TV menus are valuable real estate. We break down the pros and cons of ads on your dispensary digital signage.
The complete guide to cannabis digital signage
Learn everything you need to know about cannabis digital signage, including what it is, the benefits, and tips for choosing a signage provider.
Are you looking for new ways to enhance your dispensary's retail experience and stand out from the competition? Look no further than cannabis digital signage.
Say goodbye to the hassle and expense of handwritten menus and manually printed flyers, and discover how digital signage can save you time and money.
In this complete guide to cannabis digital signage, we'll explore:
- what digital signage is
- who needs digital signage
- types of signage available
- the benefits of using high-definition displays
- tips for maximizing your digital signage investment
- where to put signage
- why you need POS-integrated menus
- tips for choosing a signage vendor
(💡Click the bullets above to jump straight to the section!)
What is cannabis digital signage?
Dispensary digital signage uses electronic surfaces like computers, tablets, or TVs to display interactive or non-interactive content.
A digital signage system has three components:
- Content - videos, images, graphics, menus, text, or other visuals.
- Hardware - screens, kiosks, or tablets.
- Software - application used to store media, create playlists, and tell the hardware what content to play on which screens.
In cannabis dispensaries, digital signage is typically used to display menus, promote products, events, or specials, and provide education and direction to customers. These displays are often located in high-traffic areas, such as near the reception desk, but they can also be placed in other parts of the store where they will be seen by a large number of people.
Read more: What is dispensary digital signage?
Do you need digital signage?
Cannabis digital signage can add sophistication to your dispensary design and help you effectively communicate with shoppers. But is it right for everyone?
Here’s what you need to consider:
- Cost - How much is the hardware and software? Also factor in your time and resources required to manually update and design menus, plus drive time to do this at every store. Hardware + software often cost less than manual efforts.
- Customers - Who do you serve? What's their demographic and preferred way to shop? What technology do they expect or enjoy?
- Location - What is the norm in your area/ Can you do something better/different to set your store apart from the competition?
- Customer experience - How do customers move through your store? Can you be more efficient or helpful? Can you create a more streamlined experience?
- Product variety - If you carry many SKUs, you need automation and smart menus. Offer TV and tablet menus to help shoppers browse your products.
- Aesthetic - What vibe are you trying to create in your store? Make sure your signage complements and aligns with your design, flow, and goals.
There is a strong case to be made for TV menus and other interactive solutions, but not every dispensary needs to invest in digital tech. Ultimately, the decision should rely on the type of cannabis business you want to create and your clientele.
Dive deeper: Do you need TV menus in your dispensary?
Types of cannabis digital signage
Digital signage can mean several different technology solutions or hardware setups. Here are some of the most common types of digital signage used in cannabis dispensaries:
TV menus are exactly what they sound like: large screen displays that are hung in prominent locations, typically in the waiting room, near products displays, on a standalone information wall, or around the checkout counter. They are designed to educate, inform, and aid customers in making purchase decisions.
Feature boards are very similar to TV menus, but instead of highlighting your cannabis products in a menu layout, they include more visual elements, like graphics, videos, and gifs. They are designed to educate, inform, inspire, and entertain. They also are helpful to create brand awareness.
Interactive tablets and touchscreen kiosks
Interactive tablets are digital displays that allow customers to interact with the dispensary's products and services. They are typically placed in a designated area, such as a lounge, waiting room, or on product display cases.
Interactive tablets provide customers with detailed information about the dispensary's products and services, such as strain information, dosage recommendations, and consumption methods.
Tablets are designed to provide customers with a more convenient and engaging experience, where they can shop, browse, and learn at their own pace. Kiosks also allow customers to place their own orders, streamlining the checkout process.
The benefit of in-store digital signage
Many dispensary owners and retail/marketing professionals incorporate digital signage into the store design and flow. This type of technology has become commonplace in dispensaries, where informing about in-stock products (without being able to traditionally display them) is key.
Here are a few of the benefits of digital signage for cannabis dispensaries:
Increased customer engagement: TVs, tablets, and kiosks help customers learn about products and engage with your dispensary in a more personalized way.
Improved customer experience: Digital menus and feature boards provide customers with real-time information about products (including strains, dosage, and consumption methods) and promotions, making it easier for them to make informed decisions. Screens also create a more modern experience.
Enhanced brand awareness: By using digital signage to showcase your brand, dispensaries can increase awareness and recognition of products, promotions, events, and mission.
