Online Ordering Took on a Greater Role in Cannabis Retail This Year

Online ordering was already a vibrant part of the retail sector, but the coronavirus pandemic turned this digital option into a handy tool for customers.

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December 21, 2020

It came hand-in-hand with the rise of cannabis delivery: Online ordering was already a vibrant part of the retail sector, but the coronavirus pandemic turned this digital option into a handy tool for customers eager to streamline their transactions.

Dispensaries created in-house solutions or, in many cases, partnered with ecommerce platforms to facilitate pre-orders and curbside pickup. The sudden swing toward online ordering also gave retailers a chance to encourage customer to peruse the website and navigate toward educational offerings or branded merchandise—ancillary interactions that budtenders would otherwise tee up in the brick-and-mortar environment.

A cannabis dispensary’s website could be used to reflect and enhance the in-store experience

“If you are a dispensary that offers a very boutique, up-scale experience, your website should really match that, and the experience that they have within the website should really match that,” KindTyme co-founder Ryan Michael told us. “If you are more of a counter-culture, maybe you’re by a skate park and you feed toward that end of the industry, then you want to make sure that the website experience mimics that as well.”

The pivot also paid dividends for retailers interested in harnessing consumer data to grow their business. Jushi Holdings’ BEYOND/HELLO dispensaries began leaning into sales trends, which helped the company reevaluate its cultivation strategies and genetics selection.

“You’re looking at this digital environment today, and you’re facing all these silos of data,” Jushi’s chief creative director, Andreas Neumann, told us earlier this year. “If you connect all that, you can create products for the people and focus on what they want.”