Cannabis Sativa blossom stored in a glass jar.

Cannabis retailers interested in long-term success must look for ways to improve customer satisfaction and increase loyalty. 

Loyalty programs and special offerings, along with a quality product and a friendly company culture, will ensure new customers become returning customers. Customer rewards and referral programs, in particular, are attractive marketing strategies for cannabis brands looking to break into this emerging market.

The cannabis industry is mainstream. After generations in the shadows, the industry is projected to light up profits to the tune of $90.4 billion by 2026. 

But, like any colossal business with high ambitions, brands in this newly minted industry must make significant marketing efforts to create new relationships while turning past purchasers into repeat customers. 

However, at the present moment, the cannabis industry does not have the freedom to utilize traditional advertising like other instantly recognizable industries. It’s true—even with more and more states legalizing cannabis every year, there’s still a harsh stigma attached to the plant. 

As a relatively new marketplace dogged by advertising constraints, the best way to succeed for cannabis dispensaries is to increase customer loyalty constantly. 

It’s a formula that eschews the difficulties surrounding traditional advertising and presents unique opportunities for customer retention in the cannabis industry. 

To help you get started, here are five ways cannabis brands can boost customer loyalty.

But first …

What Is Cannabis Customer Loyalty?

Customer loyalty is the same in the cannabis realm as it is in all other retail industry sectors. It’s all about developing an ongoing relationship between you and your customer. 

Motivated by emotion, your customer is encouraged to engage with you and repeatedly purchase from you rather than your competitors. Loyalty is the result of trust created through positive experiences at every point in the buyer’s journey

Here are some of the main characteristics of loyal cannabis customers:

  • Repeats purchases
  • Knows a lot about products
  • Interacts through a variety of channels
  • Sends others to you via word-of-mouth
  • Provides positive feedback

Cannabis customer loyalty sees individuals consciously choose your dispensary or purchase your products over others. 

It’s a decision they come to not on their own but with a gentle nudge from your strategy to boost loyalty. 

Now, onto the five steps! 

1. Loyalty Program

Reward repeat customers with special discounts, deals, and incentives when they frequent your shop. 

Loyalty programs typically involve having your customers sign up with a phone number or email address, which allows you to market to customers that already know you and have a connection to your products and services.

The better the discounts, deals, and incentives, the more likely your customers will come back for more and bring their friends. 

Successful dispensaries deploy various loyalty programs, all of which present a unique set of strategies for customer acquisition and retention. 

Examples of loyalty programs include:

  • Cash Back Points: With every dollar spent, a customer receives a set of points that they can redeem in-store when making their purchase.
  • Referral Programs: Rewards customers for spreading your company’s name among their network of friends.
  • Check-In Bonus: Customers earn bonuses every time they “check-in” at the dispensary, collecting rewards they can redeem at checkout. 
  • Loyalty Cards: The dispensary records a customer’s visit or purchase with a punch card or on the computer. Accruing loyalty points often leads to free merch or some other incentive.

2. Special Deals

Cannabis customer loyalty is built when you show an appreciation for your customer’s patronage. Nothing makes a customer feel more special than a deal on their favorite products. 

Offering specials boosts your customer’s experience, making their purchase a pleasant, memorable exchange. 

Create BOGOs (Buy-One-Get-One), daily deals, and conditional promotions. 

These and other strategies can draw in customers and increase sales figures. 

You can also offer free merchandise to customers who spend up to or over a certain dollar amount. This is not only a sweet deal for the customer, but it also gets your branding out on the street—it’s free advertising!

3. Quality Product

It all starts with cannabis. 

If your product doesn’t meet the standards of today’s cannabis consumers, your venture will flame out in a hurry. 

Growing and dispensing a quality cannabis product promotes trust and loyalty among your customer base. 

There are many other cannabis companies out there, with more cropping up every day—stay ahead of the pack with the best products in the area.

Ensure a top-notch product with quality control efforts. Know where your cannabis comes from and who cultivated it. Also, make sure you have comprehensive knowledge surrounding all aspects of cannabis. 

When you sound like an expert, your customers are more likely to trust you and your product. 

Here’s a pro tip: find out exactly what you’re growing and selling before you send your products to a third-party lab with our line of in-house cannabis testing solutions. Click here to learn more. 

4. Company Culture

Your company’s character can significantly influence customer loyalty. This is not only how you treat your customers and employees but also how you present your image. 

As stated earlier, there’s still a stigma attached to cannabis. 

The misconception that it’s an illegitimate business stops people from reaching into their wallets to purchase at your dispensary. 

The best way to confront this issue is to be open, honest, and knowledgeable. 

Every customer concern should be met with a serious answer by someone who knows the product inside and out. 

Get to know your customers and attempt to understand their problems on a personal level. Having a suitable bedside manner can go a long way in building trust and increasing loyalty. 

5. Marketing with Personalization

Customer loyalty in the cannabis industry is made possible through the human connections established between the dispensary and the consumer. 

Interacting with your customers in a way that feels personal and human is a time-honored way for brands to boost customer loyalty. This happens by going where your customers are and interacting with them in a way that feels natural.

The entire purchasing world exists on social media these days—and this includes customers who purchase cannabis from recreational and medicinal dispensaries. 

A social media presence is crucial in establishing a conversation with current customers and potential customers. It gets your product out there in a fun and interactive way while giving customers a window into your dispensary and the products you offer. 

Are you doing everything you can to boost customer loyalty? There’s a good chance you’re not. But we can help – get in touch today.