Posted on 06, September, 2022
Last Modified on 30, August, 2023
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As states pass legislation to permit the retail sale of cannabis for adult-use and medical purposes, dispensaries have evolved into their own specialized niche of physical merchandising. States that have legalized marijuana have seen an explosion in the number of cannabis stores sprouting up as soon as licenses are available, making it crucial for your dispensary to get off the ground with a customer experience and branding strategy that stands out from the competition. In retail cannabis, where traditional marketing opportunities are limited, it’s important to leverage in-store displays to highlight your brand and products and effectively generate customer loyalty. We’ve put together a list of our top 5 storefront fixtures to supercharge your dispensary and maximize your business’s throughput and ROI. From display cases to digital signage, each aspect of your dispensary’s layout will serve an essential purpose at every touchpoint in the customer experience and buying journey.
1. Display Cases and Retail Displays
One of the most important rules to follow in a dispensary layout is to display your inventory in a way that creates a journey for the customer. Your guests are passionate individuals who are excited about their purchase and desire a memorable in-store experience. Build anticipation for flagship products, create purpose at the counter, and leave them wanting more on their way out. Showcases are one of the most important components of this journey as they are the window through which many of your different types of products, including flower, paraphernalia, and vape accessories are browsed and viewed. The dispensary buying process can tend to feel very streamlined, so providing customers with an eye-catching option to look before they buy can encourage and excite them along the way.
Consider a few things when purchasing display cases for your dispensary, such as what you want them to display and how they will effectively showcase your products. Where will they be located in your store? What is your budget? How fast and reliable will the shipping process be? Keep in mind when displaying THC products, depending on your state laws, you are legally required to have a locking mechanism on them so make sure to do your due diligence and choose secure display cases.
We imagine your dispensary sells more than just cannabis products. Don’t forget about all the additional merchandise, apparel, and accessories that your customers will want to purchase as well. These items can be critical to customer loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing. Wall-mounted display shelves and other modern shelving units can save space and contribute to trending minimalist aesthetics. We recommend shopping collections of similar products to promote uniform colorways and styles. Another popular option, slatwall, is especially useful in allowing you to utilize an abundance of wall space while being able to customize with several types of accessories and add-ons that give the customer an all-in-one view.
2. Digital Signage
Digital signage is a must-have in order for your dispensary to grow and compete with others in saturated markets. Electronic displays and touchscreens are useful in helping you showcase your products, advertise promotions on the fly, and keep customers informed from every angle. Digital tools can also be used to streamline and accelerate your order process: Customers can use iPads supported by iPad stands and touch screen kiosks to browse the “endless aisle”, place orders, and minimize wait times.
These kiosks and displays allow you to display live menus, update inventory in real-time, and give you the power to update the screens from almost anywhere. Electronic menus allow you to rotate products, seasonal items, sale items, and featured products, or cycle through your shop's menu without needing multiple different displays, reducing costs on refreshing static signage. Digital signage solutions also allow you to keep your customers informed by employing engaging educational tools such as touchscreen digital kiosks that display interactive media while they wait in line. Consider using touch screen kiosks that give customers the ability to interact, click through, and learn more about your store and products, along with general 420 information.
3. High-Quality POS Counters & Accessories
The sales counter is a pinnacle point for all retail locations, especially dispensaries where many customers expect more than just a simple and quick transaction. Having a well-optimized checkout counter is essential for selling last-minute items and improving the customer experience. Checkout counters should be clearly identifiable, accessible, and stand out from other displays in your store. Use acrylic risers and cases to display eye-catching products and accessories close to the register. In your dispensary, this could be paraphernalia, lighters, rolling papers, and other essentials that will increase your average order value and margins. Or, use it to display top-shelf items like premium pre-rolls, and push for your budtenders to upsell to a higher-grade strain or concentrate. Pair checkout counters with high-quality countertop signage and displays to deliver an excellent customer experience at the counter as well. Tabletop accessories such as wire racks, dump bins, and rotating wire stands can hold and display novelty products such as greeting cards at eye level to the customer.
4. Crowd Control/Wayfinding
Whether you only have a few regulars inside or you have a line wrapped around the block, you need to be able to control the flow of customers entering and exiting your dispensary. Good line management prevents confusion, keeps wait times to a minimum and can even help you sell more product! Effectively position stanchions to lead customers through your line, past merchandising placements, and separate your lines for in-person and online orders. Use traffic cones or A-frame signage to direct customers through your busy parking lot or through your drive-thru if your location has one, and minimize the risk of traffic complaints or neighborhood ordinances. Wayfinding signage can help your customers find their way around your store and direct them to the right waiting room or checkout counter. Consider stanchion toppers for convenient signage that integrates with your stanchions and crowd control for can’t-miss wayfinding or branded messaging.
5. Marketing Tools/Branded Essentials
Often overlooked, it’s important to take the right branding and marketing measures to make sure you are utilizing your space to its fullest potential. After all, your own store will give you a captive audience to market your product. Educational content is so important in the cannabis industry and keeping customers well-informed is not only a selling point for your business but establishes loads of customer trust and brand equity. Tell your customers about your sourcing practices, sustainability initiatives, awards won, or any other accolades. Consider offering literature in your waiting room and other forms of education for your customers to brush up on. Interactive, touch screen kiosks are great for displaying information that can be updated, almost instantly, from anywhere. Highlight the effects of cannabis, how it can be used as medicine, and other educational content for customers to read while they wait or take with them to go with floor standing or wall mounted brochure and pamphlet holders. Consider custom-printed tablecloths for your counters and tables to give your location a one-up from the competition. Branded table covers can be found in a variety of colors, prints, and styles here on our website. These little touches will make customers recognize your brand and remember their experience at your retail location, forming a bond that will produce loyalty and repeat visits.
The Final Say!
Your dispensary storefront opens up a world of endless opportunities to grow your repeat customer base, support your brand and mission, and create an inviting atmosphere for your employees and guests. We recommend continuing to evolve your storefront as you observe the feedback loop and grow an understanding of what works for your brand and what your customers respond to. As the industry develops over time, and new display fixtures are further modernized, make sure to keep your finger on the pulse and stay up to date on the latest trends in retail. Throughout all of this, it is critical to have a trusted display vendor with decades of retail fixture experience, an in-stock selection, and quality products.