Cost-effective advertising: Digital signage can be updated quickly and easily, allowing you to advertise new products or promotions without the cost of printing and distributing traditional marketing materials. You can also use it to promote other brands using slotting fees.
Increased sales: By providing customers with a more engaging and informative experience, digital signage can help dispensaries increase sales and revenue. We’ve seen cart sizes increase up to 26% from using self-service kiosks because of smart upsell opportunities.
Influenced customer behavior: Dispensaries can influence shopper behavior by promoting or “featuring” certain products or promotions. We’ve seen sales of specific products increase 4300+% just by strategically promoting on screens.
Better inventory management: Digital signage showcases products that are in stock only. Use signage to help manage inventory by promoting products that are close to expiring or products in surplus.
Reduced wait times: Interactive tablets and kiosks can help customers place orders and check out more quickly, reducing wait times and improving the overall customer experience.
Improved compliance: Digital signage can help dispensaries comply with regulations by providing accurate and up-to-date information about products and their purported effects.
Improved communication: Digital signage can be used to communicate important information to customers and staff, such as daily deals, store policies, or changes in hours of operation. Use content scheduling to show pertinent information based on date, time, or location.
Streamlined operations: Use self service screens to help throughput during the busy periods without being overstaffed during the slow times. Digital signage can not only help reduce staffing costs, but also allow for express lanes and other ways to move people through faster without sacrificing service.
Better branding: Your brand is important and every message must be on-brand. Use digital signs as an extension of your brand, and to build brand awareness. Digital signage ensures your message and branding is consistent across stores.
Easy to update: Digital signage is easy to use, with customizable templates and channel management. One staff member can manage every screen at every store from one login. An integration with your cannabis POS ensures your menus are always up-to-date and accurate, including stock, pricing, and specials.
Build loyalty: With integrated loyalty, you can encourage program signups on kiosks in a low-friction way.
Remote accessibility: Especially important for multi-location and multi-state operators, digital signage technology allows you to update and monitor all your screens, in every store, using one login.
Overall, digital signage helps cannabis dispensaries improve operational efficiency and provide customers with a better experience.
Learn more about Seed TV Menus and Seed Touch interactive solutions.
Tips to make the most of your investment
To use digital signage most effectively, focus on creating engaging and interactive content that resonate with your audience.
Here’s some specific tips to get the most out of your digital signage investment:
- Use high-quality visuals and clear messaging on your digital screens to grab customers' attention.
- Use a mix of content types, including scrolling menus, static graphics, videos, and gifs.
- For menus, rather than posting the entire SKU list, segment by cannabis product type, category, brand, price, on sale, THC %, etc. to create shorter, targeted, more easily scanned lists.
- Don't overcrowd your digital signage with too much information. Keep it simple and focused on one key message per page.
- Update your content regularly to keep customers engaged and interested. Old, stale content can make your screens seem irrelevant.
- Showcase your products and offers. Make them the star of the show. But be strategic about what you’re promoting, and when.
- The cleaner your POS (or ecommerce) inventory, including naming conventions, the better your menus will look. Take the time to organize your inventory first.
- Schedule your promotions and offers to align with your retail goals. For example, if you're trying to clear out inventory, promote discounts on those items.
- Promote your daily, weekly and monthly deals clearly on your signage.
- Highlight your store's unique selling points, such as its location, history, product quality, customer service, or mission.
- Use bright / contrasting colors to make your content stand out on the screen.
- Incorporate interactive elements like touch screens or QR codes to make your signage more engaging and fun for customers.
- Promote your social media accounts and encourage customers to follow and engage with your brand online.
- Promote events, such as product launches, store openings, or charity drives.
- Reinforce your brand's messaging and values. This can help build customer loyalty and trust.
- Showcase customer testimonials or positive reviews. This can help build social proof and credibility.
- Encourage customer feedback and reviews. This can help improve your business and provide valuable insights.
- Showcase employee profiles or highlight team members who have gone above and beyond for customers.
- Promote your loyalty program or other incentives for repeat business. Bonus! Add a loyalty signup flow to your interactive screens for a seamless experience.
- Drive foot traffic to different areas of your store through screens, like new product arrivals or merchandise.
To have the most effective cannabis digital signage, first understand what you’re trying to achieve and create content to support. Are you trying to sell more specific high-margin products? Promote them heavily with menus and imagery. Are you trying to highlight your brand and culture? Use fewer menus and more visuals like video and images.
