5 Dos and Don’ts for Dispensary Loyalty Programs

Hand hold loyalty card template with rounded corners.
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The cannabis retail market is getting crowded, making it more difficult and expensive to attract new customers every year in established markets. Implementing a customized dispensary loyalty program as an intentional element of your company’s marketing tactics can boost basket sizes, increase the frequency of customer visits, and offer targeted marketing opportunities that yield better outcomes. Cannabis loyalty software can integrate seamlessly with your customer relationship management (CRM) software to create data-backed rewards programs that incentive customers to choose your business every time they shop. When implemented correctly, loyalty programs can give your business a lucrative and long-term competitive edge. 

Use cannabis loyalty software

For all retail businesses, an optimized loyalty program requires integrated software solutions and the power to build sustainable relationships with customers. While the classic punch card may be an effective element of a rewards program for some retailers, it is likely insufficient on its own. Today’s digital economy presents both challenges and opportunities for targeted marketing campaigns. There are numerous helpful software solutions that enable dispensaries of all sizes to build and elevate their dispensary rewards programs to drive future purchases. 

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It is important to consider your company’s current CRM, point of sale (POS), and web platform when deciding which customer loyalty software is well-suited to your needs. Not only can these solutions automate and maintain loyalty programs, but they can also help increase customer retention, catalyze conversions, and support operations through data management. Specialty loyalty software platforms like springbig are designed specifically for the cannabis industry, offering full-featured loyalty marketing and digital communications solutions to support retailers in their customer relationship management. 

Other platforms like TokeIn, Sprout, and CliqueMJ are more concentrated in their scope, but still integrate with popular CRM software providers. TokeIn is a customer-facing app designed to help dispensaries communicate with customers with SMS campaigns, exclusive app-only deals, and digital stamp cards. Sprout helps cannabis companies increase revenue by engaging customers with multi-media messaging and text message mobile coupons. And CliqueMJ is an easy-to-use loyalty rewards and messaging tool that helps retailers grow sales. 

Be consistent and clear 

The best dispensary loyalty programs are intuitive and honest. The marketing restrictions endured by the cannabis industry can feel like an insurmountable barrier, but voluntary information is easy to obtain when customers feel comfortable and valued. Opting in to a loyalty program should always be simple, requiring an email address or phone number. Offering customers a clear and enticing deal, like a free pre-roll for signing up, can encourage the exchange of information. If you decide to use loyalty points for purchases, make sure the points system is very easy to understand, unlike your airline miles. For example, one point may equal one dollar for a program member to spend on their next dispensary visit or delivery. Once the customer takes advantage of their offer, CRM systems can automatically record their specific purchases, track any credit they earned, and present them with tailored offers in the future. 

Don’t be stingy 

The best customers in every industry are repeat customers. Companies with reliable loyalty programs grow revenue 2.5 times faster than their competition that’s struggling to find new leads. Offering big discounts to loyalty members may be nerve-racking, especially for small dispensaries on a tight marketing budget, but It is a classic adage of business management that the top 20% of customers account for 80% of business revenue. Proportionately rewarding your VIP customers will help your business optimize its ROI. When it comes to establishing new high-value customers in a competitive market, the better deal will often win over the undecided cannabis consumer. A loyalty program that rewards all customers with spending-based tiers can be an effective way to develop high-value customers who feel motivated to earn points and reach the next echelon of rewards.

Personalize your loyalty program 

The most successful loyalty programs are dynamic and responsive to customer behaviors. Cannabis loyalty programs based on customer data produce bigger ROI and perform better over the long-term. The cannabis industry is all about community, and businesses with the ability to give their customer base personalized attention are more likely to see positive results. In an increasingly competitive market, first-time shoppers will never become repeat customers if a brand’s marketing content is not targeted and relevant. Integrating your loyalty software with your CRM system allows your business to nurture leads, segment your audience, and offer targeted deals at optimal moments in the customer journey. Knowing what individual customers like and the conditions under which they feel inclined to spend their money can help your business maximize its potential.

In today’s digital cannabis market, brand loyalty is largely formed through personalized customer interactions. Integrated loyalty programs help businesses reward customers with individualized offers based on their spending history and preferences. With comprehensive automated data analysis, your business can identify where it is falling short and leverage its customer loyalty program to improve specific performance categories. Combining data streams to paint an accurate picture of a customer’s individual behaviors and segmenting audiences into product categories also eliminates the risk of “spamming” potential customers with unwanted offers. Integrated loyalty programs can gauge which leads need strong incentives to share their information, when to reward loyal customers for the biggest ROI, and the potential for successful referral programs in high-value niche communities. 

Monitor your KPIs

The best loyalty programs may need CRM integrations for both strategic marketing and critical analysis. While visits-based loyalty programs are a historical standard, they don’t make much sense in the contemporary cannabis market. Successful loyalty programs are designed to generate more spending per visit, which can be a daunting task in today’s digital economy. Cannabis retailers must navigate perpetually dynamic customer spending behavior and the constant influx of new products. 

Data-driven marketing content should always be employed alongside data-driven evaluation. Identifying the ways in which individual customers may respond to loyalty program offers is an integral part of successful retail, but it is not a fail-safe solution. Regularly analyzing your team’s KPIs in relation to the goals you set for your loyalty program ensures the ultimate success of your marketing strategies. CRM software providers like Salesforce, Netsuite, HubSpot and Flowhub can be integrated with programs like springbig, TokeIn, and other business software platforms to centralize your customer data and produce comprehensive, easy-to-understand reports with actionable insights. As long as your business has the ability to quickly analyze the performance of new rewards programs and targeted offers, you can comfortably pilot new loyalty benefits and pivot strategies or tactics when necessary.

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