Cannabusiness technology has grown and evolved in many exciting ways throughout the lifespan of this young industry. New developments in cannabis POS systems and integrated digital tools have opened up greater access to cannabis products than ever before.
Michael Caruso, Director of Implementation at Dutchie, has been in the industry for 13 years. In that time, he’s seen an increasing number of dispensary operators embrace these new technologies. But, in his experience, these developments can also be overwhelming to navigate, especially for those in newly emerged markets.
Read on to learn more about cannabis POS systems and integrated digital tools, as well as how to choose the right technology for your dispensary.
Benefits of Cannabis POS Systems & Other Digital Tools
With so much technological growth — especially in the area of cannabis POS systems — there are a myriad of options for dispensary operators to choose from, each with its own advantages.
“Everybody’s trying to corner the market on what they understand to be the biggest pain points,” Caruso explains. “Every system has a little bit more to be desired. And everyone’s trying their best to listen to their customers and to the ultimate end users and figure out what works best and what they need to build.”
While every dispensary has unique technological needs, adopting the right automations and digital integrations affords a number of benefits across the board, improving both internal operations and customer service.
On the dispensary side, Caruso identifies four key characteristics of effective cannabis POS systems and other digital tools:
- Stability. You need a stable system with guaranteed uptime.
- Reliability. The system must be reliable, both in terms of stability and from a data perspective. In other words, it must help you accurately view and understand your business metrics so you can measure and improve performance.
- Ease of use. The system must also be easy to navigate. That way, transactions run smoothly and automatically, and you can focus on meeting customers’ needs.
- Compliance. Protecting your license is essential. A system like Dutchie — which allows two-way integrations for reporting sales in real time — makes it easier to stay on top of compliance than systems through which you can only upload reports at the end of the day.
With hundreds or even thousands of customers to serve each day, shaving every possible second off of transaction times isn’t just helpful — it’s essential. The more stable and reliable your cannabis POS system is, and the easier it is to use, the more time it will save you and your customers.
Customer Service & Retention
In terms of the customer experience, Caruso says effective digital tools provide, first and foremost, visibility. He adds, “These systems have really helped normalize and maintain better access to cannabis, even though it is such a highly regulated product.”
In the past, finding a local dispensary wasn’t easy, because cannabusinesses couldn’t appear in online business directories. Now, however, tools like Dutchie Ecommerce have built-in search engine optimization features, allowing customers to locate nearby dispensaries and view their menus with a simple Google search.
Medical patients who are unable to visit a dispensary themselves now have the ability to shop for the products they need from the comfort of their own homes. And integrations with AI systems allow many dispensaries to analyze customer behavior, conduct proactive outreach, and ensure customers have exactly what they need.
The Building Blocks of Dispensary Technology
When choosing your cannabis POS system and other digital tools, Caruso advises that you first find out what systems are already working for other operators and determine what, exactly, you need the technology to accomplish for your dispensary.
Your POS system, according to Caruso, is “your nervous system. That’s what you need so you can transact and communicate with your state traceability system.”
You’ll also need an HR payroll system, which Dutchie offers through integration with their partner KayaPush. That integration is essential, Caruso explains, because it allows operators to compare sales to labor costs in real time and identify hours worked that can qualify for tax write-offs.
Once you have those essential building blocks, consider what else you want your digital tools to accomplish. Do you want to establish an online presence? How about an online menu that customers can order from and have those orders filled in-store? Or perhaps a more robust loyalty rewards program and email outreach?
The possibilities are nearly endless, so you’ll want to choose a cannabis POS system that integrates well with the other systems and tools you need to accomplish those other technological goals.
Increasing Access for All
The use of cannabis POS systems and other digital tools in the cannabis industry has come a long way in just a few years, bringing with it increased access to cannabis products as well as increased efficiency and stability for cannabusinesses.
As technology continues to develop in exciting ways, make sure you’re working with people and companies like Dutchie who are committed to evolving with it, listening to customers’ needs, and fighting for even greater access and acceptance for cannabis across the board.
To stay up-to-date on the latest technology trends and innovations for cannabusinesses, connect with Higher Yields Consulting on LinkedIn and Facebook.