How dispensary kiosks increase profits

Amber Erickson | Head of Marketing at Seed Technology

Amber Erickson, Seed Technology

The kiosk is a common technology tool in industries like retail, restaurants, and healthcare. Cannabis dispensaries are starting to adopt kiosks as well, seeing how they elevate the shopping experience.

What is a dispensary kiosk?

A dispensary kiosk is a self-service terminal that allows customers or patients to learn, browse, and place their order for cannabis products. This includes flower, edibles, tinctures, beverages, concentrates, and other products.

 

A dispensary kiosk is an interactive display, usually with a touchscreen, though the actual technology can vary. Gone are the big, bulky machines; sleek touchscreen devices create a modern vibe. 

 

These screens are most commonly on tall floor stands, placed on a table, or mounted on a wall, giving you nearly limitless potential for use in your store layout.

dispensary kiosk self ordering

The value of dispensary kiosks

Now that we’ve covered what a dispensary kiosk is, let’s talk about why you’d want them in your store.

 

A kiosk hidden in the corner won’t benefit you or your customers, but when done right, self-service terminals are valuable to your bottom line.

 

Dispensary kiosks make your dispensary more profitable. Here’s how:

Reduced wait times

Dispensaries have busy times, and they have slow times.

 

If you staff for the busy spikes, you’ll have an overstaffing issue (and wasted labor expense). But if you staff for the slow periods, you run the risk of a wait.

 

Customers don’t like to wait. 

 

One opportunity is to allow them to browse your real-time product inventory and build their own cart while they wait. Not only does this increase their satisfaction, but it speeds up your transaction times and overall store efficiency.

 

Another factor here is if you have self-service kiosks inside the dispensary, you can move more customers through quickly without needing more staff. This is especially valuable to small dispensaries with limited space.

 

With kiosks, you can create positive customer experiences without sacrificing service. 

Reduced staffing costs

Let’s say your dispensary has four terminals, all staffed by budtenders or sales associates. We’ll assume they all make $20 an hour

 

In this model, your store throughput is limited by how many people these four staff members can serve. In newer markets, or areas with high tourism, transaction times will be longer as staff need to provide education and support in product selection.

 

Adding kiosks allows you to move more customers through the store with the same or fewer staff people. You could have 3 staff members at traditional terminals, plus 3 self-service kiosks where customers can browse and add products to their cart. You may need someone to monitor the kiosks and support as needed, but you’ve turned a 1:1 relationship into a 3:1. This means fewer staff.

 

One of our customers, b/well, actually replaced their budtenders with retail self-service kiosks and shifted their staffing priorities toward fulfillment, inventory management, and compliance.

a self service cannabis ordering kiosk at Bwell Dispensary

Convenience

Dispensary kiosks provide a convenient way for customers to order cannabis products.

 

Modern shoppers are used to having options in how they search and buy. This can help customers feel more comfortable and confident when shopping at dispensaries.

 

  • Some people prefer the full-service option, with 1:1 support.
  • Others prefer a hybrid model, with a bit of assistance and the space to browse on their own.
  • And some prefer to be self-sufficient and not need to work with a budtender. 

Dispensary kiosks allow optionality, letting customers choose the path that most aligns with their preferences and needs.

 

If you have regular customers who know exactly what they want and don’t need help, let them place their order, grab their order, pay, and be on their way.

Lova dispensary in Colorado uses wall-mounted self service stations

The short version

A dispensary kiosk can provide a number of benefits, including increased profitability, reduced staffing costs, and reduced wait time. 

 

By automating some of the tasks that are typically performed by dispensary staff, a kiosk can streamline your operations and improve customer satisfaction.

 

Additionally, a kiosk allows customers to browse your product selection and build their own carts confidently.

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