Best Practices

Giving Them More Of What They Want: The Upsell

Upselling is both an art and a science

Upselling is one of the most basic sales strategies to increase profit in your cannabis store. Upselling, as we’ve mentioned before, is both an art and a science, and involves understanding not only your customer’s needs but also the ability to identify products in your store that could be an upsell opportunity.

Upselling in a cannabis store is about increasing profit, but it’s also about expanding customers’ knowledge about what’s available in store for them, and why purchasing something will enhance their customer experience. This helps create a returning customer not just for the product they were going to buy, but for a whole new product line they might never have been aware of otherwise.

Here are a few aspects of the customer experience that represent an opportunity for an upsell:

Offer A Strong Loyalty Program

Recent data from Headset is showing that those who belong to a loyalty program have a 35% larger market basket size than those who do not belong to the store’s loyalty program. Average item per price for a non-loyalty program customer is $14.70, whereas, the average for loyalty program members is $18.41.

Loyalty program members are also purchasing more products within a transaction. Members also have more diverse baskets and have made the transition from just flower to more products like vaporizers, concentrates, edibles, tinctures, topicals, and capsules.

The key to building a loyalty program isn’t to entice them with a one-time discount for joining. According to Headset, 40% of customers who sign up for a loyalty program won’t come back. They’re more attracted to the one-time deal or the sign-up bonus that your loyalty program offers.

Offer a loyalty program where your customer can see the benefits in the long-term and beyond the first purchase. Give them a reason to come back for more by offering longer term discounts based on an LTV (life time value) of the consumer. This is valued against the cost of your purchase at wholesale vs your retail MSRP pricing and what you can offer while maintaining profitability.

Ancillary product offerings are also a good value. Offering a $1 blunt wrap or a pack of papers for every $45 8th they buy is a good value ROI (return on investment) when coupled with something like a buy 7 get your next 8th free loyalty program. It provides the customer an immediate prize while giving an enticing deal to keep them coming back for more in order to get the free 8th. The customer gets a good value, and you get a loyal customer. Win/Win

Concentrate On Concentrates

Concentrates are ruling the cannabis market. They are the second-most sold product in cannabis stores after flower. Vapor pens containing concentrates make up one-third of the California market.

Cannabis concentrates pack a big punch, and offer a quicker delivery of the effects than combusting flower. Help your customer stay ahead of market trends by showing them the power of purchasing concentrates.

If you typically see only flower in their purchase history through your POS system, ask them if they have tried concentrates yet. If not, they may be perfect candidates for vaping or dabbing concentrates. Show them the various concentrates available from oils, to waxes, to shatters, and your customer will quickly see that they’re only scratching the surface for ways to enjoy their cannabis.

Strain Choices

There are numerous strains available in cannabis, so why do customers limit themselves to always only getting one or two every time? The main reason is fear of the unknown. Without guidance, your customer is unlikely to stray far from their everyday cannabis path.

One effective way to upsell your customer is to introduce them to new strains that may fit what they’re looking for. If they choose a strain like Durban Poison, for example, ask them what they like about the strain, and use their answers to help guide your recommendation for appropriate strains they might not have considered yet on your menu. That way, if their staple isn’t in stock they don’t have to worry about getting a product they will enjoy because you’ll have given them viable replacements. 

Encourage the customer to give small tries of new products that match their tastes and experience preferences. Tying with the loyalty program concept above, offer a free joint maybe for every quarter purchased. This way you can help guide customers towards those new strains.

Purchase Quantity

With cannabis, like any product, the more you buy, the less you’ll pay. If your customer is accustomed to buying eights, and you’re seeing them every couple days within your store, help them realize the benefits of purchasing in bulk: a discount on what you’re paying per gram, and fewer trips for your customers.

Up The Accessories Ante

No one should have to endure smoking their cannabis from a resin-stuck pipe, and a refresher of cannabis accessories always serves as an automatic up for the cannabis experience.

Ask your customer what they use to smoke their cannabis. If they indicate that they would love to try a pipe or bong, but don’t like the harshness on their throats, perhaps sell them a bubbler piece. If they indicate an interest in smoking their cannabis but again don’t like the concept of “smoking” offer them a dry vaporizer, showing them the benefits of each model and price point.

You can also upsell from an upsell in ancillary products. If you notice a customer talking about how dirty their glass is at home, show them the glass cleaner you carry. Being on your toes when it comes to hearing what the customer needs, and being able to offer it, is paramount.

Sell Them Stuff They’ll Actually Use

Upselling isn’t just about loading up your customer’s basket with stuff they’re not going to use. It’s about truly taking time and opportunity to listen to the customer’s needs, and tailoring your sales approach to help them realize their needs in ways that will lead to more profit for your cannabis store.

Put the customer first, and it’ll always result in a better customer experience and a larger payout in the long run.

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