Top 4 Ways To Get People To Shop At Your Cannabis Store

Brandon Quan | Founder

Published: March 8, 2023

Are you curious about why people shop at cannabis dispensaries? In this video, we reveal the truth behind this phenomenon. From the psychology behind the decision to the benefits of shopping at a cannabis dispensary, we cover it all.

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Morning everyone. This video is helped by our friends over at Seed Technology. If you like what you see and you want to download this guy to go into more details about yourself, you can go ahead and check it out in the link below. Now, first things first, what is the survey about ? Right? It’s essentially about how people feel about the dispensary shopping experience, and why the heck should people come and purchase with you in the first place? So first things first,the table of contents,they found four themes.

The first one is that most customers enjoy shopping at dispensaries. The second one is that in-store experience and technology matter. The third one is that dispensary shoppers preferred non-cash payments. And the fourth one is that prices and deals influence loyalty. And I’m gonna dive right into these below.

And like I said, if you want access to the full guide, you can go ahead, there’s a link in the description as well. Now, what do people enjoy about the dispensary shopping experience? Right? So if you’ve been following my videos, we talk about four main things. Good product, good pricing, good customer experience, and then good buying experience.

So good product, right? Quality product,pricing. Talk about the pricing selection goes into the buying experience, and then knowledge goes into the customer experience. So this all makes sense. Then if you dive down here, what do people dislike about the dispensary? Shocking experience. It follows along the same main things, which is just the opposite about what people like.

So you can see here equally people like the Bud tens at dispensaries, people also dislike the bud tens at dispensaries. This doesn’t mean you need to get rid of them. It means why do people dislike the bud tens? It typically falls along the lines of the bud tenders aren’t friendly, they’re not knowledgeable, they don’t give good recommendations, that sort of thing, right? So then down here,this then falls the opposite of those four pillars of loyalty of what I was talking about is that the product, if it’s too expensive, if people need to wait, if the, this one is interesting, the pre-packaged, right? Because a lot of times you typically can’t like touch and feel the product.

So pre-packaged is one of those things. You really can’t do anything about it depending on your compliance and your laws and your state, stuff like that.inconsistencies, impersonal, overwhelmed. If the store is too busy, this falls within the, the buying experience not being very well uneducated, slow.

So if things take too much time, if things are too expensive or the selection isn’t good and the bud tenders don’t know about anything, then there’s a big issue, right?if you would like to figure out what PE people like about your dispensary or what you think people would dislike, all you really need to do is just go into another retail shop.

You can go into a fast food place and be like, okay, I’m really annoyed right now. Why am I annoyed? Okay?the wait times are too long. It’s way too busy.they don’t have this thing in stock. And it essentially mimics, you know, what you would think common sense wise. But what you really need to do is have a list of things that you think that your dispensary does best and what your dispensary, you know, can work on a little bit more.

Then you can actively work on making your dispensary better. Because knowing this information is just one part, executing is a secondary part, and that goes, goes for the rest of the things I’m gonna talk about,in this guide. The second thing, in-store experience and tech technology matter, right? So when asked how they prefer to see a dispensaries product, 58% actually said digitally that includes TV menus, tablet menus, or an interactive touch screen style menu.

So you can see here the breakdown for touchscreen is 36% breakdown for TV menus is 22%. The breakdown for printed menus is 16, verbally is 13. No menu necessary. This is for the really good connoisseurs, which is 10%, and then the other is 3%. The remaining 16 said printed menus. 13 said verbally and 10% know what they want and don’t need a menu at all.

Exactly. What I went through before and what this survey question was that seed actually did, is that all the respondents could select all options that that apply. So what this means is that customers generally want multiple avenues to get information they need, and many people prefer a combination of digital, which means TVs, tablets, et cetera, and analog print, verbal menu, et cetera, right? So what we then need to do is, like I said before, the example is, is that a lot of people are trying to figure out this dispensary space and how to do their store completely from scratch, right? All we really need to do is do what the top leaders in the industry and other retail shops have done already and then apply it for ourself, right? So when you hop into a McDonald’s, there’s a massive screen, it shows a big screen, it’s digital, then they have the touch touchscreen and the kiosk, and then they have people at the cashier, right? The exact same thing applies for your dispensary is that just go into the most efficient fast food joint and see how they operate, see what their operations look like and see how they make a good customer experience and then see how you can mimic their process for yourself, right?so you go there, like I said, there’s a touch screen, there’s a tablet, there’s a kiosk, there’s a TV menu.

And the reason why is because what this does, it increases convenience and it decreases time, right?and it says here, if a dispensary offered in-store self-serving kiosks, would you use that technology And 75% yes and 25% no. And because like I said before, it makes it quick, easy, more efficient.

