COVID-19 has drastically changed the way we live and work day-to-day. As essential businesses, cannabis dispensaries have needed to adapt quickly to these changes, both regulatory and sanitization-wise, to keep their doors open and staff and patients safe. But as open-ended social distancing practices take root, and an air of skepticism around in-person contact grows, operators need to be more agile than ever when it comes to optimizing their businesses to thrive within our new state of normal.
Within the past 3 months, the purchasing norms of the cannabis industry have shifted. Many consumers have traded higher-touch in-store experiences in favor of safer, lower exposure options, like delivery and pick-up. For both brick-and-mortar dispensaries and delivery-only operations alike, this shift highlights the importance of curating a world-class eCommerce experience. Because if more people are spending time online — browsing menus, responding to digital promotions, identifying COVID-friendly ordering alternatives — your eCommerce experience will not only be what customers come to know you for, it’ll also be a key factor that differentiates you from the other guys.
Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve refreshed the Treez eCommerce experience to allow customers to search smarter, shop harder, and reap the benefits of a completely contactless, cash-free ordering flow.
Here at Treez, we’re proud to work with dispensaries that put compliance and inventory accuracy at the top of their priorities list. Because much like us, our clients understand that compliance is the foundation of being a top-tier operator, and there’s no way to the top without it. Which is why we challenge every operator to ask themselves, “Why is it important to own my shop’s Metrc compliance?” After all, compliance is notoriously time-consuming, complex, and not all that fun (unless you’re compliance nerds like us, of course!). And while that may be true, remaining compliant in a heavily regulated industry is the bedrock of your success as a modern cannabis dispensary operator.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to resolving Metrc discrepancies. Even though you may have stellar inventory management practices, the reality is, mistakes happen and discrepancies will inevitably arise. On any given day, dispensaries encounter a wide variety of complex cases that may cause a discrepancy to occur — inaccurate inventory counts, Metrc outages, API performance issues, scanning the wrong product at checkout, etc. But no matter how tight of a ship you run, at some point, your physical and digital inventories will come out of alignment and you'll need to take action to get them back in good standing. And because discrepancies are kind of like snowflakes — each requiring an investigation, correction, and resolution that’s as unique as they are — we’ve designed our industry-leading Compliance Management module to give you the insight you need to hone in on the unique resolution each discrepancy requires.
These days, having a well-oiled fulfillment flow is not only smart — it’s necessary.
Since COVID-19 hit, customers have been feverishly seeking alternative solutions to in-store sales, turning primarily to curbside pick-up or delivery. For Treez operators, this meant that reliance on the Fulfillment dashboard — a module designed to enhance employee collaboration and transform the order fulfillment process into a sleek assembly-line — skyrocketed overnight. As more users and orders flowed into the dashboard than ever before and as order messaging between staff-and-customer spiked, one thing became abundantly clear: our fulfillment dashboard wasn’t equipped to handle the newfound demand, and we still had our work cut out for us.
The cannabis industry today is relatively young and far less efficient than other more mature industries. Piecemeal tools have been built to address specific issues as they emerge instead of addressing the root cause of industry-wide problems head-on. Much like patching leaks in an old boat over and over again — eventually, that boat is going to sink. For the cannabis industry to survive and thrive, purposely built infrastructure is needed to create industry-wide solutions. This purpose-driven mission was the catalyst for us building our BrandTreez and AskTreez content and data engines.
In today’s cannabis market, there’s an overload of communication between retailers and brands around maintaining the buyer-brand relationship. In most cases, this overload is caused by a lack of real-time data being exchanged, making it so that both parties need to be in a constant state of requesting and sharing inventory level data to avoid stockouts. An unfortunate side-effect of this manual communication strategy is that it’s become customary for buyers to stock brands that they have a good relationship with instead of using data to inform these revenue-driving decisions. This forces brands to spend a lot of time communicating with buyers about sales and inventory levels in order to coordinate orders since sales data isn’t being proactively shared with them.
Due to the current instability and unpredictability of the market, the average cannabis retailer in California is dealing with 14+ distributors who all have unique schedules and processes, making them even more time-consuming to manage. As a result, retailers need to keep full-time buyers on staff to manage the sheer volume of communication around the logistics of ordering. By proactively exchanging real-time inventory & sales data through a secure channel on a defined schedule, retailers can make a material impact on their business and the cannabis industry as a whole. With this in mind, let's take a look at the top three ways that providing inventory visibility will reduce labor costs and supercharge the supply chain.
As cannabis brands and retailers know all too well, the cannabis supply chain is anything but simple right now. The average cannabis retailer in California is dealing with 14+ distributors per month which makes it all too easy to mismanage reordering timelines. New brands are entering the market so frequently that it can be overwhelming for retailers to discover the best new products, putting young brands at a disadvantage. Retailers have a lot going on and since lead times, ordering processes, case sizes, and payment terms differ from brand to brand, properly managing inventory on an ongoing basis can be challenging without the right set of tools.
In most other markets, retailers and brands are able to develop co-beneficial partnerships based on their ability to share information. Sephora, the world’s leading specialty beauty retailer, shares point-of-sale and inventory details with supplier brands, allowing for vendor managed inventory partnerships that save time and generate more profitability. Empowered by data, brands can control costs, grow market share, and increase sales at an influential retailer like Sephora. In the cannabis market today, there is an overload of communication around maintaining the buyer-brand relationship, but very little exchange of real-time data between retailers and brands.
When it comes to brand recognition, the cannabis industry is still in its infancy. The market is currently flooded with brands and products and consumers are presented with something new every time they shop, resulting in an overwhelming shopping experience, making cannabis product branding and retail synergy that much more important. Customers tend to seek cohesive experiences and don’t want to be bombarded or confused by having too many brand choices that ultimately do not appeal to them. In the time of COVID-19, consumer preferences and behavior are also shifting and the only way to identify new trends is by having access to real-time data.