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The Gift of Convenience: 4 Ways Dispensaries can Embrace Digital Payments During the Holidays

Cannabis
December 20, 2023
Rachel Ludwig

The holidays are a time to celebrate, rest, and spend time with family. But if you’re running any type of retail operation, it’s also a time to capitalize. 

Cannabis retailers see a massive spike in sales over the holiday season as dispensary customers stock up for gifts, or personal enjoyment. 

Particularly over busy shopping periods, digital payments offer dispensaries an effective tool for faster checkouts, more efficient operations, and increased customer spending. 

Consider digital payments to meet and capitalize on holiday demand. Then, use the tips below to make sure your customers pay digitally this December. 

Incentivize digital payments with holiday promotions

A simple promotion, like special holiday gift bags or a free sticker with every digital payment goes a long way. It’s effective, simple, and sure to drive more digital payments. 

You can also increase consumer adoption of digital payments by using your loyalty program as leverage. Consider offering extra loyalty points to shoppers paying digitally. 

Not only can you get more customers to pay digitally, but you can increase dispensary loyalty as well. During and even immediately following the holidays, retailers can capitalize on consumer sentiment and increase long-term loyalty.  

In January 2023, there was a 50% surge in search interest regarding loyalty programs, including searches for terms like “reward program” and “loyalty points,” compared to December 2022.

Encourage online pre-payments

Over these holidays, consumers are paying for products online more than ever. Cherie Yates, manager of search at Ulta Beauty, told Think with Google “Last year, 30% of our online orders were fulfilled through our [more than] 1,350 physical stores, which is very different from what it was a couple years ago.” 

In cannabis, pre-payments must be processed using an ACH solution because card payments require a customer to be inside of the store to physically enter their PIN. With ACH digital payments, funds are authorized online, allowing customers to place orders and pay without going into a dispensary. 

Customers and businesses love using Aeropay for ACH cannabis pre-payments because they’re fast, secure, and don’t require any sensitive information. Once a shopper pre-pays with Aeropay once, they’re able to pay in seconds forever. 

Advertise digital payments online & in-store

Nudging your customers to pay with digital payments means meeting them across more digital channels, because that’s where you’ll find them this time of year. 

Last year, more than half of shoppers used five or more channels, like video and social media, to shop over a two-day period, and that proportion of shoppers increased in December.

So it’s important to advertise the availability of digital payments across all your distribution channels. For example, consider doing the following to ensure customers get the message: 

  1. Add a banner to your website alerting customers to the availability of digital payments. 
  2. Post to your social channels with either a short video or photo that shows how digital payments work at your dispensary. 
  3. Send out an email to your database of customers notifying them of the option to pay digitially. 
  4. Put up physical signage inside your dispensary as a final reminder of your digital payment options.

Encourage staff to spread the word


The final chance to ensure a customer pays digitally, or is at least aware of the option, is with your budtenders. Your staff hold the most influence over customer decisions, because cannabis shoppers trust budtenders.

Here’s how to incentivize budtenders to push digital payments: 

  • Create a competition and offer a prize to the budtender who signs the most customers up to pay digitally. 
  • Conduct daily pre-shift meetings where you discuss the importance of mentioning the option to pay digitally at checkout. 
  • Print out documentation for budtenders to show or hand out to customers on how digital payments work.

Takeaways for cannabis retailers

  1. Digital payments are proven to earn dispensaries more revenue, especially over the holidays. 
  2. Converting customers to pay digitally also makes in-store operations smoother, customer experience better, and average checkout times faster. 
  3. The number 1 reason customers do not pay digitally is because they aren’t aware of the option, or don’t understand it. 
  4. You can create a culture of digital payments at your dispensary over these holidays by using the tips provided in this article. 

Good luck!

Get ACH digital payments for your dispensary today

Give your customers the freedom to spend this holiday season. Aeropay offers compliant, digital bank-to-bank payments for cannabis that help you increase revenue and delight customers. 

Book a demo to learn more about adding Aeropay digital payments at your dispensary.

Author

Rachel Ludwig

Marketing & PR Lead
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