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Top 8 Benefits of Self-Service Kiosks for Marijuana Dispensaries

By: David Ellerstein

Technology has completely changed how consumers and retail brands interact. From the Internet, to mobile, to connected devices, the impact of technology on the entire consumer-shopping journey cannot be understated. How consumers research, purchase and review products can now happen at the blink of an eye, without them ever leaving their couch.

But technology’s biggest impact on retail has been the monumental shift it has caused in the consumer/brand dynamic. For the first time in history, technology has put the control of that relationship completely in the hands of the consumer (sometimes literally in the case of mobile). The days of retailers being able to dictate their brand image as well as where, when and how the consumer experiences it are over. The consumer now directs all of those things, even if the brand doesn’t want them too.

This has forced retailers to rethink how they engage consumers. Today’s consumer expects a more personalized and customized shopping experience. They expect the retailer to know what they want, when they want it and how they want to get it. So retailers are now dedicating significant resources to better understanding how they can use technology to not only meet the needs of their consumers but also grow their business. Retailers that aren’t will be left behind, as consumers simply will go across the street to the competition.

In recent years, one of the biggest technology trends across retail has been the adoption of self-service kiosks. Major brands across various retail segments like grocery store chains, big box retailers, and fast food franchises have quickly adopted the technology for a number of reasons. Lets discuss just a few of the reasons and how they apply to marijuana retailers.

  • Increased Sales

Sales are the lifeblood of retail and retailers are always trying to figure out how they can sell one more item and get a customer to come back one more time. Research has shown that using self-service kiosks increases the average consumer purchase. In one example, a national quick service restaurant saw a 30% increase in the average order amount. They attributed the increase to the higher likelihood of a consumer adding additional items to their order when using a kiosk. Yes, I’ll take a Coke with my fries.

  • Reduced Operating Costs

The cash reconciliation process for marijuana dispensaries can take several hours and multiple employees, making it very costly and time-consuming. All transactions occurring through a kiosk are automatically accounted for, which eliminates that cost and frees employees to spend more time with customers that need assistance.

  • Speed and Convenience

No longer do customers have to stand in line and wait for a budtender to finish with another customer. They simply can go to the kiosk, select their product from the dispensary’s full menu, make their payment and quickly be on their way. This becomes especially important during peak hours when customers potentially can get frustrated by long wait times and leave without making a purchase.

  • Meet Consumer Demands

Retail is adopting self-service not only because of the benefits and cost saving it provides the retailer but also because consumers are requiring it. For the reasons we discussed earlier, customers are demanding control over their shopping experience. The one size fits all model doesn’t work anymore. It’s about giving your customers options so they can choose their experience given their preferences and need at the moment.

  • Transparency

As I mentioned, all the transactions that go through the kiosk are automatically tracked and accounted for, down to the penny. This not only eliminates the need for the cash reconciliation process but it also provides the transparency and record keeping required to operate in the most complex legal and regulatory environment in retail.

  • Security

Having all transactions in the dispensary occur through the kiosk creates a completely cashless environment. This eliminates the opportunity for internal theft and greatly reduces the threat of robbery. No longer do you need to worry about the safety of your employees and customers.

  • Be an Innovator

Retailers like Walgreens, Walmart and Amazon have all used their willingness to stay on the cutting edge of technology as a differentiator and advantage over the competition. You too can create a reputation in the market for your commitment to leverage technology to meet the needs of your consumers.

  • Increased Loyalty

For the majority of customers, especially repeat customers, they already know what they want before they get to your dispensary. Giving them the ability to place their order, pay and be on their way in minutes is invaluable to deepening your relationship with them and increasing their loyalty to your brand, which ultimately increases the lifetime value of that customer.

Yes, technology has put the control in the hands of the consumer. But retailers can also use it to increase profits, reduce costs and get to know customers better. Don’t be left behind.

David EllersteinDavid Ellerstein

David Ellerstein

Over his almost 30-year career, David Ellerstein has developed an impressive track record of taking an idea and turning it into a successful reality. As CEO at Jane, David is leading the charge to provide marijuana retailers with tools to compete in the most complex legal and regulatory environment in the history of retail.

Prior to joining Jane, David was a partner at 3Cinteractive, a leading mobile software company, where he was responsible for the successful deployment of the Text Collect™ product. Earlier in his career, David founded FairCall Corporation, managing its growth from pure concept to a high of over $30 million in annual revenue before its sale.

David also served as president of Integrated Communications Corporation (ICC) which specialized in niche communications services to the hospitality and pay phone industry, ICC managed telecom for over 3,000 hotels and over 500,000 pay phones, which made them MCI’s largest marketing agent with over $45 million in annual sales.

David can be reached at [email protected]

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