08 Aug We All Agree, Education is Key
While this industry is clearing legalization hurdles, there is still a lot of work to be done in how cannabis use is viewed and accepted. Even in states where it is legal, the damaging stigma and general misunderstanding about the safety, effects and benefits of cannabis use both continue to persist.
If we want to change how people view cannabis, it starts with trustworthy cannabis education.
In a recent blog post, Rachel Garland from Green Flower stated, “If we want to normalize cannabis, we have to start with education. An informed public who is given credible, reliable, and evidence-backed information isn’t as easily persuaded by propaganda. We can each play an active role in bringing this message into the mainstream by making credible cannabis education accessible.”
She went on to add that, “Cannabis is a complex and multidimensional medicine. Learning how to maximize the benefits of it can be life-changing. And yet with such a diverse range of therapeutic uses, it can be overwhelming knowing where to begin.”
Educating the Cannabis Consumer
The target market for cannabis is shifting. As more and more states are legalizing recreational cannabis, dispensary customer demographics are changing — meaning you have people coming in with different experience levels expecting a variety results.
Point Seven Group, a cannabis consulting firm, recently stated, “It’s critical for each dispensary to expand their educational offering so information is geared toward both first-time and familiar consumers.” While it is obvious that new, inexperienced users are in need of education, in this continually evolving market, there is a lot of information experienced consumers need access to as well.
They went on to say, “Education inspires confidence in your customers, making them feel good about their decision to shop with you.“
Education Improves the Experience
Retail has known, and therefore continued to put an increasing focus on, the importance of customer experience. For the cannabis industry, creating a memorable experience starts with providing credible information and answers to consumer questions. This ensures that they are confident in their purchases and share about their positive experience with others.
Marijuana Retail Report spoke about the necessity of establishing trust with the consumer by helping navigate what can be a very unfamiliar journey. “Basic business and the ability to grow your company lies in the ability to build trust with your potential client, and have them see the value that they play in your life. Simply, pay attention to your customer, whatever level they are in their cannabis journey, and be available to them. Cannabis can be a new, and intimidating journey, and having a helpful and friendly guide through the cannabis experience is essential for someone to want to engage with a marijuana retail store.”
Technology & Education Go Hand In Hand
According to data collected by Brightfield Group from over 1,200 medical marijuana patients throughout California in 2016, Millennials make up approximately half of current cannabis patients. A whopping 39% of them use marijuana daily, spending nearly $100 per week on cannabis products. Their reputation for being resourceful, as well as tech savvy, means introducing technology into your dispensary can transform the in-store experience by appealing to these consumers in a meaningful way.
“In the competitive cannabis industry, customer experience is key for growth and survival,” Aleah Radovich from Baker recently said. She went on to say that customer experience can be improved through the use of interactive kiosks which provide a dispensary’s diverse customer base with the knowledge they are looking for.
“Kiosks provide customers with detailed and helpful product information, without requiring the assistance of a store team member. Because they can be self-service information centers, you’ll have fewer customers clogging up lines at the registers or taking up budtender’s time with questions that they can answer themselves. Yet, at the same time, if there is information they can’t find themselves, dispensary staff can help them.”
Cova went on to address the aspect of intimidated customers, or those who feel more comfortable when there is a greater sense of privacy, but are still in search of answers. “Digital touchscreen menus also make your customers feel more comfortable, particularly if you are a medical dispensary. Your patients can discreetly find information about their condition and how medical cannabis can alleviate their symptoms, as well as learn the products and strains best suited to their particular needs.”
When it comes to what today’s consumer expect, Marijuana Retail Report recently said, “Because customers aren’t separating their online and offline retail experiences, they expect to have a connected experience wherever they shop.” However, they warn that simply implementing a digital strategy may not mean an automatic win and the content developed is essential. “Content must address customer concerns and questions, which means that content must be developed with the customer in mind.”
At seed, we believe that through providing an engaging education, we can turn once inexperienced users into informed cannabis advocates. It is the first step in ultimately shaping the way people view cannabis as well as growing to understand and adopt its use.
Learn more about how our in-dispensary educational software platform provides a cannabis education and provides sales lift by scheduling a demo today.