The Importance of Loyalty & Reward Programs

Marketing and advertising laws are very strict for businesses that sell marijuana products. Most dispensaries and retailers are limited to text and email marketing to engage their target demographic. While this can present a unique challenge, it also creates the opportunity to engage current customers.

Loyalty programs should attract new customers without causing you to miss opportunities with current ones. A successful loyalty program attracts and retains loyal customers without hurting your profits.

Reward programs can also help track which customers purchase the most and what products they buy. This information can provide insight into your audience and what your customers want.

Having a loyalty program in place could potentially save money, since it costs 5-10 times more to acquire new customers than to sell to existing ones.

The following are a few loyalty program options to consider implementing if you have not already:

Check-In Bonus

Tablet technology has made it easier to provide a check-in process. Creating custom check-in forms that ask for basic data like contact info, who or how they were referred, and their preferred method of communication are all great ways to enhance your retail marketing.

Customers are typically more willing to divulge information if they are provided something in return. Offering bonus points for checking in during each visit will not only increase customer loyalty but also help to analyze valuable customer data and improve operations.

Referral Rewards

When a consumer feels appreciated by a business, they are more likely to recommend that business to others. With a quality loyalty program, customers of your location can turn into advocates.

Word-of-mouth marketing is an immensely important tool for dispensaries, especially when typical methods of advertising aren’t allowed. Offering referral rewards is a great way to incentivize your customers to spread the word about your location.

This type of loyalty program can provide your customer with an allotment of points to be used or saved up for something specific, or it could be a significant amount of savings on their next purchase. Make sure you have something set up for new customers as well, like a first-timer gift bag or a few freebies.

Offering special promotions for referrals is an effective way to boost sales during slower periods. Removing any limits on the number of referrals your customers can make is valuable for all involved, as continued motivation for your customers to become advocates can grow your business exponentially.

Points Per Purchase

Many retailers opt for a points system where one point is earned per dollar spent, but any point-based system can help improve sales.

You should be able to utilize your POS system to keep track of points per purchase. A smart POS software will allow you to customize the spending amount and automatically assign points based on the purchase total.

Loyalty Cards

Punch cards are a popular loyalty program among retailers. For every visit or amount spent, customers get a punch in their card. Once full, they can be rewarded with a generous discount or even free product.

Not only does this method encourage customers to return frequently, it can also serve as a portable method of advertising. Ensure to include all your location’s info and social networks on the cards so that your customers can easily recommend your business to their friends.

Here are some examples of successful existing reward programs:

Dockside Cannabis

Dockside Cannabis, with multiple locations in the Seattle area, offers an in-store kiosk where customers enter their phone number and earn points upon each check-in. Points can be used towards discounts on specific products, or saved for a large percentage taken off a future purchase

Silver Stem Fine Cannabis

Silver Stem Fine Cannabis, with locations in Oregon and Colorado, offer a Primary Patient Program, a Loyalty Program, a discount to all new customers and patients, cash back on all purchases, and a bonus $100 whenever an existing customer refers a friend. Each location of this dispensary chain honors their loyalty programs.

Urban Greenhouse

Customers who sign up for the Bonus Buds Rewards Program at Phoenix’s Urban Greenhouse are able to earn points to be redeemed towards merchandise or marijuana products.

Bloom Room

San Francisco’s Bloom Room offers free massages, workshops to enhance your joint-rolling technique, and product sampling demos. They also serve the community with monthly volunteering opportunities.

Whether it is keeping your customers happy or a method of market research, the benefits of utilizing a customer loyalty program are endless.


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