In recent years, self-service technology has become increasingly common within the retail environment. Nearly all grocery stores now offer self-checkout lines, and restaurants such as McDonalds are leveraging ordering kiosks to help streamline their customer experience.
In cannabis, many retailers are making digital signage and interactive kiosks a cornerstone of their customer experience to help service customers faster, provide better information, and create a more engaging in-store experience. Operationally, retailers benefit from being able to reduce operating expenses such as staffing, and can ensure compliance in their service processes.
How Does Cannabis Self-Serve Work?
Self-serve kiosks typically runs on tablets, such on iPads or Android tablets, which are mounted throughout the store. To allow for end-to-end automation, a kiosk should also be integrated directly with a Cannabis POS system. This enables orders or shopping carts to be created by customers then transferred over to the POS system for fulfillment.
What about Compliance?
As per Canada’s Bill C-45 regulations, self-serve tools are allowed to display product information and collect order information, but cannot process self-serve payments or dispense products. All payment must be collected from a customer service representative who has validated a customer’s ID before fulfilling their order. For this reason, technology such as cannabis vending machines are prohibited in Canada.
BENEFITS OF IN-STORE KIOSKS
- Reduce Wait Times During High-Traffic Periods
Much like liquor retail, cannabis retail experiences periods of increased demand, typically during evenings and weekends. Customers want to get in and out with their purchase as quickly as possible, and to avoid long lineups. Kiosks offer “line-busting” features that allow your customers to service themselves by facilitating express checkout.
- Express Checkout
Self-serve kiosks can be leveraged to facilitate express checkout, which is when a customer creates their own shopping cart, and has their order processed by a seperate “express” line. Many returning customers who already know what they’re looking to purchase will choose to skip the line-up to check out quickly.
It’s no surprise that buying cannabis in-store is a new experience for almost all Canadians. It’s also no surprise that this means many customers may not be comfortable speaking with staff members about their cannabis use. Self-serve technology allows customers to decide for themselves whether they’d like to speak with someone, or self-serve. Offering both experience options will ensure that both types of customers are made comfortable.
- Increasing Order Size & Upselling:
“Would you like fries with that?”
Retailers know it’s notoriously difficult to increase overall purchase size. Some upsell and cross-sell strategies can be effective, but having staff members effectively perform those activities requires intensive training and ongoing management. Technology is changing that. Upselling and cross-selling functionality are standard components of e-commerce and digital shopping, and processes can be carefully crafted by sellers using customer insights & data to sell more. Studies have shown that product recommendations are responsible for an average of 10%-30% of e-commerce revenues.
- Reduced Operating Costs
Many retail stores, including cannabis retailers, are turning to self-serve kiosk technology to save on operating costs, such as staffing requirements. Cannabis retailers understand that their margins may be tight, and that staffing is one of the largest expenses. By leveraging automation tools such as kiosks, retailers are seeing healthier margins.
- Staff Training
Educational kiosk tools are not just for customers! Any retail operator knows that staff training is time consuming, especially given the high staff turnover many retailers experience. Cannabis retail is especially complicated given compliance requirements placed on staff members. Retail kiosks that are used for customer education can also serve as training tools to educate staff members on the dos and don’ts of cannabis education & customer service.
How We Can Help
Buddi offers cannabis-specific tablet kiosks that integrate directly with most cannabis POS systems. Customers can learn about products, add them to their shopping cart, place their order, and proceed to an express checkout line to pay for their order.