Retail has been persistently evolving for many years. The web and our more and more digitized world already had been ushering in fast change, however now, the COVID-19 pandemic has made many organizations rethink their retail strategy from the bottom up with little time to map out these new course corrections. In a testomony to the resiliency of the hashish business, dispensaries have rapidly shifted their working procedures to stay open for patrons and sufferers in want of protected entry.

For this week’s “Changing Habits” installment, we spoke with executives at SPARC, Enlighten, Harborside, and Jane Technologies to study extra concerning the new retail panorama.

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Enlighten Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Jacobs believes most of the new procedures hashish corporations have instituted is not going to merely go away after the coronavirus. “Retail has changed likely forever as a result of this pandemic,” he advised mg.

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Jeremy Jacobs, CEO, Enlighten

Although COVID-19 is forcing change, a few of the points Jacobs has addressed right issues that began lengthy earlier than the pandemic.

“We shifted our marketing focus to a much more personalized outreach informing partners and clients of the launch of our new SMARTHUB platform,” he defined. “Online ordering systems are often a pain point for dispensaries and customers alike, due to disconnects between listed menu items and available products, often leading to customer frustration and cart abandonment. The inventory control in the modern-day dispensary must be centralized to ensure it is accurate and up to date across all of the consumer touchpoints.”

According to Jacobs, stock administration is extra crucial than ever. “Overnight, shelter-in-place orders created an urgent demand for dispensaries to enhance their delivery and online ordering capabilities,” he stated. “As dispensaries turn more to third-party vendors to reach consumers, there is a greater need and demand for a single point of truth when it comes to product inventory.”

Robbie Rainin, vice chairman of retail at SPARC, rapidly applied key procedural adjustments to restrict the probabilities his workers and prospects may very well be uncovered to the virus. 

“We have made several changes to our standard operations since the beginning of COVID-19,” Rainin stated. “To reduce person-to-person contact, we have switched to an online ordering system across all SPARC retail locations, and we are practicing retail safety guidelines with the advice of health experts.”

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Robbie Rainin, VP of retail, SPARC

Some of the adjustments SPARC instituted may supply extra handy buying choices that might stick round after COVID-19 fades. 

“SPARC customers can now submit online orders before their store opens, and orders are prepared as soon as we open,” Rainin stated. “Ninety-five percent of our sales now occur in advance through our website. We are very close to launching touchless payments using your bank account, it’s like Venmo but approved for cannabis by a sponsoring bank.

“In-store, all transactions take place while wearing gloves and without any physical contact,” he continued. “Our staff is equipped with the appropriate [personal protective equipment] and safety education to ensure a safe customer journey. In addition, all facilities are equipped with commercial-grade air filtration and sanitation systems.”

Socrates Rosenfeld, chief govt officer for Jane Technologies, knew providing curbside pickup could be important to maintain his enterprise operations working. Like Jacobs and Rainin, he believes a few of the new procedures made vital by the coronavirus might serve the business effectively sooner or later. 

“Within twenty-four hours of the ‘shelter in place’ orders rolling out, we unlocked Jane Curbside Pickup for our dispensary partners,” Rosenfeld stated. “It allowed consumers to shop current inventory and pick up their orders without setting foot inside a dispensary.”

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Socrate Rosenfeld, CEO, Jane Technologies

According to Rosenfeld, the curbside pickup service is “empowering dispensaries to customize pickup windows, dynamically price products, and set order limits per time slot. We partner with dispensaries to help them digitize the retail experience for their staff and customers.”

Rosenfeld believes dispensaries ought to work to supply hashish shoppers handy choices that they could discover when purchasing for on a regular basis gadgets. The secret is environment friendly stock administration. Dispensary operators ought to “conduct analytics to understand exactly what SKUs should be on the store shelves or delivery vehicle,” he stated. “Digital platforms are able to take things a step further. Jane enables dispensaries and brands to virtually ‘shift the shelves’ on their digital menus, allowing them to put the right product in front of the right customer at the right time.”

Harborside, one of many nation’s most iconic dispensaries, has deployed stringent new procedures to guard sufferers and workers through the pandemic. 

“We practice social distancing inside the store and the line outside,” stated Pedro Fonseca, basic supervisor at Harborside. “Customers and employees are required to wear masks at all times.”

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Pedro Fonseca, GM, Harborside

Additional security measures embrace administering worker temperature checks earlier than they enter the constructing at the start of every shift and checkout areas protected by sneeze guards. The new procedures and the anxiousness of COVID-19 current plenty of challenges for Harborside staff, however Fonseca is pleased with how his group has responded.

“We have an amazing group of employees who have been able to adapt and adjust to all adversity and have welcomed all the changes that we have implemented to keep our customers and employees safe,” he stated. “Cannabis is medicine, after all, and our employees reflect our values in taking health seriously.”

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