Best Dispensary CRMs & Loyalty Programs: Sprout, Springbig & Alpine IQ

Posted on April 28th, 2022 to Dispensary Platforms & Softwares

Creating a reward or loyalty system for your dispensary is both an effective marketing strategy and a nice way to give something back to regular customers. Research shows that customers spend roughly 13 percent more on purchases with retailers that have a loyalty program. However, setting up the most effective customer loyalty program may require a specific type of software.

Compare Loyalty Platforms

What is a CRM?

A CRM is essentially software or a platform that allows a dispensary to store data on customers and prospects, manage and use that data, and track interactions with each customer. Just as the name implies, the primary goal of CRM is to manage customer relationships in an effort to support the growth of the business.

CRMs can also help with building insight into customer lifetime value, or how valuable a customer is according to how much money that customer spends at the dispensary. In other words, a CRM takes standard customer data and turns it into valuable insight that can be used for marketing and growth. A few features offered by standard CRMs include:

  • Contact management
  • Lead management
  • Sales forecasting and profitability analytics
  • Customer email and communication tracking

Why are CRMs necessary for dispensaries?

CRMs may be an optional investment for dispensaries, but these programs give establishments an advantage in terms of marketing.

Some POS systems have built-in CRM functions, but many are also limited in terms of functions. With a robust level of insight into the customers you have, what they purchase, and how they interact with the brand, you can make better decisions about everything from marketing to inventory.

How are CRMs related to loyalty programs?

Loyalty programs and CRMs are related but technically not the same things. Both CRM and loyalty programs go hand in hand because both are used for building brand affinity and stronger customer relationships. CRMs collect data on customers for insight to the business, but what are dispensary loyalty programs?

Loyalty programs often give you a way to reward loyal customers by offering opt-in promotions. This may mean the customer signs up as a rewards member and gets points for every dollar spent at the dispensary to use for future savings. Or, it may simply mean the customer opts in to receive dispensary text messages about exclusive savings as a loyal customer.

Best Dispensary Loyalty Programs: Comparing The Top Players

First up: Springbig

Spingbig offers a fully customizable cannabis loyalty software. The software supports both a points-per-dollar loyalty program and tiered loyalty capabilities. With Springbig, you can customize pretty much every aspect of your dispensary loyalty program and features, so it matches the brand.

Key Platform Features

One of the draws of Springbig is the fact that you can create an impressive program that includes things like:

  • Referral programs
  • Milestone rewards
  • Birthday rewards
  • Points per dollars spent
  • Points giveaways
  • Branded coupons

With this software, dispensaries can set up a digital rewards wallet for customers that gives them access to their points, see customized offers, and redeem their rewards. Springbig’s digital reward wallet also integrates with existing e-commerce programs, so customers can place orders directly from their rewards wallet. And, customers can opt-in for text messages related to rewards and special deals.

Pros and Cons

Springbig has been around for a while, and the technology does offer quite a few perks, including:

  • Completely customizable setup to match the brand and the brand’s objectives
  • Integrates with existing dispensary tech and software for easy tech-stacking
  • Allows for multiple loyalty and rewards features
  • Offers a full suite of digital marketing tools beyond loyalty programs

As far as downfalls, there really are very few cons to speak of with Springbig. The company has been around for a while, so its full setup has gone through quite a few tweaks and fixes over the years.

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Next up: Alpine IQ

Alpine IQ offers a full collection of tools for customer relationship management, including built-in loyalty programs. This particular CRM allows dispensaries to build their own personalized messaging promotions with email, push notifications, and SMS/MMS text messages. Alpine also offers special features like analytics and customer heat mapping, which helps with things like order behavior prediction.

Key Platform Features

Alpine IQ is a relatively robust program, and it does come with several benefits, such as:

  • The ability to stack with other technologies, such as POS systems and Mailchimp
  • Scalability and the opportunity to pick and choose which features work for your dispensary
  • Offers a simple-to-use platform to garner customer insight and create a loyalty program
  • QR code generation for products

Pros and Cons

Alpine IQ didn’t originally start out with a loyalty program, but since its integration of a loyalty program, it is considered a Springbig and Sprout competitor in terms of programs best for digital marketing. However, Alpine IQ does have a few downfalls. For example, the servicer does not offer 24/7 customer support and does not make its pricing openly available.

Lastly: Sprout (by Weedmaps)

Sprout, which is powered by Weedmaps, is recognized as a top CRM and marketing platform in the cannabis business. The CRM software offered by Sprout is one of the most robust CRMs available because it offers email marketing, text marketing, loyalty programs and kiosks, and advanced customer segmentation marketing all from one platform. Sprout also uses a combination of text and multimedia (MMS) text messaging to directly connect with dispensary customers.

Key Platform Features

Sprout offers a few unique levels of service that enhance loyalty programs, such as:

  • In-store kiosks to get sign-ups from more customers when they stop in for a visit
  • QR code utilization to attract customers
  • Customizable website widgets for loyalty program enrollment
  • Integration with existing POS systems and other technology

Pros and Cons

Unlike Springbig, Sprout has a more broad-reaching service offering for high-level marketing plans. Even though loyalty programs are a part of the service offering, the loyalty programs may not be quite as customizable.

Looking for a deeper dive? Download our Free Dispensary Marketing Guide

The Key Differences

Sprout vs Springbig

Springbig and Sprout can both get your dispensary loyalty program up and running, but there are a few key differences to consider. Primarily, Sprout’s service offering is more comprehensively focused, while Springbig has fewer layers of available service.

Springbig does offer a few extras when it comes to attracting leads, such as an in-store kiosk for sign-ups and QR code generation for packaging. However, setting up a loyalty program with Sprout can be a little more simplified, so it may work out better for smaller dispensaries.

Springbig vs Alpine IQ

Both Springbig and Alpine IQ offer similar functions and features. Both have onboard loyalty programs, are stackable with other technologies, and afford a bit of flexibility when it comes to picking what works for your dispensary. Springbig’s loyalty program setup can be a little more complicated than with Alpine IQ. However, Springbig also offers things like in-store kiosks, so customers can sign up for a loyalty program right in the store.

Need help deciding which platform is best for you?

If you are looking for a full CRM with a loyalty program and additional capabilities, Sprout may be a good option. If you are more interested in layering a CRM with your existing tech setup and getting a fully customizable loyalty program, Springbig may work out better.

Choosing CRM software and services can be a little intimidating. A lot rides on how easy the setup is to use and how attractive the loyalty program is to customers. Need a little help? Reach out to us at Canna Planners to get some insider insight to help you make the best decision for your dispensary.

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This post was written by Zach Santarsiero, CMO at CannaPlanners.

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