Marijuana Consumers Are Dealing With Information Overload, Experts At Benzinga Cannabis Conference Discuss Improving Retail Experience

Zinger Key Points
  • Pricing, assortment and promo strategy are among the most important value points in cannabis, C3 Industries’ Ankur Rungta said at CCC. 
  • ‘It's funny tech is such a behind-the-scenes thing, right,’ Flowhub’s Kyle Sherman stressed the importance of technology. 

"That menu is certainly critical," John Hartmann  CEO of Ascend Wellness Holdings AAWH said to those gathered at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Florida on April 16-17 in a conversation about how to best attract retail consumers. 

"They’re looking for variety in the products," he continued."And so whether that’s the strength of the THC or the terpene component, or whether it’s a different form factor. I think having a really well-balanced menu that meets the needs of a variety of customers is something we’re focused on." 

Hartmann joined three other industry experts – Kyle Sherman, founder & CEO of Flowhub, Jon Lowen, co-CEO of Surfside Solutions Inc. and Ankur Rungta, co-founder and CEO of C3 Industries. The panel, "Is your retail experience what consumers are really looking for?" was moderated by Rachel Wright managing partner at 420 CPA and host of Highly Capitalized Network News Highly Capitalized. 

Value Points, Tech & Consistency 

The head of a vertically integrated cannabis company with a national presence, Rungta, highlighted that nowadays "consumers are very, very value-focused," and value points include not only the right high-quality products, but also "pricing, assortment, and promo strategy." He added it is important to make the offering exciting for all different types of consumers.

For Sherman, a CEO of the cannabis retail and payments platform for dispensaries nationwide, the tech is crucial. "It’s funny tech is such a behind-the-scenes thing, right?" he asked. "It’s pretty easy to forget that." 

Sherman stressed that tech is really important, all the way from the first moment that a consumer walks into a store and they get their ID scanned. He was touring around the country and found out that in some dispensaries it takes 10 minutes to check in, which could make some customers wonder why they would go back there. Next to the check-in process is the experience of interacting with the budtender, which is also a point where tech can help, as it can provide the budtender with a lot of information on the customer's purchasing habits. 

Wright pointed out that consistency is also another important detail to keep the customers in addition to the efficiency of time. Customers like to have consistent experiences in the same stores at different locations. 

See Also: Banking-Fit Means Your Cannabis Business Is At The ‘Pinnacle Of Fitness,’ Experts Explain At Benzinga Conference

Focusing On The Lion's Share Of Revenue

Lowen, who is at the helm of a marijuana-focused provider of marketing and data solutions, followed up by saying it is important to use technology for communication. If these customers love flower or pre-rolls, when they walk in they should see flower and pre-rolls.

"We want those product listings to show up first," Lowen said. "We want those products that they’re the most interested in based on maybe previous exposure to different purchases or interests that they’ve shown up from a data perspective so that we can create this continuous flow of communication and content." 

Rungta followed up by saying that "every store has its own unique sort of customer base and demographics and purchasing habits," and that it is really hard to generalize even across a single state, let alone across a whole business. His business is seeing 80% of sales coming from 20% of its customers, and those customers are buying certain products like flower.

It is important to focus on the lion's share of the revenue, Rungta said, adding "The more you try to generalize in this space, the more you're going to struggle from a performance standpoint."

Information Overload 

Hartmann explained that there are three types of customers – very experienced who know what they want, the ones who enjoy the community of the dispensary and the third group is the newest, comprised of people who want to learn. Those new ones, however, could end up representing 80% of your sales, "but they need some education sometimes hand-holding." 

Rungta cautioned that a lot of customers are dealing with “information overload," especially very competitive markets, and are getting bombarded with advertisements. The businesses should try to declutter that information to cut through the noise. 

Harmann added about another important factor – getting customer feedback, concluding "it's all about the customer."

Now read: The Court Case That Could Change The Cannabis Industry Forever And How It Affects Rescheduling

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Posted In: CannabisNewsExclusivesAnkur RungtaBenzinga Cannabis Capital ConferenceCCCJohn HartmannJon LowenKyle ShermanRachel Wright
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The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is coming to Florida

The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is returning to Florida, in a new venue in Hollywood, on April 16 and 17, 2024. The two-day event at The Diplomat Beach Resort will be a chance for entrepreneurs, both large and small, to network, learn and grow. Renowned for its trendsetting abilities and influence on the future of cannabis, mark your calendars – this conference is the go-to event of the year for the cannabis world.

Get your tickets now on – Prices will increase very soon!