Your dispensary’s website is the hub of your business’s digital presence. In most cases, it’s also the first impression potential customers will have of your business… And first impressions count!
An unprofessional website that lacks functionality and value reflects poorly on your dispensary, and they’ll move along to your competition before ever setting foot in your store.
Your dispensary’s website needs to win you new customers and engage existing ones. It should drive revenue and accurately reflect your in-store experience. Here are 10 cannabis dispensary website essentials to make sure that happens.
1. Prominently display your UVP, ideally above-the-fold.
A Unique Value Proposition or Unique Selling Proposition is just marketing speak for a tagline that tells potential customers what your business does and why people should choose your business over competitors. It’s meant to be simple and easy to remember. You want visitors to the site to see it right away. Not every business has one, but every business should!
2. Be consistent with your brand, including not only colors but typography and messaging.
Your website is an extension of your physical store. It should use the same color palette, the same typography that’s on all your in-store signage, and most importantly, the same messaging.
Your customers should have a smooth transition from website to store. Think of it like this: If you have two physical locations, of course, you’d have all of your brand elements consistent across both locations. Make sure you do the same on your website.
3. Tell the story of your business, including your WHY, (your purpose beyond profit).
Of course, you’re in business to make money. We all are! But having a story behind your business beyond profit is a valuable thing. You could have chosen any industry, but you chose cannabis.
Why? Maybe you believe that cannabis can help improve people’s lives or ease dependence on opioids or painkillers. Perhaps you disagreed with the prohibition of cannabis and wanted to do your part to bring back the legal market. Whatever it is, include that story on the site. And remember the more personal, the more powerful.
4. Use professional writers.
If you aren’t a writer by nature and don’t have a professional writer on staff, do not attempt to write the content on your website yourself. Use a professional. The difference will be dramatic! A professional writer that has experience writing for the web knows how to “chunkify” content to make it more engaging and easier to read. They’ll also know how to write for SEO, which is critical when developing the copy for your site.
5. Enable and encourage online ordering.
If you are in a market that allows online ordering, then this should be a focal point of your website. Make the menu and ordering options prominent and put in place tools to drive traffic to them. Consider pop-ups that direct traffic to the online ordering page or banners that point out new products and offer an “order now” button.
6. Use professional photography of your store and your products.
Few things will turn people away from a website quicker than bad photos! We get it, everyone has a camera on their phone these days. But a professional photographer will know how to capture the best possible images of your store from the best angles.
Photography can be a hefty expense, but it is well worth it. Pro tip: try a real-estate photographer. They are excellent at highlighting the best features of space while minimizing the less attractive ones.
7. Include a video tour of your store.
A video tour is yet another way to showcase your beautiful dispensary. A simple tour is great, but even better is a tour that includes a walk-through of what a customer can expect from arrival to departure.
Who will greet them? Do they wait in a lounge before going into the retail space? Are credit cards accepted or cash only? The fewer question marks a potential customer has about what to expect when they visit, the more likely they are to pull the trigger and make the trip to your store.
8. Design your website to be mobile-first.
In 2018, 52.2% of the world’s web traffic was generated via mobile devices. Keep this in mind when you (or more likely, your web developers) are designing the site. It should be functional for all devices, but your user experience should be tailored specifically to those using smartphones.
9. Provide regularly-updated information and education on cannabis.
Providing useful information on cannabis, consumption methods, and new product categories are very important for three reasons. First, it’s a great opportunity for SEO, especially if you can link the information to the geographic area where you operate.
Second, educational content is a trust signal that shows potential customers that your business or your front-line employees know what they’re talking about! They’re experts in all things cannabis. Third, it can be a key differentiator between yourself and your competitors.
10. Include strong calls-to-action to encourage new or returning customers to convert.
What important actions do you want visitors to take on your site? Maybe it’s signing up for your loyalty program, ordering online, or opting-in to your email list.
Whatever your goals are, make sure you have strong calls to action that are clear and visible on the site, preferably placed on every page. Pro tip: there should be an ORDER NOW button on the home page, above-the-fold (visible without the user having to scroll.)
A good dispensary website isn’t just a landing page or a vanity project. It’s an essential tool to drive awareness, engagement, and ultimately, revenue for your business. Help your business succeed by making your site a priority. It takes time, effort, and money, but the investment will pay off quickly.
Hybrid Marketing Co is North America’s leading cannabis branding and marketing agency. For a deeper dive on dispensary marketing, read their Complete Cannabis Dispensary Marketing Guide and Checklist.