It’s easier and faster when I already know what I want, they can browse on their own, enjoy not having to interact with people and they’re able to see all the products and sort by preferences, right? So what you want to do is you want to give your customers as much as many options as they like for them to have a better buying experience.

Cuz if they have a better buying experience, they have a higher chance of coming back and purchasing from you, which is exactly what you want, right? So what this person said is, as long as I know what I want, I would love the efficiency of self checkout. If I need recommendations, I’d prefer to talk to a bud tender, right? Go to McDonald’s, you know, you want a big Mac, boom, boom, boom, you order there, you pay there, and then you go pick it up, right? Super easy, super fast, super efficient, and you’re saving people time.

now those who said no to a kiosk mentioned these themes as a reasoning is that they prefer to talk to a bud tender. They’d want to ask questions, they’d wanna learn more about the products than they want to hear suggestions, right? Or they prefer to to order online from home, or they wanna see the actual product that they’re purchasing, right? And this goes into the education piece because this survey aside, if you really want to get an idea of what customers like, go look at Google reviews of not just your competitors, but just overall in, in the industry and see what people like, because Google reviews means that the customers are emotionally polarized either positively or negatively, right? If they’re positively polarized and they have a five star, you know exactly what they like.

If they’re negatively polarized, it’s gonna be a one star and you know what they dislike, right? So all you need to do is just look at the reviews and do what people like more and don’t do what people like less and then you’re gonna have a successful dispensary, right? So,this is an interesting little note.

They said when digging a little deeper, those who said no to kiosk, were more likely to prefer paying with cash. Now, does age matter? Apparently it does. So those age 45 to 54, or I guess 45 to 74 were less likely to prefer the tech forward ways of shopping. And then not surprisingly, those 25 to 44 were most likely to prefer debit cards in kiosk, which makes sense, right? Younger demographic likes debit cards and kiosk, older demographic wants to pay with cash, right? So you want to give people multiple options in order,for based on their expectation of what they think is a good buying experience, right? Because life in general is all about expectations.

If you go into a store and you expect to pay with cash and they only take card, you’re not gonna be a happy customer. On the flip side, there are gonna be another customer that expects to pay,with a credit card, but you only take cash. So then they’re not gonna have a good experience. So it’s all about providing as many options to your customers as possible.

So you do give them a good buying experience, like I said.if you would like to, if I’m skimming through this a little bit too quickly,I’m just gonna touch on the main points, but if you would like to go ahead and download this yourself, I’ll put the link in the description below. Now, themes three dispensary shoppers preferred non-cash payments, which makes sense, right?it’s just more efficient, it’s just an easier way to do things.

it’s more convenient, you know, self-explanatory, right? 66 wanna pay with debit card. I would assume this is debit card and credit card. And then 34% wanna pay cash. Now there’s a caveat based on the open-ended question of why they chose a payment meth method they did. It’s clear that cash versus card percentages aren’t exactly accurate.

Many people chose cash but then noted that it’s because their local stores or market don’t allow debit. This means that the debit percentage would actually be hired if everyone responded how they’d actually preferred to pay, not just with the methods that are available to them. Regardless, people still prefer to pay with debit again, which makes sense.

We’re in a time now where people very rarely,bring cash around. They only have card, but obviously due to regulations and compliance and laws, cash is the only thing thatthat’s being allowed for now. But what we wanna do is we want to ensure that,we provide our customers with the most efficient way of purchasing as possible, right? Here’s another interesting thing is that the reason behind both payment options is the same.

that people on both sides said their reason was to avoid fees and people on both sides said because it’s easier. So cash to avoid fees debit card to say it’s easier, right? So you have to, you’ll have to deal with it. It’s like, okay, even if my fees are x amount of per percent, when people pay debit card, am I receiving more amount of money because I’m offering the convenience of buying a credit card? Cuz if you only take cash and another dispensary only or takes credit card, right? Then there’s a higher likelihood chance that customers are more likely to go to the other dispensary that will take on debit, right? So you’ll have to see it’s not just a money thing.

You’ll have to see if, do you increase the lifetime value of your customers if you can get them to come back and does a painting with credit card and debit card increase the chance of them coming back, right? That’s just one of the main things. And again, big thing is like if there is a store that only took cash and there was a store that took credit card, which one are you most likely to go to? A lot of times people are gonna go to the one that’s most convenient.

So it’s a decision that you’re gonna have to make, right?few reasons why people said they chose debit. They don’t like using ATMs, atm, bank fees, don’t wanna waste time going to a bank. Again, it’s mostly around like,convenience, right? Convenience is is, is the biggest thing. But the reason why people also choose cash, I think this one is a pretty big one, is a privacy aspect, right? Privacy,is a, a is a big part on, on what people decide to purchase things with, right? Especially in the cannabis space.

