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Bridging the Generational Gap: 10 Tips for Dispensaries Going Cashless

User Experience
Customer Loyalty
July 5, 2023
Rachel Ludwig

Buying cannabis in 2023 is not your grandparents’ weed experience. For one, it’s now actually legal to purchase, plus there’s even an option to pay for cannabis digitally, without cash or even a credit card or debit card. 

Gen Z and Millennials are used to digital payment methods like Zelle, PayPal, and Venmo and they have a clear understanding of the process. But individuals over 50 or 60 may not be as familiar.

Baby Boomers (age 59-77) make up over 13% of US cannabis industry sales. Assisting this group with the transition to digital cannabis payments ensures you’re satisfying the needs of a good chunk of customers.

There’s actually a lot that cannabis retailers can do to drive senior adoption of digital payments. This post has 10 tips you can use to bridge that generational gap. 

1. Educate your staff on digital payments

Budtenders are not only the face of a dispensary, they’re the best people to provide digital payment education.

In order to better educate senior shoppers on digital payments, make sure your staff are already experts.

Teach budtenders things like: 

  • A simple explanation of your digital payment system
  • Real-world examples to clarify how digital payments work
  • Precisely how your solution works
  • How it’s better than cash
  • Responses to common concerns or questions
  • How to demonstrate the digital payment process to a customer

In short, the better your staff understands the digital payments you offer, the greater the chance they can explain their value to older customers. 

2. Communicate the benefits of cashless transactions

Whether it’s direct from the store manager, owner, budtenders, or via some form of digital marketing – every customer needs to understand the value of digital payments before they’ll consider adopting them.

Highlight digital payment benefits such as:

3. Offer a variety of ways to pay via digital payments

A key benefit to digital payments is the ability to use them for e-commerce options like delivery or order ahead. The concept of Doordash or Amazon aren’t foreign to the Boomer generation, they already understand you need to pay online for delivery. 

Especially for older individuals who may struggle to leave the house, digital payments for delivery are essential to their way of life.

However, some customers will always prefer to do their cannabis shopping in-store. For them, be sure to provide in-store digital payments.

4. Make sure your POS is user-friendly 

The hassle of a bumpy checkout process is enough to send any customer away angry. Customers in a negative mindset aren’t going to be receptive toward new payment options.

Your point of sale dictates how smooth (or bumpy) the checkout process feels for customers. Make sure yours is complete with effective ID scanners, integrated payment solutions, easy-to-use interface, and no risk of crashing. 

5. Walk senior shoppers through the process

While older generations have been catching up on technology quickly, some will need extra help when it comes to understanding, setting up, and utilizing digital cannabis payments.

With these customers, it’s important for cannabis companies to take their time and allow seniors to ask all the clarifying questions they need. Offer in-person support for your customers for added peace of mind.

When you think everything has been adequately explained, walk through the entire process from start to finish one more time. 

6. Create a seamless online ordering experience

Seamlessness during the online ordering process ensures a positive customer experience. You’ll need online shoppers to feel confident in your online experience if they’re going to send you an online payment.

To optimize your cannabis dispensary’s e-commerce experience, consider partnering with a company like Dispense, to build a beautiful, seamless online menu. 

7. Market digital payments to seniors

Digital payment adoption with older generations is primarily going to come from strategic, targeted digital marketing campaigns. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Use images of older individuals utilizing digital payments for in-store signage, flyers, and online distribution. You can share these images to your social channels and even your website. 
  • Target your audience where they’re most active. Facebook is the most popular social platform for seniors. If you’re hoping to reach this demographic, target your message there.
  • Incentivize digital payments either by removing any consumer processing fees or offering a discount when customers pay digitally. We all know Boomers love a good deal.

8. Encourage feedback and adaptation

Gathering feedback from older generations on their experience with digital payments can be tricky. Your best bet is to keep the feedback process conversational between budtenders and customers.

Set up weekly meetings or give employees the opportunity to relay any positive or negative feedback regarding digital payments.

As customer satisfaction is determined, you can adjust your digital payment strategy accordingly. For example, if the majority of older customers are worried about their information being stolen with digital payments, print out flyers that explain digital payments are the safest way to pay. 

9. Address security and privacy concerns

We’ve touched on this in previous sections, but digital payments are the most secure form of payment available at cannabis businesses. ACH payments utilize an electronic bank account-to-bank fund transfer, connecting the customer’s bank directly to the cannabis merchant account. It’s completely legal and there’s no risk of interference or noncompliance.

The more customers understand the inherent safety of digital payments, the better they’ll feel about adopting them. Particularly the older generations who are traditionally more wary of technology. 

10. Embrace Continuous Learning and Innovation

      1. Stay updated on the latest trends and advancements in cashless technology

      2. Continuously evolve the dispensary's cashless systems to meet customer expectations                                                                                                                                                                                          

Bridge the payment gap with Aeropay

Aeropay’s compliant, digital bank-to-bank dispensary payments are safe, secure, and incredibly easy to use. 75% of customers who use Aeropay for online cannabis payment processing will use it again the next time because of its speed and convenience. 

Ensure every customer is comfortable paying digitally with Aeropay. Schedule a demo today to get started.


Rachel Ludwig

Marketing & PR Lead
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