The majority of customers heading to cannabis stores have an intent to buy. Boosting sales with every customer, however, is the name of the game. What, when, and how customers see the products presented in the store has a direct impact on their spending. With the majority of purchase decisions happening in-store, retailers have an opportunity to capitalize on these moments with displays and product merchandising.
Harness the Power of Impulse
The savviest retailers’ goal is to influence customers’ spend with a strategic layout, product assortment, and perfectly executed displays. This is a merchandising strategy. While cannabis products average around a 30% gross margin (give or take by province), peripheral products average 50-70%. It is no secret, the point of purchase displays that introduce last-minute “impulsive” products as customers approach the checkout is a lucrative strategy.
With the right timing, tone, and product, retailers can expect impulse products to be the ‘Would you like fries with that?’ moment.
Presenting products at the right time can appeal to a customer’s spontaneous side. Impulse displays stock items that customers rarely come in to buy, but triggers a ‘beat the clock’ thrill with a curated assortment. A cannabis customer usually visits the store or website, selects the products, approaches the checkout, and pays for the products. With the right timing, tone, and product, retailers can expect impulse products to be the ‘Would you like fries with that?’ moment.
Appeal to Their Spontaneous Side
As shopping patterns and behaviours have evolved, so has the customer journey. In the last decades, more research indicates the impact of impulse shopping. In a 2018 survey by Finder Canada, 63% of Canadians admit to impulse shopping. According to Chase Blueprint, shoppers under the age of 50 are more likely to engage in impulse buying, with 85% of these decisions happening with shoppers between 30 and 49. Retailers are investing more thought and resources in how the design and merchandising of stores can influence unplanned purchase decisions.
According to Chase Blueprint, shoppers under the age of 50 are more likely to engage in impulse buying, with 85% of these decisions happening with shoppers between 30 and 49.
Retailers who prioritize displaying merchandise that encourages this spontaneous decision often see the highest revenue opportunities.
So what types of products can be positioned in point–of-purchase displays?
Display products that tell the brand story authentically. Erbn Green’s strategy is to sell branded accessories to complement their customer’s lifestyle at an accessible price point. Branded products, such as pipes and rolling papers, become more concentrated as the customer approaches the checkout. This effectively drives revenue in the last moments of the customer’s journey.
Reminder products prompt the customer to recall a need to buy items for personal restocking. Friendly Stranger displays lighters and cleaning supplies in free-standing bins just as a customer enters the checkout zone. Presenting essential products in the queue serves as a reminder to the customer that they may be in short supply.
Now or Never Appeal
An exclusive mix of novelty products triggers a “now or never” panic in customers. Stok’d checkout desks display fun and exclusive on-brand novelties like old school camping key chains with quirky expressions for a quick grab-and-go add-on to accent the experience.
Clear Visual Impact
To get the most out of your point-of-purchase merchandising strategy, concentrate more on where and how products get presented. Create highly stimulating, well-lit displays to attract customers’ attention and invite them to make contact with the product. Spatial awareness and quantity are essential. Too much product can deter purchases because it becomes overwhelming, whereas displays that look sparse and boring will not attract the desired attention.
Create highly stimulating, well-lit displays to attract customers’ attention and invite them to make contact with the product.
Superette eliminates the psychological barrier of placing product behind locked glass by displaying accessory products on open shelving that winds towards the cash desk. This invites customers to touch and explore, increasing the likelihood of an impulse decision.
Build a strategy to introduce impulse products into the customer journey, and track how these products perform. When done well, this can incrementally grow average transaction sizes, items per basket, and profits. Benchmarking and monitoring performance will identify what is working and what is not. Monitor product price point and location to find the sweet spot that gets a product sold.
Cannabis retailers who design attention-grabbing point-of-purchase displays effectively enhance their customers’ experience while increasing average spend with minimal effort and labour costs. The harmony of assortment, price, and the way a display catches the eye, impacts the success rate of impulse sales, gives you the extra edge over the competition, and increases your profitability.
Vetrina Group is a cannabis retail consulting firm with over 30 years of retail experience utilizing consumer behaviour and data to accelerate profitability and optimize retailer brand value.
Main photo courtesy of Stok’d