• Adam Benko

3 Cannatech Solutions to Boost Efficiency During 4/20

We’re officially in the countdown to 4/20 and it’s not too late to make sure that all of your cannatech systems and processes are locked in. The last thing you want on one of the busiest cannabis sales days of the year is for your point-of-sale system to crash or for your staff to be so overwhelmed that discrepancies slip through the cracks.

Not to mention, being able to boost your operational efficiency will lead to more sales and happier (and hopefully repeat) customers.

That’s why we’re covering the top three cannabis technologies you need to invest in right now to make sure you have a successful 4/20 for not only your business, but also your customers.

Top 3 cannatech solutions to rock 4/20

While there are many different cannatech solutions that can boost your operational efficiency, we looked at the top three solutions that will be the most helpful in driving sales for your dispensary on 4/20.

  1. Point-of-sale

  2. Menu automation

  3. Digital payments

Let’s dive a bit deeper into each of these technologies.

A POS catered to your market & business

Your point-of-sale system is likely the backbone of your retail operation and you’ll be relying on it heavily on a busy holiday 4/20. And since it’s likely that you’ll see one of your biggest revenue days of the quarter or year in the week leading up to 4/20, it’s worthwhile to ensure that whichever POS system you have in place can handle the influx of transactions. It’s also important that all staff are properly trained on how to use the system.

In fact, data showed that 2019 sales from 4/20 were up 128% around the country, compared to the four previous Saturdays. Total sales increased by 7% and there was a 9% increase in the total number of in-store customers and transactions made on 4/20 compared to 2018 data.

And thanks to the pandemic, people may be more likely to spend money on cannabis. Last year, Americans bought $90 million worth of cannabis on 4/20, which is three times the normal sales figures.

Of course, compliance is a huge piece of your operation and the right POS can help ensure that you are properly reporting sales and inventory data to your state’s track and trace system, whether that’s Metrc or another. You also want to make sure your POS provider has mechanisms in place to track inventory discrepancies.

A day like 4/20 can mean more mistakes and lack of oversight because it’s quite literally chaos. The last thing you want is to have to manually go back in and find discrepancies or worse, put your dispensary at risk of potential audits.

If your POS isn’t reliable, then your risk of inaccurate sales data, missing product and inaccurate inventory counts sky rockets. And if you’re curious as to why opting for a cannabis-specific POS platform is the best decision you can make for your cannabis business, give this article a read.

Another thing to consider with your POS system for 4/20 is how well it integrates with your online menus and ordering platform. The goal of a solid POS system is to reduce manual inputs and increase consistency, accuracy and sales. To help streamline your operation, you want to make sure your online orders automatically populate in your POS to prevent double data entry or potentially missing orders. This can help keep foot traffic flowing and create a positive customer experience.

One way to do this is to set up separate workflows for in-store purchases vs. in-store pickups to help maximize customer throughput and reduce confusion.

The POS hardware you use also matters. During busier times, you need to keep your customers moving through the sales floor and at check out. For example, mobile card scanners allow for faster ID swiping and can speed up the checkout process compared to manual data entry. Tablets or iPads allow your budtenders to be more mobile and maximize customer flow. Making sure you have the right hardware (and it integrates with your POS) can make or break a successful 4/20.

A menu automation solution to reach more people

A dispensary will average around 600-700 SKUs in their inventory at any given time. That’s a lot of inventory to stay on top of during a busy holiday like 4/20. And chances are you don’t just have your online store menu in one place. It may be listed on multiple marketplaces like I Heart Jane, Dutchie, Weedmaps, Potguide and Leafly, among others.

If at any point your inventory runs out during a mad rush, what’s your plan to update it fast and efficiently? If you don’t have one, now’s the time to start thinking about it. Because the last thing you want is for customers to spend time searching for their favorite products only to learn that they’re out of stock. That creates a negative customer experience and could even hurt your reputation.

Data shows that dispensaries that have up-to-date listings see 50% more in organic traffic and those with their full catalogue listed see an increase of 30% in average customer order value.

This process becomes even more convoluted when you add in more dispensary locations. If you’re a multi-state operator with 20+ locations, you need a solution that can deliver automation and accuracy in your menus and for a healthy budget.

Of course there’s no way you can manually update products across all of your online menu platforms, especially given the fact that between 5-10% of a dispensary’s total inventory is constantly changing. That’s a full-time job!

Now you may be tempted to rely solely on your POS system to sync your online menus across various platforms, however, according to cannabis menu management tool Menu Monster, POS platforms are only 60-70% accurate when it comes to updating inventory in real time.

That’s why having a third-party partner that can easily and automatically update all of your menus in real-time is such an important part of your overall cannatech stack. This ensures that your product listings are perfect across the board so your customers find exactly what they’re looking for. This also effectively eliminates your overhead with menu management and can drive your revenue and optimize your online performance.

For an average dispensary, having accurate and automated online menus can lead to a 25% increase in total sales.

A convenient digital payment solution

Another key part of driving operational efficiency during a chaotic day like 4/20 is to streamline payments to 1. make it easier on the customer 2. reduce the risk of manual error and 3. drive more revenue.

We all know that cannabis has largely been a cash-only industry thanks to federal prohibition and state-by-state regulations, but the tides have definitely turned now.

It’s much easier to adopt new digital banking and payments solutions that can not only help you organize your business finances, but also provide a more pleasant customer experience.

You can definitely anticipate long lines, longer wait times and the need to move people faster through your store layout and check-out lines on a day like 4/20. That’s why it’s a good idea to think ahead and make sure you have the best tools and plan in place to reduce the risk for error or poor interactions.

Your budtenders may get incredibly overwhelmed and human error is only natural. You can take the burden and pressure off them when it comes to money management by offering card payments.

In fact, switching to digital payments can also enable your staff to upsell without slowing down the in-store experience. And the cost for card reader hardware is usually pretty nominal. While in-store ATMS may seem convenient, it’s actually just the opposite and will absolutely slow down your checkout process if each customer has to spend a few minutes withdrawing cash from an on-site ATM. Not to mention, it could get pretty chaotic on the sales floor.

Research shows that paying with a card over cash can raise your ticket prices. This is because people tend to spend more when they don’t have to worry about carrying the right amount of cash or going through the hassle of withdrawing money from an ATM.

Connect with the right cannatech partners for 4/20

Bottom line: 4/20 and the week leading up to this “Black Friday” of cannabis can be incredibly profitable for your business.

And if you want to have a successful 4/20, it’s worthwhile to set up the proper cannatech solutions and processes in place while you still have time. But we also know that finding the right canntech partner can be a huge headache and can eat into your budget and bandwidth.

If you have questions about which POS platform, menu automation solution or digital banking partner is the right one for your business, we’ve got you covered. Our free cannatech consulting service can help point you in the right direction when it comes to identifying the best tech partners to make your 4/20 a raging success this year.

We’ll listen to your business needs and make personalized and immediate recommendations that could cut down your vendor search by half and provide clearer direction to your business.

Request a free consultation and MJstack will help pair you with the right cannatech vendors!

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