How to Open a Dispensary in Connecticut
Posted on January 18th, 2022 to Learn
In this article
As of 2020, there were nearly 7,500 legal cannabis dispensaries in the U.S. That number continues to grow, so if you plan to be one of the cannabis dispensaries that sticks around for the long haul, it’s all about attracting customers and fostering an affinity to your brand. Your dispensary website is perhaps one of the best tools you have in the digital world we all live in.
Your website should make your dispensary easy to find and easy to connect with. It’s your digital storefront.
People searching for cannabis are more likely to get on Google and search for places they can go and get their product. When that happens, it will be incredibly important that your name pops up. The dispensary website will place a digital hub of information and easy access to answers to questions before prospective customers.
Cannabis is a relatively newfangled business. People have questions. Not only do they want to know where they can go to get their adult-use cannabis or make use of their medical marijuana card, they also want to know what they can get, how much it costs, and who they should trust. Your website makes that process simple.
When it comes to building a dispensary website, you have two options. You can either take a DIY approach and build your own or hire an agency to undertake the task on your behalf. Of course, the latter is an easier route and ensures a quality outcome; the pros will handle everything from securing a domain name to the end launch in most cases.
The DIY approach can suffice if you have little experience. And, website builder platforms like Shopify and WordPress can support the process. However, if you don’t have a lot of experience with building a website, a DIY approach may not get you the traction you really need with your site.
Working with a professional website designer that specializes in cannabis-related work gives you an advantage. This means you get a website that is fully functional, designed with UX in mind, and capable of competing with other websites in the same niche, and usually in a relatively quick timeframe.
As far as the design of your canna-business website, there are a lot of good pointers that can help along the way. However, three specific tips will trump most others.
Simplicity is key and keeps the user experience straightforward. The more complicated your design, the harder it can be for a visitor to get to the information they really want to know. A few general ways to keep your website simple and straightforward:
How well you rank on Google can be directly related to how mobile-friendly your website actually is. The bottom line, if your dispensary website does not work properly on most mobile devices, your ranking will likely suffer. Therefore, the website you have should be mobile-friendly from the start. This means:
SEO is all about optimizing your website, so Google and other search engines deem your site as a good fit when someone searches for certain products or services. Incorporating specific keywords into the content and metadata on your website helps do just that, even though SEO gets far more complicated than just using the right words.
As a physical-world business trying to attract customers through a digital avenue, your SEO strategy must be locally minded if you want to compete for business over local-based competitors. This means that keywords and phrases may also need to be locally optimized with geographic keywords.
Your cannabis business is all yours, and the dispensary website should definitely be representative of your brand. After all, this one element can be the main component of your digital marketing strategy. However, the website should actually cater to your target audience. This means as you build your website, it will be important to consider what a prospective customer would want to get from the website.
What is it your website can offer to solve a prospect’s potential problems or serve their needs? How can you present your dispensary in a better way than competitors? In order to fully meet the needs of prospects with your website, there are a few must-haves that should automatically be built in.
The first time someone lands on your site, you want them to automatically see how they can access every corner of the digital domain. The easier a site is to navigate, the less likely it will be that a site visitor/potential customer bounces soon after they arrive in search of someone who offers something easier to understand. Therefore, make sure that the website is simplistic, easy to navigate, and offers every page just a click away from the home screen.
Your dispensary website doesn’t necessarily have to be complex or huge, but it should offer the pages most visitors will be looking for beyond the homepage, such as:
One of the easiest ways to offer proverbial full disclosure is to show onlookers exactly what you have as far as inventory goes. This can be done by embedding an online menu right on your dispensary website. Plus, integrating an e-commerce platform allows for convenient shopping options, such as ordering online for later pickup.
Cannabis dispensary directories found on sites like Weedmaps and Leafly are go-to’s for customers looking for cannabis dispensaries. However, these directories are strictly informational, so they don’t give prospects a good look at who you are and what you have to offer.
Examples of Menu Pages:
Age verification is a two-fold website must-have. One, having age verification is meant to protect minors from visiting your website. Two, age verification protects you. Since cannabis can only legally be marketed to adults who are over 21 years of age in most states, the age verification ensures you don’t run into obstacles because minors have access.
If you can get a direct line of communication established between you and prospects or customers that land on your website, this is always a plus. It is a good plan to make it easy for customers to establish that connection by supplying their email.
By adding an opt-in for your mailing list to your website, you give every site visitor the chance to offer their email address for future communications. Just be sure to clearly state that when the information is supplied, they are giving you permission to send them newsletters or info about deals and events. The mailing list you generate by doing this can be invaluable for future marketing efforts.
Blogs work for your dispensary website in a few ways. One, a blog is a good way for prospects to get to know your brand and see what you are all about. Two, well-presented blog content serves customers with the information they want to see when it comes to cannabis. Three, a blog with high-quality content is an excellent SEO strategy.
A lot can go into establishing a dispensary website that perfectly represents your brand, gives prospects and customers what they need and want to see online, and supports your business. If you need a little help with the process, we’ve got you at CannaPlanners.
Our website design team is well-versed in what it takes to build a cannabis dispensary website that gets you noticed. Reach out for a custom quote so we can help you grow your business.
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