People don’t want all this stuff on their credit card bill, you know, which is fine.but this is one of the biggest things. But all in all, credit card debit card offers a more convenient way for your customers purchase. So you need to make sure that you have a,the options available for both, right? Like it says here, take away, you need to offer both cash and compliant debit to satisfy all shoppers.

Now, prices and deals influence loyalty. When asked about the biggest indicator of whether they’d visited dispensary, again, 20% of the respondent’s prices. Now here’s a little survey on what they said. So 20% is prices, but you can see here 20% is location, right? So location, location, location,you can see here that 23% is also customer service and staff product selection, variety, product quality, testing methods, speediness of transaction design, how the store looks.

And 5% is loyalty program, which is interesting because the loyalty program is supposedly des supposedly built to get people coming back, right? It’s a loyalty program, you want be able to come back, but what things do people actually want to come back? Prices, location, customer service, staff, product selection, and then quality, right? So good pricing right here, right?good selection right here.

Good customer experience right here. Good buying experience, which is right here. Location and then product quality, right? So this is exactly it, sorry,good.good pricing, good product. And then this, sorry, this goes into,the ex the buying experience, right? Because you want to make sure you cover these main things.

So keep the main thing the main thing, right? If you know that your prices are completely optimized, then you need to make sure that they continue staying optimized. You look at your competitors, you say, okay, based on what my, my competitors have is my product, you know, related, you know,is it,like what I don’t wanna do is try and convince you to lower your pricing as much as possible.

But what you need to do is you need to provide an equivalent amount of value to what your customers want to buy, right? So maybe you provide some free stuff, maybe you replace the pricing with amazing customer service. So people will come in and buy even, you know, because that they, they they love the customer base, right? Or you’re in a very good location so you can charge more, right? You can think of, you know, if you’re on vacation, they charge a lot more for the touristy locations and the non touristy locations because of the locations, very, very good, right? So what you want to do is you want to continue optimizing all of these things.

Now let’s see what they say here. Younger respondents were more likely to prioritize costs as well as those with lower income. Make sense? And the survey males also skewed higher. Then they asked about the likelihood of visiting dispensaries solely because of promos, specials or discounts. 56% said they were likely or extremely likely, and another 28% said neutral as they pay atten, as in they pay attention to deals, but it only sometimes influences them.

And only 16% said that deals don’t matter. So again, not to toot my own horn, but in the conversion,video that I did, right, I always say that you need to have some sort of promo or some sort of discount to get people through the door. It is a lot easier to get a customer to come back versus trying to get new customers over and over and over again.

So you need to figure out what the best and most effective promotions, discounts, deals, sales, whatever it is to get people through the door. So you get people coming in and then you can wow them with your product selection. You can wow them with your customer service. You can wow them with how efficient and good your business is.

But overall you need to get people through the door by offering a good discount or a deal because that’s where 56% of the customers said that they were influenced by.let’s see. How likely are you to visit dispensary slowly because of their promotion specials or discount? You know, it says 39% here, which is a lot.

Now, what else influences shoppers,to return, right? Staff location, product selection. When specifically asked about a selection, 89% said,variety influences their decision to shop at a dispensary, right? So what you need to do is you make sure that you have the good product and you have a good selection of what people like.

What you do is you just have the 80 20, right? You look at your purchases, you look at what the most people buy, right? You’re gonna have,your top 20% of products. Typically it’s flour, but you figure out what it is. But you need to make sure that you have the best product at the best pricing. When you have those two, you’re gonna defeat all the other customers out there.

Not all the other customers, all the other competitors out there.this is just about talking,about how often people shop at a legal dispensary.this is very interesting. Most people buy two to four products per transaction, right? And you can see here two to four products of the same type, two to four products of the difference type pre-roll.

And an edible 11% is one product only an 8% is five plus products, right? So this is,also interesting. So I tell people this all the time, is that you want to get people shopping in different verticals of categories as best as possible. So you have your flowers, you have your edibles, you have your tinctures, you have your beverages, you have your concentrates, you have whatever it is, right? And the reason why you want to get people to purchase multiple things is cuz instead of them only looking at edibles, right? The cart size increases because now you have two, you have like 2, 3, 4, 5 things different to sell and then you have promotions based on these different things.

Because if you know that someone is susceptible to an edible promo, they’re more likely to come in and buy an edible and a pre-roll and some flour, right? Whereas if they’re only gonna buy an edible, they typically will buy less, right? And now you have different ways to get customers in your shop because now they don’t just want one type of product, they’re gonna come in and purchase multiple types of products.

You have promotions, you can increase the lifetime volume of your customer cuz you can offer them a bigger product selection because that’s what they like. And then you can also increase your card size because they’re buying more, right? So what you need to do is follow this trend is that okay if you know customers are buying flour, you can start recommending them other product in different verticals, right? Because if they buy flour, it’s less likely that they’re gonna buy like tons of flour.

