Smoke Shops: Creating the Ideal In-store Experience
The long prohibition of marijuana may finally be coming to an end as the first major bill to legalize cannabis on a federal level has just been introduced to Congress on August of 2017. What does this mean for smoke shop owners? If you haven’t already, start preparing for a massive influx of new competitors. With the growing popularity of purchasing virtually everything on the internet, now more than ever is crucial to create a positive, impressionable experience for all your existing customers and potential new customers in your store. But how, you ask? Don’t panic my friend, we’ve got you covered.
Showcase your best window display. If you have a window front, display your top-selling eye-catching products to turn heads and draw in clientele. Garner their curiosity with bold signs on your latest deals and sales on your most popular bongs and vapes. However, keep it fairly simple as to not overwhelm and deter passerbys. You want to keep a good focus on a few main items for your display. Try brainstorming different ideas with pen and paper first to create your ideal prominent display. Determine where consumers’ eye-level should be and where you want their focal point. This will help you arrange where you want to place your items. Change up your window display from time to time to keep things interesting.Have fun with it!
Hire knowledgeable and professional employees. It’s really hard to take an employee who looks like they’ve literally just rolled out of bed, stumbled to the shop half an hour late, and stoned out of their minds seriously. That may have been the norm for some smoke shops in the past, but the game has changed. You don’t need employees dressed in a suit and tie at a smoke shop, no, but at least have them look presentable. Whether you (the owner) are present at the shop or not, the employees represent your brand and face of the store. Properly train your employees to know and differentiate between different products, quality, and selling points of each. It’s perfectly okay to hire smokers; many of them may be the biggest connoisseurs and have a passion for cannabis and can offer customers very helpful tips from personal experience. However, it is important to enforce a strict policy of no tolerance under the influence while on the job. Keep your employees happy! Happyemployees = Helpful employees. They play a huge role in the overall in-store experience. Emphasize the importance of your staff’s opinions by encouraging close involvement, asking feedback periodically on ways to improve customer and employee relations.
Organization and cleanliness. You don’t want your store looking like the clearance section at Ross. It’s overwhelming, cluttered, visually unappealing, and harder for your customers to locate products. Separate your different products in sections, all with clear, easy to find labels. Make the showroom easy for customers to navigate through, have the aisles clear, and have your products in easy reach to touch and feel. Oh, and here’s a nice tip - Avoid letting your shelves or products collect dust. A nice layer of dust on your valuables sends one message to your customers: your products aren’t selling. Take the time to keep your store nice and tidy like you’ve just restocked this morning.
Set the mood with good ambience. Studies show that certain color lighting impacts the atmosphere of your store and how long your customers stay, even influencing their purchasing decisions. Create some emphasis on your main displays by adding a nice spotlight on them. Adjust brightness levels to see what works best for your store. Play good, chill music in the background to help ease and relax your customers. What’s the rush? Have your shoppers enter interested, leisurely browse through the store and have attentive employees available to educate them on your products and offer some helpful suggestions.
Follow trends. The market is always ever changing, along with its products. Stock your shelves with trendy items but also the never failing classic essentials. Do the research to differentiate between quick fads and potential gold mines. Keep your shelves stocked with a diverse selection of glass bongs, cannabis accessories, vapes, etc. for customers to choose from - whether they just stopped by to grab a dabber tool they accidentally broke or a new customer is curious to buy their very first bong it’s important to carry some variety to suit a wide range of different tastes. Buy products in different colors to allow personalization. Smokers are always looking for new ways to elevate their high. Getting them to come back isn’t difficult if you give them a pleasant experience.
With the convenience of online shopping, people find it easier and easier to shop from the comfort of their home, computers, and cellphones. Motivate them to step foot into your store instead of paying for shipping or waiting by providing superior customer service staffed with well-versed employees in a clean and organized shop that is supplied with a wide selection of top quality products. Do your research on the latest trends, remain sharp, competitive, and always stay on your toes!