Best Practices

Dispensary Tips: Floor Space Design For The Ultimate Customer Experience

How you lay out your displays and merchandise can make or break your business

In any retail store, how you lay out your displays and merchandise can be the difference between a customer passing over products or putting them in their shopping baskets.

How you design your store flow is crucial to the customer experience and ensuring that you’re creating an engaging space that customers want to be in as they experience the benefits of legal cannabis retail.

Starting up a new retail location, or interested in giving your store’s floor space a bit of a refresher? Use some of these helpful tips to bring your customers to your products to increase the chance of a purchase:


Choose the Format

In any retail store, there are many different ways to plan a layout, and you should take time to logically do this before actually moving in (or around) furniture and products. Your merchandising and display floor plan does depend on your general space’s floor plan and space you have available, but generally, some basic layouts include:


Grid Floor Plan

This is basically what you’d see in a grocery store or a store with many products. The displays are more like aisles that your customer will have to walk up and down;

Loop Floor Plan
This display method will have your customers entering your store at one point (usually at the right of a store, as we are akin to entering in the right due to the way we drive), and essentially looping around your displays to the exit (or the cash register);

Free Flow Floor Plan
This plan is a bit less logical and formal and allows for maximum creativity in how items are displayed. There are no real “rules” but must be set up in a way that’s visually pleasing and doesn’t have your customers stepping over things to look around

How many products you want to display, how much space you have available, and how you ultimately want your customer to engage with your store will all be crucial factors in which format or floor plan you choose.


Consider Customer Behaviors and Needs

Retail experts talk about the need for customers to have sufficient personal space when shopping, especially when it’s something that is meaningful to them and they want to take time to understand what they’re buying.

Experts suggest a “decompression zone” where customers can get away from the buzz and bustle of your store and have a moment to collect their thoughts, consider their purchases, and not be bombarded by other customers or sales representatives.

Customers who are purchasing cannabis and are interested to read labels on products will require a lot of light, so you’ll want to include sufficient lighting around your whole store and in decompression areas, as well as table space so that your customers can review their products before they buy.


Customer Privacy and Consultation Areas

Many cannabis users who are seeking the medicinal benefits of cannabis will want to have the privilege of talking to a budtender in private, similar to how they would at a pharmacy. Your floor plan should include a patient or customer consultation area where customers can privately and comfortably share their needs with dispensary staff.

Don’t have your products and aisles so packed that in order to talk about important physical and mental needs, you need to cram into a corner and whisper under your breath. Allow space, comfort, and privacy so that all users feel comfortable asking their most critical questions about cannabis use.


Cannabis Education Spaces

One of the responsibilities of cannabis retailers is to provide adequate cannabis education within your site, and you can enhance this approach by adding a cannabis education space right into your floor plan.

Have a brochure stand with branded information or the information of the brands you sell. Use display media as a way to reach more audiences with interactive learning technologies. Use iPads or other learning materials to have cannabis education at the fingertips of curious customers.


Be Creative, Consistent, and Clean

Simply, no one enjoys a cluttered store, and your floor plan is just as important as what you carry, and the way you create your product displays. Cannabis retail is an incredibly important and competitive retail industry, and dispensaries owe it to their customers to create layouts that are inviting to the eye, friendly, and streamlined.

Whatever floor plan you choose, be consistent in the way you weave that through your store, to increase and ensure customer flow and logic. Most of all, be creative, and do your best to stand out in your floor plan, displays and merchandising, and your overall dispensary interior design.


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