We talked about merchandising products in How to merchandise cannabis: the importance of aesthetics. With these tips in mind, it's time to discuss the optimal way to merchandise your digital shelves. What is the one key variable between ordering online and shopping in a dispensary? It’s interacting with a budtender or product specialist. These individuals are often experts on the product and can help build significant trust and confidence with shoppers.
How can we add a human touch to your online store? Simply bring these expert, real-life insights to the forefront and create a digital budtender persona that customers can rely on. They’re more likely to stay loyal to their favorite dispensary if they hold high regard for the staff’s opinion.
First, let’s explore the idea of “top shelf” products. This term, explained in The Real Difference Between Low, Mid, and Top Shelf Weed, relates to the quality of the product determined by its smell or terpene content, the strain’s bud and trichome structure, and its color which can be affected by the curing process. For example, a hay-like smell or color can imply that even a mid-shelf strain was cured for too long. The advice High Times gives about these tiers is for most dispensaries to avoid selling low-tier items. The mid and high-tier items can be merchandised accordingly. Top-tier items are meant to be seen first.
Now that we have some insight into the levels of “shelves” or cannabis quality sold in these stores, we can apply a similar method to our digital shelves. You can make a “top shelf” section for each product category. Be authentic about this selection. Choose the brands that have perfected their growing and curing process, or edible brands that use unique ingredients to infuse their products. The same goes for every category, it doesn’t have to be deemed “top shelf” just because of its price tag, but these items should be featured based on their ability to produce consistent effects.
Similar to the idea of “top shelf” or the highest quality cannabis products, strategic merchandising creates value in a product. Cannabis consumers are often looking for “top shelf” items. Frequent cannabis consumers want the best extracts, edibles with the longest effects, or products that are simply new and inventive. The industry is constantly evolving, as are the products. Cannabis-infused ice cream is available, the Oregon brand Junk by Leif Goods makes CBD and THC infused Bon Bons (chocolate-covered marshmallows) and pop rocks, and the list of intriguing products goes on. Flower is now displayed in magnified, top-lit boxes for the utmost sparkle and trichome-heavy glimmer. “Top shelf” is more than just the best buds, now it expands to every category you display on your shelves. THC-A dabs, referred to as diamonds, speak for themselves as far as quality and appearance. The intrigue comes from the presentation.
Shopping online is no different. You should strategize your ecommerce shop accordingly. Lean on your staff’s expertise and bring those engaging details into the online shopping experience. Create a Staff Picks section on your Dutchie menu so people know what items to try next. This can include innovative dabs and edibles, or a pack of pre-rolls that delivers a consistent high and level burn every time. Once these products have gained enough exposure, feel free to change the list up periodically. This will keep your customers engaged and give them a well-rounded shopping experience.
The Staff Picks section was originally customizable in the sense that you could drag it to any position on your menu’s homepage. Now, that is still possible, but this feature’s influence continues to grow. Dutchie has further prioritized this feature to rank products accordingly. Once you have selected Staff Pick items, you will now see them rise to a “top shelf” position when a customer clicks on each individual category in your online storefront. When properly utilized, this feature can emphasize products online based on in-store expertise.