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Improving customer loyalty is key to building a profitable cannabis brand.

In many states, the first wave of cannabis novelty has faded. Selling cannabis products to people is not enough to differentiate yourself in an increasingly crowded market.

As the cannabis industry matures, dispensary owners find themselves confronting the same issues that have plagued retailers in other industries for years. They need to constantly find ways to convince customers to come back to their stores instead of their competitors’.

Innovators in the wider retail market have already come up with dozens of ways to achieve this. Some of these tactics translate extremely well to the world of cannabis.

Dispensary rewards programs, in particular, represent an excellent way to incentivize customers to keep coming back to your shop.

How Customer Loyalty Programs Help Dispensaries

Customer loyalty programs do more than help incentivize your core group of customers and keep them coming back. They address one of the fundamental facts of retail business in any industry: it costs less to sell to an existing customer than to a new one.

Repeat customers tend to buy more and spread the word about their shopping more frequently than one-time purchasers. Cannabis dispensary owners have come up with some ingenious methods for bringing customers back into their shops:

  • Point-Based Rewards. This is one of the simplest loyalty rewards systems, but it’s also one of the most effective. There is plenty of room to innovate on the fundamental point-based rewards system – link it to local third-party partners and use it to maintain contact with your customers in order to offer a unique set of rewards.
  • New Customer Rewards. Bring-a-friend reward systems are well-suited to the cannabis industry environment. After all, cannabis consumption is a social activity upon which an entire culture has been built. Incentivize your regulars to bring in friends with a set-dollar reward per new purchase and watch your customer flux grow.
  • Discount Cards. This is a loyalty program any coffee enthusiast will be familiar with. Punch cards are easy to manufacture, simple to keep track of and offer a clear incentive to customers to make regular purchases from your store.
  • Newsletter Registration. Email newsletter signups can mark the beginning of a powerful content marketing machine that offers up to 122% returns on every dollar you put into it. Get branded content into your customers’ email inbox (or SMS, or Facebook, or anything they use, really), and you have a channel you can use to hook them with new products and deals for years.

Customer Loyalty Is Just the Start

Dispensary rewards programs open the door to bigger and better ways to monetize your dispensary’s relationships with its customers. You can use loyalty programs to perform market research and collect data telling you which products your core customer base loves the most. The possibilities are endless – and they all start with a small step towards cultivating customer loyalty.

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