How much thought and effort have you put into your dispensary’s website? Did you know that a lot of times your website is the first interaction any new potential customer has with your brand? The cannabis industry is growing at an extremely fast rate. With growth, comes competition.
If you’re a dispensary owner, you know that every little advantage helps and your online presence is a great place to separate yourself from your competition.
You may not be a tech-savvy person, but this week we chatted with experts from cannabis website specialists, Onsharp, as they gave us insights into ten must-haves for your cannabis website that can help drive traffic to and sales to your storefront.
First things first: your website not only needs to work well on desktops but, more importantly, it needs to look and function properly on mobile devices. In research carried out by Quoracreative, around 80% of people use a mobile device to search the internet, with 40% of online transactions being done from mobile devices. Consumers are using their phones more than ever to surf the web and make purchases. Searching for and buying cannabis is no different. Your customers will get frustrated with a non-mobile website and will ultimately leave and find another more functional brand.
Many customers prefer to do their own research before making a purchase. Cannabis buyers are no different. As a consumer, I don’t want to waste my time. I should be able to browse your entire selection prior to leaving the house. If you have the capabilities to build an online e-commerce store for customers this will absolutely increase sales and customer retention. Don’t believe us? Check out this article Leafbuyer put together for why more customers prefer to buy their weed online. Having an online menu to order from will also start to give you the ability to collect more data on consumer behaviors and preferences.
Something that shouldn’t surprise you about the cannabis industry is how important good images are when it comes to promoting your brand or your product. As customers mature, they are no longer looking just for weed. They begin to know what they want as well as what to look for and if you have pictures of “fire” flower on your website they will most definitely want to check you out and buy from you. It also helps to have high-quality photos of your shop. This will give potential costumes a chance to see the type of atmosphere and shopping experience you will provide them upon entering your dispensary.
Back in the day, websites used to be content-heavy because that’s what search engines looked for. Now it’s more important to have the right content rather than just a bunch of content. Our attention spans are also shorter, so having a lot of words to read may turn off potential customers. Less is more in this instance and having strong CTAs (Call-to-Actions) will also go a long way towards driving online sales or foot traffic to your brick and mortar store. All of this, of course, ties into SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, which is essentially how well your website shows up on search engines. For more information on improving your website SEO and content marketing, check out this blog we put together recently on cannabis SEO.
You’ve more than likely come across an age-gate when trying to access certain websites. Any company that has a product or service with legal age restrictions should have an age-gate on their website. This is not only a requirement to be compliant in many areas but it also shows good faith that you’re trying to cut down exposure to minors. Although a site visitor can always just lie about their age, it still shows that you’re doing what you can to be in compliance. Age gates can be as simple as a “Are you 21+ yes or no” pop-up or a form for entering a birth date. Check out our blog for ways on how to make your age gate unique.
In a blog article from Hostpapa, they state: “Testimonials are one of the most important pieces of copy you can put on a website, landing page, sales letter, or any other kind of marketing communication.” Having testimonials on your website will help create buy-in from any customers that may be on the fence. The truth is, we love to hear from real people about what they thought about your products. You can either have these attached to specific product pages or sprinkle them throughout your site.
Cannabis is a unique industry and everyone seems to have a story as to why they got involved in it. Tell yours. It might seem boring to you but to customers it’s important to hear your “why.” Customers also want to buy from companies they respect and trust. By sharing your story you’re connecting with your customers and giving them an opportunity to see just who you really are and what you represent.
Many of your customers may already be very familiar with cannabis. Similarly, you may also have a lot of customers who are completely new to it—especially if you live and operate in a state that has recently passed legislation. By creating an educational component on your dispensary website you are helping train your future customers. Not only are you educating them but you’re also gaining their trust. Buying cannabis for the first time can be intimidating. If people see you as a resource they can go to for information, they will also go to you for products.
Social media is a great way to get people talking about your dispensary. Why not make it easy for them to follow and connect with you. Be sure to add all your social channels to your website. This will increase your followers, engagement and it will also help with your search engine rankings.
Time and time again we see either outdated sites with text and links everywhere or we see someone who went way over the top in designing their website making it look super-cool but very difficult for visitors to navigate. There is a sweet spot in the middle. Having a good design while also being very simple to use is the answer. Check out some examples of good UX (User Experience) from colorlib.
There are certainly more things that can be done to improve your dispensary’s online presence but we felt these were some of the most important. If you know you’d like to implement these ideas but are just not sure where to start, Onsharp can help. We’re experts in building successful websites that drive traffic along with revenues.
Join us on September 29th as we host Trevor Christiansen from OnSharp, website and app development for dispensaries, as he shares his take on how you can use technology to increase dispensary sales, attract more customers, and streamline your business operations!
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