But if they buy flour and they’re like, Hey, why don’t you try this edible? And you now have two verticals of what you can sell your customers on, which is really, really important. Now, how do you decide what products to purchase at a dispensary? So 23% said they do research online before going into your store.

31% said that the trust bud tender advice or recommendations and 20% is word of mouth referral from friends or family, right? So these are the three,main ones that you need to focus on, right? So 23% say they need, they research online before going into the store. So what you need to do is you need to make sure that your website is specifically geared to educate your customers based on the different product that they have available, right? So running good descriptions, showcasing what is,good promos, good sales, you know, good recommendations.

something that’s easy is that like having recommendations on your website,is, is a pretty easy way to promote items and to say like, Hey, I think this is an item that you like, and the key is make sure that the product is really good. Because if they go in and they buy a product and it’s a recommended product and they don’t like the product, do you think they’re gonna come back and purchase? Probably not, right? So you need to make sure you do this, but this is even more key is that 31% said that they trust budtender advice or recommendations, right? So if your bud tenders affect purchase decisions for your customers and 31% of people trust this advice, you need to make sure that your budd tenders are very, very good, right? If you have bud tenders that are just like, Hey, how’s it going? You know, come on in, buy whatever you want.

Again, not a good buying experience, right? You want somebody that could recommend, hey, you know,what type ofcannabis products do you like? You know, have you purchasedanything before, right? How do you like to feel? Right? Do you want something at mellows or is energizing you? Like what are the different things that, what are the different pieces of advice that the bud tenders give so that you can go ahead and, and be like, okay, now my customers are getting the best advice possible so that they can go ahead and buy the best product available, right?how would you rate your level of knowledge about cannabis products? You can say here, the 45% says expert, 46% said intermediate and 9% says beginner.

Now, I think there’s a massive caveat to this is that if you’re filling out a cannabis consumer report survey, you’re probably in the intermediate to expert level anyways. Very rarely would beginners go ahead and fill out a survey because they don’t even, you know, know anything to do with cannabis, right? So I would take this with a grain of salt.

This seems excessive, like 45% being experts. Like just by definition of being an expert, this should be a lower percent because there are not as many experts. But again,I will leave this to you, but I think overall what this again emphasizes that if they’re experts coming in, you wanna make sure your bud tenders know what they’re talking about.

Cuz if they’re experts coming in, they’re, they’re going to have some expectations on the knowledge that the even greater experts that the bud tenders are supposed to have, right?so this is, this is pretty interesting. Customer demographics don’t need to touch on this too much. You can see that the age range is between, for 50% is between 25 and 34.

The gender is relatively equal.and the annual income is, let’s see where the big one is. The big one is between 50,070 $5,000. So again, you need to price accordingly based on the demographics of what people come in. So this is just overall in general annual income for a very general survey. What I would do is like, okay, you look at what location you’re in, you see what the general demographic is, and then you need to price accordingly because if you price too low in a affluent area, they’re gonna think the quality of product is bad.

If you price too high in a less affluent area, then they’re not gonna be able to afford your product. So you need to make sure that the pricing is related towards the income and the demographics that you’re serving within the immediate area that you have.this is just general methodology on the survey.

Like I said, you can go ahead and download this,from the link that I sent below in the PDF and you can go ahead and take a look at how they did this survey. Now, overall, the conclusion is that again, most customers enjoy shopping at dispensaries.most customers like the experience, but your staff and product selection is either the reason they love you or they hate you, right? Theme two, in-store experience and technology matter.

Customers care about your in-store experience and the technology involved, but the, but they have different preferences to satisfy all types of shoppers. Provide options in your dispensary like kiosk for those who want them at button tenders. For those who don’t theme three dispensary shoppers prefer non-cash payments take away.

You need to offer both cash and compliant debit to satisfy all shoppers. And theme four, prices and deals influence, loyalty, price and deals are more important to shoppers. And now you need to consider smart ways to offer promos that protect your margins while appealing to cost conscious shoppers.

All right, if you’d like to learn more about SEA technology and their in-store digital engagement platform, including TV menus, interactive solutions, self-serve, ordering, you can always go to get And if you’re interesting in partnering on a full scale consumer survey, you can contact Amber, the head of marketing at seed.

Now, you know, just wanted to say thank you again to Seed. If you would like any information on what we do here at Canter Bud Marketing, there’s gonna be additional links. We have a checklist, we have a guide. You can check out our website. There’s a bunch of different things. But that’s it for me for now.

Talk to you later. Bye.

Article By

Brandon Quan

About The Author: A digital marketer with over 7 years of experience, Brandon Quan is wildly known as the top marketing expert within the Cannabis Industry.

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