Checklist for Dispensary Website: 30 Tips for Success
Posted on August 22nd, 2022 to Dispensary Platforms & Softwares
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Online cannabis dispensary sales have gone up drastically over the last few years for obvious reasons. The fact is, if you own a dispensary and you don’t have your menu online, you could easily be left behind while competitors outpace you in sales and customer loyalty.
Not to mention, it’s very difficult to actually browse products in most dispensaries. Your customers want an easy way to see what you have for sale either before they come in or while they’re in store.
With all this in mind, picking a dispensary menu platform in 2022 does pose its challenges—you’ve got some excellent options, and platforms continue to evolve as the industry matures.
Let’s take a look at some of the best dispensary menu platforms right now.
Simply put, your dispensary’s online menu is a platform that integrates with your POS system to populate a menu your customers can access and order from on your website. While this sounds simple enough, every menu has unique features, tools and functions, some more valuable than others, that can further enhance retail sales initiatives and the customer experience.
Dispensary menus and POS (point of sale) technology go hand in hand. In order for the online menu to accurately reflect what is available in a dispensary at any given time, the menu has to be linked to the retailer’s POS system.
Some menu platforms are owned by the same company, like Dutchie & LeafLogix, while others are simply designed to stack with any existing POS system. Most menu platforms in 2022 integrate seamlessly with any POS system, but this is an important piece to align as you are planning to open your doors.
So, which menu platforms are in use by most cannabis dispensaries from coast to coast? Here’s a look at the top 7, as well as some pros & cons of each.
The Dutchie menu platform is a top choice among dispensaries. Dutchie is a cannabis marketplace, which means your menu is hosted by Dutchie and lives on its website. You are given a code that allows you to embed or iFrame the menu onto your existing website if you have one. Dutchie has its own POS system (LeafLogix), but can also be integrated with 3rd party POS systems as well as other technologies like software for loyalty programs and data insights.
Dutchie+ is a newer offering from Dutchie, and it allows dispensaries to build a completely custom e-commerce experience utilizing all of Dutchie’s data and functionality.
With Dutchie Plus, brands can create their own unique menu experience without restrictions. In other words, you get to use the Dutchie infrastructure to create your menu, but you also have total control over what that menu looks like and how it functions – which is not possible with the iFrame menu. The Dutchie Plus platform is intuitive, offers advanced integrations for rewards, and integrates with existing software. It also means that rather than an iFrame menu, you get unique landing pages for everything on your menu, which has a big positive impact on SEO.
The ❤Jane menu platform is not as heavily used as Dutchie, but a top choice just the same. Much like Dutchie, a menu built on Jane is hosted by the larger marketplace, and you are given a code to embed or iFrame the menu on your website.
Similar to Dutchie+, Jane Technologies also offers a fully custom ecommerce experience.
“Jane Roots offers brands free expression to design their interface as well as the agility to quickly update content for an enriched user experience that encourages purchases. Our integration with Forage is a best-in-class example of how Jane Roots adds exponential value to e-commerce platforms, streamlining the backend process of content updates, data cleansing and automation. We know the future of retail is digital and we worked tirelessly to create this solution that propels our partners into the next generation of retail.” – Jane Roots Press Release
Most popular on the west coast, the Weedmaps iFrame menu option has been around for a while. It’s very similar to the Dutchie & Jane iFrame options, only you are tied to the Weedmaps marketplace instead. Customers in states where discount and deals are allowed may prefer this option as you are able to house your deals directly on Weedmaps. However, the same issues persist here as with all iFramed menu options – no SEO value.
Dispense offers two options for creating an online menu: an embedded/iFrame menu that lives on your website similar to Dutchie and Jane’s iFrame options, as well as a native ecommerce, SEO-friendly menu option. This menu integrates with your site and creates unique pages for products and brands which helps your site rank for more keywords in search results. Going with Dispense means you also own all of your data, rather than having your store become part of a virtual marketplace as is the case with Dutchie and Jane’s iFrame models.
The program has a number of features to make life easier for retailers, such as tools to track sales, run promotions, and manage orders. Unlike some other menu platforms like Leafly or Weedmaps, Dispense menus are not tied to a marketplace, and you own all of the data that flows through the menu.
Tymber, similar to dispense, also deploys a native ecommerce model rather than an iFrame menu solution. Their menu solution allows you to integrate their ecommerce platform into your website, which means you own all of your data, and your dispensae is not part of a marketplace like it is with Dutchie and/or Jane.
By far, the most important factor when choosing your dispensary menu platform is how it will impact your website’s ability to appear in search results. When you go with an iFramed menu, product, brand, and category level pages need to be custom-designed and created manually. When you choose a menu option that deploys a native ecommerce model (Dutchie+, Jane Roots, Dispense’s SEO-Friendly Menu, Tymber), you get the benefit of unique landing pages being created for each product/brand/category that exists within your POS system.
Of course, user experience and menu functionality are also big pieces of the pie, but if people can’t find you online, it doesn’t really matter what type of experience you present!
Talk to us about how we are able to increase local foot traffic for our dispensary clients through a winning SEO strategy.
Reach out and talk to us about which menu platform might be best for your dispensary’s unique situation. We’ve built hundreds of dispensary websites and have worked with most of the menu platforms available, so we can help guide you in the right direction while offering some insights from past experiences.
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