• Jeffrey Harris

How Cannabis Retailers Have Successfully Adapted to the COVID-19 Landscape

As the pandemic continues to challenge established retail practices and consumer behaviors across the country, dispensaries have adapted exceptionally well to this new normal by strategically leveraging dispensary technology.


While several mainstream industries are struggling to find safe ways to reopen and engage with their customers, cannabis retailers have found clever solutions to keep their doors open and drive sales since March.


Deemed as an essential business in thirty states and territories, dispensaries had to quickly move their predominantly brick and mortar operations online to serve a growing number of customers seeking mental and physical relief during the outbreak. While there were a handful of transitional pain points, dispensaries throughout the industry have largely overcome these obstacles and have found a way to utilize our dispensary marketing software, in combination with our integrations with leading e-commerce and delivery providers, to keep dispensary operations running smoothly.


Dispensary SMS marketing campaigns were widely used by cannabis retailers as a and cannabis advertising tool prior to the pandemic, but dispensaries are now ramping up their text message campaigns to communicate store announcements, safety protocols, delivery options, and other COVID-related updates. A store can lose a considerable amount of business and customer engagement if they fail to simply alert customers that they are still open. As a result, dispensaries have turned to text messaging to either let customers know they are open for business or to find them online.


Additionally, the majority of springbig-integrated retailers have significantly increased their text messaging frequency to alert customers about updated health and safety policies. Considering how most customers are hesitant about frequenting local businesses even if they are open due to health risks, it is more important than ever to meticulously lay out dispensary safety guidelines in order to ease consumer concerns. Most springbig retailers have been sending out weekly texts about implementing customer and employee temperature checks, sanitation policies, store capacity limits, and mask requirements. Sending consistent safety updates not only reflects the professionalism of the retailer but also demonstrates to customers that the retailer truly cares about their well-being.


Dispensary text message campaigns are also streamlining the delivery and pickup process. Many dispensaries are going above and beyond simply letting their customers know that they offer delivery and pickup. Larger retailers with multiple pickup locations are sending corresponding pictures of pickup locations to customers in order to make the purchasing experience as effortless as possible. Other dispensaries are texting links with curbside wait times or alerting customers of estimated delivery windows, which is particularly important at a time when many consumers are becoming frustrated by delayed deliveries and wait times in mainstream industries. And all of this has been made even easier because of our latest partnership with delivery provider, Onfleet.


It is important to note that customers are far more likely to respond to cannabis advertising campaigns if they know the shopping experience will be safe and efficient. In addition to daily deals, retailers are also alerting customers when their favorite products are back in stock and texting out links to their e-commerce sites to encourage customers to order ahead in order to streamline dispensary operations.


Dispensaries have found the ideal balance between sending out promotions and precautions during the pandemic. These strategies have allowed them to stay nimble and successfully adjust to this seemingly daunting new retail landscape. Maintaining consistent and thoughtful communications with customers is critical to increasing dispensary loyalty. Cannabis retailers around the country are leading by example and showing mainstream retailers the best practices in retail and customer engagement.




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