While marijuana laws are different across the country, the first legal medical marijuana sales began in Missouri in October 2020. It’s easy to think that simple demand is enough to sell cannabis products, but the truth is that merchandising matters in your brick-and-mortar dispensary just as much as it matters in a retail store like a clothing boutique or a small niche business.
Merchandising a dispensary is more than just placing the product on the floor and hoping it will sell. There are several questions you need to ask before creating a plan: What’s the dispensary’s branding story or marketing message? Who is your target audience? Do you carry any specialty products that your competitors don’t? What’s the aesthetic of the building?
Use the answers to these questions to flesh out your merchandising plan, and think about what makes for successful cannabis merchandising:
- Places product or product information in a highly visible area of the store
- Tells the product story visually through graphics and effective signage
- Provides plenty of promotional materials that emphasize product benefits
- Creates a positive in-store experience centered on the promoted product
Figure Out First Impressions
What do you think your dispensary says to customers when they first walk in? Is it an inviting, comfortable environment that helps them feel comfortable buying high-ticket inventory? Do they see order or chaos? Or do they walk in, take one look, and walk back out? Not all dispensaries are created equal, and today’s cannabis consumers are paying close attention to the first few minutes of their experience in your store.
Create Some Order
If your target audience is a demographic that may not be as experienced or educated about cannabis products, walking into a dispensary in and of itself can be an overwhelming experience. Keep your merchandising orderly and organized, group products together, and don’t overload shelves. Avoid overstimulating shoppers when it’s their first time visiting your store and they’ll be more comfortable and apt to ask questions and eventually become loyal customers.
Utilize Vertical Space
Embrace an open floor plan by using wall space to create shelving displays. Displaying products at different levels not only frees up space to maneuver on the sales floor, but also offers an exciting visual to keep the eye moving. Using the walls for merchandising encourages shoppers to travel deeper in the store, too — and not just hover around the displays closest to the door and then rush out when the purchase is complete.
Switch Things Around
Have some slow-moving products? Switch up where it’s displayed and merchandised on your dispensary floor. It helps regular customers discover new products even if they visit frequently and have become familiar with your inventory. Consider advertising these floorplan or merchandising changes on social media as a call to action for customers.
Just like Hallmark shifts its merchandising to fit whatever major holiday is happening, so too can cannabis dispensaries. Don’t go overboard, but definitely get seasonal with your signage and store aesthetic to help with time-sensitive sales or celebrations. Offer gift basket ideas, limited-edition products, or even “party packs” for big days like 4/20. Your dispensary can benefit just as much from holidays as non-cannabis retailers.
Stimulate the Senses
Cannabis use is highly sensory, and the buyer’s journey should match that. However, focus on the senses that matter when shopping for cannabis products. Use merchandising strategies that help customers smell, taste, or touch products — all of which help determine preference for cannabis customers. Use additional signage for a visual element, too.
All the merchandising plans, tips, and best practices won’t work if you’re using sub-par merchandising displays. Properly presenting your cannabis product is a smart way to boost your bottom line, and it helps to do that when you have display cases specifically designed for cannabis.
Jahabow offers a wide variety of high-quality, custom and stock cannabis display cases. Our dedicated Cannabis Display Cases are designed with cannabis industry-specific needs in mind and made in the U.S.A. from the highest quality materials. Fast lead times guarantee that our display cases can be in your dispensary in less time! Visit our Cannabis Display Case page for more information.