Optimizing Online Menus to Guide Product Discovery

Image: Naumova Marina / Shutterstock.com

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about many changes in our daily lives. While it remains to be seen which of these will persist in a post-pandemic society, the shift to online shopping likely is here to stay. And when it comes to the online shopping experience, few things are more important than presenting customers with a well-designed, easy-to-use menu.

Learn what Liz Connors, director of analytics at Headset, and Tate Behning, vice president of marketing at Terrapin had to say about successful menu planning and implementation in this excerpt from mg’s 2021 Cannabis Retail Strategies.

Liz Connors, director of analytics, Headset

Headset’s Connors provided the following tips to guide online shoppers and drive product discovery:

  • Make sure the website is easy to find and incorporates an easy-to-find menu.
  • Consider ways to categorize products by effect within larger categories. For example, within the edibles category, a retailer might include sections or tags for “social,” “calm,” and “unwind.”
  • Add metadata to menus, including short descriptions of products to help customers without requiring budtender input.

Retailers’ online menus should be core to their retail strategy, not an afterthought. For example, Terrapin put significant resources into improving its virtual menus as customers shifted to online pre-ordering.

“We’ve viewed this as an opportunity to further educate our customers,” Behning said. “Just like Amazon places a high priority on product pictures and descriptions, we’ve worked much harder to ensure our data is accurate, the pictures are attractive, and the descriptions are thorough so customers understand what they are buying.”

Tate Behning, VP of marketing, Terrapin

The Terrapin menu sticks with familiar “sativa,” “indica,” and “hybrid” labels across product categories; however, verified customer reviews include visual tags for activities and feelings associated with specific products, along with customers’ detailed product reviews.

Terrapin also added featured products to the top row of its online menu and simplified deals such as percent discounts, understanding e-commerce requires different strategies from in-store promotions.



  1. […] Online menus create a completely different set of challenges. Depending on the product category and retailer, online photos may show only the product—not the jars, boxes, tins, or pouches containing it. However, even if the online menu shows only a lone pre-roll or tidy jar of rosin on a white background, the brand name is right there beside it influencing customer purchasing decisions. […]