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Consumer Purchasing Criteria

Quality, potency, and intended effects are some of the most important criteria for consumers evaluating purchases, according to a recent survey from EY Canada and Lift & Co.

For consumers classified as versatile connoisseurs, who make up 10% of the Canadian adult population and consume cannabis on a daily basis, 96% rated quality as most important, 85% noted potency, and 84% rated intended effects as important criteria.

With the very tight restrictions on advertising, it’s no surprise that consumers are not familiar with brands. 70% of current consumers who purchase in cannabis retail stores don’t know which brand they want, or even what product they are going to purchase, before they enter a store, according to the survey.

One-third of consumers surveyed feel that they don’t know enough about cannabis to consume it. They are more likely to look at clinical research and take recommendations from health care practitioners before they make a purchase decision.

“Current non-consumers need more information before they feel comfortable trying cannabis products,” says Chadha. “Deciphering through online information for what’s credible can be a challenge. Companies will need to determine the best way of building awareness and educating targeted consumer segments as one way to help inform the purchasing decision and build brand loyalty.”

“Budtenders play a pivotal role in educating consumers at the point of purchase,” adds Matei Olaru, CEO for Lift & Co. “Their recommendations are heavily influenced by word of mouth and online product reviews so engaging the budtender community will be a critical differentiator for cannabis brands.” The study confirms that 96% of budtenders believe that the information they provide to customers has at least some impact on their purchase decision, even though they’re not permitted to recommend products for specific ailments.

Access the full EY Canada and Lift & Co. report As 2.0 opportunities emerge, can you still compete with 1.0 strategies? for further data on consumer purchasing patterns.

Photo courtesy of Sam Doucette