How do you Build Loyalty?

Jay Lauren

This article is courtesy of our friends at Baker (www.trybaker.com).They offer an integrated software solution that drives all of this – from first-time sign up, through outbound SMS, to analytics, to loyalty programs, and integrated reviews and recommendations.

Everything that goes into finding and attracting customers to your dispensary/store is customer acquisition. What comes next? Getting them to come back to your dispensary and converting them into loyal customers.  

Unfortunately, for many dispensaries, a customer’s journey ends after the first purchase. To prevent this from happening, we need to look at the entire customer experience throughout the buying process. Turning first-time buyers into loyal customers is achieved from the stages of a sales funnel that occurs during and after a first in-store experience. In the sales funnel, these stages are Purchase, Engage, Repeat and Referral. A customer’s first impression and experience influences their decision whether or not to come back to your dispensary. There are many factors that go into creating a winning first in-store experience. Here are a few of those factors:

The Look and Feel of Your Dispensary and Brand

The design and layout of your dispensary plays a major role in a customer’s first impression. They actively seek a comfortable and trusting environment, that provides a smooth and convenient buying process. This is especially important because many of the new cannabis consumers are also new to the cannabis buying experience. (Who are these segments? See Baker’s data.)

Because first impressions matter so much, it’s important to have an approachable storefront. A person could fully intend to visit your dispensary, only to arrive and be turned off by the way your storefront looks, and leave. Some other ways to establish trust and a sense of security is by designing a branded and comfortable lobby area, and hiring friendly staff members and budtenders.

Branding, in fact, is a key factor in influencing your customers’ in-store experience. Enforce consistent branding throughout your dispensary by using your brand visuals such as logos, signage, and branded merchandise or swag. Not only does strong visual branding help your customers connect with you, but it also helps them remember your dispensary later on. You must also work toward humanizing your dispensary brand. This means giving your brand a personality that your cannabis consumers can trust and easily engage with.

Engage: Check Back in and Keep in Touch

After a customer makes their first purchase, it’s important to engage with them again in order to convert them into a repeat customer.

Check back in with them in a week after their visit with a personalized message using smart messaging tactics. You can share special offers or deals you think they might like, or highlight your dispensary loyalty program. Using consistent communication is always important throughout these stages. Reach out to your customers from time to time with relevant offers, valuable content, or gifts and freebies.

Repeat: focus on Product Interests

Text your customers about the products they may find useful based on their interests they listed in their profile, or even their purchase history. It is best practice to introduce your first-time customers to your loyalty program right away. This is a great opportunity for a first-time message to them. Try sending your first-time customers a special message thanking them for their first visit and mention what loyalty reward they will get when they come back in for their next visit. Getting an exclusive reward makes first-time buyers feel special and more welcome in your store. They also feel like being a part of your ‘special’ community that gets access to exclusive rewards.

Referral: Get Your Customers to Promote Your Dispensary for You

Word of mouth is one of the most trusted and powerful advertisements for any product. In fact, 43% of women decide on a new cannabis brand to try based on their recommendations from their friends, salespeople, or their family members.

Consumers naturally trust the recommendations of their friends (or even just other people) more than they trust companies or marketers. This means that each time a consumer buys any product from your dispensary, you should invite them to write a review on a listing site or cannabis marketplace. Doing so will drive traffic from the review website back to your dispensary store website. Another option is to simply ask your consumers to recommend their products to their friends who might find it interesting.

If your customers’ buying cycle ends with the purchase, you’re missing out on repeat business opportunities. Though it plays a role, earning repeat business is about more than just providing a good first experience. It’s really about creating a personalized shopping path and engaging your customers.

Join us on 1/24 in downtown LA and learn from Baker’s experience! Their co-founder, Roger Obando, will be speaking about loyalty! Register to attend via this link: http://bit.ly/Understanding-First-Time-Buyers

Note: For the original article, and so much more advice, see Baker’s website. They have a wealth of data to share and expertise that’s driven by the #1 CRM software in the industry. Go to: www.trybaker.com