Budtender Best Practices

The Art Of Upselling In Your Cannabis Dispensary

Upselling is an artform you must master in this industry

It’s always more profitable and cost-effective to work to retain existing customers rather than potential customers. When you have existing customers, you have a base of trust that you can build off for profit, while employing strategies, like upselling, to increase the amount of each transaction.

Upselling in any sales context is an art, and a science, employed by the most brilliant retail outlets including cannabis dispensaries.

We’re going to take a page from a few different proverbial books in the retail space to present three big ways you can bring the art of upselling into your cannabis store:


Be thoughtful in pricing strategies

Using price data that can help you assess what people are willing to spend based on their demographics, income levels, cannabis needs, and geographic location will help your cannabis dispensary thoughtfully price products. While business owners want to ensure a high-profit margin, offering creative discounts and bundling deals on various products may entice a product towards purchasing something they’ve had their eye on for a while with a big price tag.

As we often say, “think like an information scientist”, but also put yourself in the shoes of your customer to consider what pricing structures, deals, discounts, and product bundles may entice a customer to make a larger purchase.  


“Customers similar to you also purchased…”

Think about when you shop on Amazon. You rarely just go on and purchase exactly and only what you went on for because of the helpful suggestions on what to purchase based on consumer behaviors and your own consumer record.

This strategy can be employed within your cannabis retail strategy both online and in-store. We often talk about building rapport and understanding your customer and the demographics they represent so to thoughtfully suggest purchases. When you know through your store data and your personal knowledge of people’s customer experiences, pointed suggestions for cannabis products can place products in people’s baskets.

Similarly, online strategies that use data and algorithms to suggest purchases based on other customer orders and people’s own purchase history will bring the science along with the art of customer upselling.


Appeal to last-minute purchase desires

Stores like Old Navy, Bath & Body Works, and Whole Foods use their checkouts as opportunities to sway customers into last-minute purchases.

While you don’t want to present stuff that people clearly don’t need, be thoughtful about what products would suit your check-out displays that make sense with everyone’s cannabis experience. Storage containers, one-hitters, small recipe books, grinders, or other tasteful accessories can be placed within eyesight to get the attention of the cannabis consumer to add an extra $10 or $20 to their purchase at the counter.


Upsell over cross-sell

While many of the strategies represent cross-selling, suggesting other products or accessories that may meet the needs of your customer, upselling is a more profitable strategy.

Cross-selling helps you add purchases to an order, but upselling involves steering your customer towards more expensive products that will eventually increase their overall order value.

When you know someone appreciates good products, help them see the premium products that the most discerning of cannabis connoisseurs are drawn to. While they may have a heftier price tag, they represent a higher class of cannabis experience that many want to get in on.


Keep them wanting to come back

With customer retention being one of the most effective marketing strategies, a successful upsell will be made more impactful for both the store and the customer if continual loyalty is built.

Where possible, entice them to come back to your store by signing them up to your Loyalty Program, or providing them awards for the purchases they make. The more purchases they make, the more they want to come back to your store.

Be creative with your Loyalty and Rewards programs, so that your customer retention strategy sticks out from other brands.


The Art and Science of Upselling

When developing your upselling strategy within your cannabis store, look to other cannabis retailers outside the cannabis industry to gain insights into what’s working. Always keep tuned to your customer and market data to be sure that you are putting the most profitable products on the radar of your customer while keeping their needs in mind.

Upselling is truly both an art and a science because it involves affecting a bottom line while affecting the cannabis consumption and customer experience of real people. Be thoughtful and considerate of the way you upsell and train your budtenders in a way that ensures upselling provides mutual benefit for both the store and customer.


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