Putting your store + business objectives first will help you identify how to use your screens to support those goals. Think of your screens, both TVs and interactive, as an in-store marketing channel, but also a way to run your store more efficiently.
Where to put cannabis digital signage
You’ve decided you need digital signage in your dispensary, you understand the value, and how to make the most of your screens.
But where should you put those screens?
- Where they'll be seen
- Where they'll help shoppers
- Where they make the most sense (to educate, inform, and entertain)
- Where they're accessible (for fixing, cleaning, etc. when necessary)
Screens could be hung from the ceiling (non-interactive) or wall (TVs or touchscreens). But you can also have table-mounted or handheld tablets or kiosks. The most innovative stores use a mix of screen and mounting types to create a modern, streamline experience.
Here’s a graphic to help you visualize how digital signage, including TV menus, tablet menus, and/or self-service kiosks can fit together in your store.
Tip! Put screens where they fit best. Waiting room = promote specials/deals and new or "featured" products. Have long lines? Put an ordering kiosk in the waiting room to expedite. Bulk flower area = your in-stock flower menu, reflecting discounts, and offering more information on terpenes, quality, etc. Check-out terminals = upcoming events, loyalty program details, etc.
Why you need POS-integrated signage
A dispensary menu integration simply means your digital menus and point of sale can talk to each other, specifically sharing inventory details and pricing.
Why do you need an integration? Simple. Without it, your menus will not be up-to-date or accurate. Integrations also significantly reduce the amount of manual work needed to have correct menus.
An integration ensures accuracy with:
- In-stock inventory - menus will only populate products you actually have
- THC / CBD %
- Product category
- Price - including your current specials or deals
While accuracy is the primary reason to integrate your digital signage menus, it’s also about experience. Your staff don’t have to memorize these details if they can see them on the screen, and your customers get a consistent, pleasant, trustworthy shopping experience.
Without an integration, you'll need a staff member at every location to update, reprint, re-upload, and it still won’t be correct. This is a bad experience for everyone, and it’s not scalable, consistent, eye-catching, or easily updated.
Read more about POS-integrated digital signage.
How to choose a cannabis signage provider
Choosing your signage provider is similar to choosing any other technology vendors, but with a few key points:
Experience - Do they have a proven track record in cannabis? If you’re just going to display graphics or media, any signage provider will do, but if you’re doing menus, you need an integration and only cannabis-specific vendors will work.
Customer service - Service and support is everything. And unfortunately, many providers of cannabis tech have a bad reputation. Don’t just take the sales team, actually call or email the support line and see if anyone responds (and how long it takes). You deserve technology providers who not only call you back, but who care about your success.
Features - What can you do with the technology? Look for features and functionality that will make your job easier, and your dispensary more successful, like content scheduling, easy menu and playlist builders, media tagging, and remote accessibility.
Integrations - Do they integrate with your cannabis POS or ecommerce? If not, look elsewhere. Simple as that.
Customization - You don’t want the same exact menus as your competitors. Look for vendors who offer customization, custom media, and other ways to build unique menus and playlists. Matching your brand colors is table stakes; find vendors who can help you meet your marketing and retail goals with your screens.
Backend - Not all cannabis digital signage providers have an easy-to-use interface for your staff to log in and manage your screens. Ask what the “back end” looks like, and focus on how easy it is to use. If you have to email every time you want an image updated, it’s not the right technology vendor for you.
Pricing - While price matters, it’s not everything. Consider everything above before making sure it fits into your budget. And think more about the value it brings (like saving your staff time, helping ensure you don’t have to waste products, etc.) instead of thinking of it as just an expense.
Hardware compatibility - Hardware is important, and could be a significant cost for your business. Look for providers that work on a variety of screen types / sizes.
Reputation - How others view the provider tells you everything you need to know. Talk to current customers to find out what it’s really like to work with that vendor.
Scalability - If you have plans to expand, you need a provider who is set up to help you grow. Look for features that matter to larger dispensary brands, like global channels, remote screen management, regional filtering, etc.
By considering these factors, you can choose a digital signage provider that meets your needs and helps you effectively communicate with your customers.
Learn more about Seed
Digital signage is an effective way for cannabis dispensaries to engage customers and enhance the retail experience.
Now that you know what cannabis digital signage is, whether you need it, how to maximize it, where to put your screens, and how to choose a vendor, it's time to get started.