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Creating a Memorable Dispensary Experience

,  April 07, 2020  Written by David Melnick
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At their core, most dispensaries are very similar to one another, whether it be in the products they carry (especially applicable in restricted markets given the inability to sell across state lines), the general layout, or even the names themselves.

Over the course of the past several years, having been in countless medicinal and adult use dispensaries across the country in various markets (whether as an employee, visitor, or consumer), there generally tends to be a sea of sameness. Two favorite questions we often ask of people who come back from visiting adult use dispensaries are which dispensary did you visit and how was your experience. By far the most common response is "I don't remember" (in terms of the name) and something relatively non-descriptive (in terms of the experience).

In a quasi-scientific attempt to better understand what cannabis consumers value in a dispensary experience, we conducted an online review analysis of dispensaries around the country, the results of which are shown below:

Positive Review Attributes
Number of Mentions in Reviews
Percentage of Mentions
Great Customer Service
146
30.0%
Knowledgeable Staff
78
16.0%
High Product Quality
62
12.8%
Overall Product Selection
62
12.8%
Competitive Prices
37
7.6%
Specials/Deals Offered
33
6.8%
Cleanliness
20
4.1%
Professional Staff
16
3.3%
Good Location
10
2.1%
Security/Safety
9
1.9%
Good Parking
7
1.4%
Well Designed
6
1.2%
Total
486
100.0%
Negative Review Attributes
Number of Mentions in Reviews
Percentage of Mentions
Overpriced Products
29
25.9%
Poor Service
24
21.4%
Poor Product Quality
14
12.5%
Long Wait Time
10
8.9%
Unknowledgeable Staff
9
8.0%
Low Product Selection
7
6.2%
Lack of Medicinal Focus
6
5.4%
Poor Deals
4
3.6%
Undesirable Packaging
3
2.7%
Unwelcoming Environment 
3
2.7%
Lack of Parking
3
2.7%
Total
112
100.0%

The main takeaway the analysis provided was that great quality cannabis is expected since product quality is usually the number one positive review for more traditional retail businesses. Additionally, it is very important to have a well-trained and highly educated staff that can help guide new cannabis users and provide essential information and recommendations based on what the customer says they are looking to accomplish with their cannabis experience.

As a slight caveat, it should be noted that several dispensaries included in the analysis offered free products for customers who left a good review, which could have caused a few fake reviews (although most online review sites usually do a good job of removing these). However, the general trends in the overall attributes still hold true.

At Feel State, our primary focus is on having the most well trained and knowledgeable team members who provide amazing customer service. We believe this to be key in creating an approachable, pleasant, and memorable cannabis purchasing experience that will help us build and earn customers respect and keep them coming back again and again. 

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