, insomnia, and pain during lockdowns. As things settle down in 2021, the industry is all set to grow bigger in the coming year. But retailers need to stay one step ahead of the evolving expectations of consumers. Here are some insights into what customers expect with cannabis retail experiences in the new normal.
Safe in-store experiences
The vaccine rollouts are in full swing, and people are returning to retail stores once again. But even as they step in, they want the shopping experiences to be safer than ever. Retailers need to go the extra mile with in-store safety by implementing stringent social distancing, temperature checks, and mask-wearing rules. They must apply to everyone around, including managers, budtenders, and customers. Installing technology solutions such as self-service kiosks, POS payments, and queue management solutions can also help. Most dispensaries may already have them in place, but the ones that don’t must embrace them at the earliest.
Convenient shopping options
The competition in cannabis retail is high, and customers are spoilt for choice. They want convenient shopping options that prioritize their safety and well-being. Having an online dispensary along with physical stores does not remain a choice for retailers. It requires an investment in a high-end website along with safe delivery options. Curbside pickup is another option sellers must provide to buyers. It lets them pick their orders without walking into the store, which makes sense in the era of social distancing. When it comes to convenience in shopping options, retailers must also offer cashless and contactless payment alternatives to the buyers.
Diverse product portfolio
The pandemic has made consumers open to the idea of experimenting with cannabis. While smoking, vaping, oils, and tinctures have always been the hot favorites, the trend is gradually shifting. Cannabis edibles are becoming popular as a consumption method. They are available in a large variety and offer sustainable effects. Concentrates are gaining attention because they can do more with less. Users are also keen on topical products for pain relief and skincare benefits. Apart from trying different consumption methods, consumers also want to experiment with strains. A diverse product portfolio is the need of the hour to achieve retail success. Sellers offering wider menus online and in-store are bound to get more customers and retain them for the long haul.
Cannabis consumers are conscious and well-informed today because there are lots of reliable resources they can access online. It translates into higher expectations from products and brands. Retail sellers need to keep pace with top-notch product quality, excellent experiences, and immense product variety. Focus on safety is equally critical in the pandemic era.