New cannabis product tracking platforms may improve customer and patient experience by improving their knowledge of cannabis products’ effects. Additionally, accompanying loyalty programs offer an incentive for consumers to shop at safe, compliant cannabis dispensaries.
The United States cannabis industry has seen rapid growth in the past decade, both in terms of overall sales and social acceptance. April 20th, or 4/20, marks marijuana’s High Holy Day, described by noted cannabis actor and comedian Adam De La Pena as, “Ramadan rolled into Easter, Halloween smeared all over St. Patrick’s day, Kwanzaa [making love to] Christmas until it cries.”
Once a date known only to the counterculture, 4/20 has become nary a mainstream holiday, with NBC News reporting on the celebration, businesses like Lyft offering $4.20 ride credits inside state’s like Colorado with recreational cannabis laws, and many other businesses making sly, indirect references on their social media pages to the cannabis holiday.
Colorado sales on and leading up to 4/20, 2015, nearly doubled the monthly average
New Markets and New Customers
The popularity of cannabis’ cultural celebration, or 4/20, demonstrates strong forward momentum for the onward push toward mainstream, national marijuana acceptance. The buzz surrounding the holiday is a boon for cannabis businesses and those ancillary to the industry as well.
According to Flowhub’s Cannabis POS database, which tracks sales data in legal marijuana states like Alaska, California, Colorado, Michigan, and Oregon, dispensaries can expect to see a 41%-51% increase in sales on and around the 420 holiday. Ancillary businesses, like fast food restaurants, friendly to those with the “munchies,” also see a significant bump in sales.
In fact, a group of restaurants near the University of Connecticut has reported they experience much higher sales on the marijuana holiday. According to Corey Hill, owner of DP Dough, a calzone shop, “We do a week’s worth of business in one day...4/20 is like our Black Friday.”
As radio personality Lou Milano put it, “Your lawyer, your doctor, your mom -- they are all smoking right now. You have major corporations building entire ad campaigns around 4/20 and marijuana.” Pot sales rose by 111% last 4/20 alone, and with all the hubbub and craze surrounding the cannabis industry, plenty of new cannabis users are lining up to try to the product.
However, today’s cannabis market, both medical and otherwise, offers so many different types of cannabis products, like vape pens, edibles, concentrates, topicals for the skin, and many more.
Oftentimes, first time patients and customers alike face apprehension at the product selection, asking questions like, “what does this item do, what does it work for?” While many of their questions can be answered by knowledgable bud tenders, this may increase patient wait times, clogging checkouts, and hurting the overall bottom line for the dispensary.
In anticipation of this, new technology aims to gather immense sales and health data generated by recreational and medical programs across the United States to provide patients and customers a more in depth knowledge of cannabis products’ effects, all while increasing customer retention and profits.
The marijuana market place has grown in terms of the variety of product offered, but this can cause confusion
Rthm Technologies COIL Systems
COIL systems, developed by Rthm Technologies inc, a subsidiary of Australis Capital Inc, seeks to revolutionize the cannabis buying experience by providing real time, biometric data regarding cannabis strains general effects. This will help improve dispensary business while helping customers and patients better understand their products.
Rthm Technologies, Inc, a leading developer of health statistics tracking technology, famous for their eponymous mobile genetics and circadian rhythm mapping platform, recently announced a foray into the cannabis industry with the pilot launch of COIL systems. Australis Capital Inc, Rthm’s parent company, believes COIL will give consumers more information regarding cannabis product choices, improving their experience and business overall.
The CEO of Rthm, inc, Alexander Mosa, described the United States cannabis industry as, "growing rapidly, but consumers are largely alone in navigating both the diverse array of chemically distinct products, and the burgeoning number of retail vendors which vary widely in quality, safety, and regulatory compliance.”
Instead of asking first timers to educate themselves, or placing the burden on already time pressed bud tenders, COIL technologies could do the hard work for them, speeding up purchases and helping improve patient/customer experience.
COIL Systems pool consumer data from a decentralized network of dispensaries in legal marijuana states like California, and Nevada. Much like the original Rthm app, the COIL platform will analyze sleep, heart rate, and daily activity to “see the effects of different cannabis strains, dosages, and consumption forms on overall measures of health.”
COIL may help new patients learn about various types of cannabis in an easy manner, with information based on chemical profile and psychological effect, not simply flowery language next to a strain name. By measuring biometric feedback from real cannabis patients/customers, COIL systems will offer an objective description of effects.
However, COIL systems’ biometric feedback model only represents the first step in improving cannabis customer experience. The system can also improve customer loyalty.
Business models focused on customer retention perform better in the long run then those focused on maintaining the status quo.
Alongside their bio tracking technologies, COIL Systems also provide a loyalty rewards program for cannabis patients and enthusiasts. When purchasing from a COIL partnered compliant dispensary, COIL systems allow consumers to photograph their receipt in exchange for loyalty points at non cannabis businesses.
Cannabis business regulation and compliance can be a pain for owners and customers alike.
As Mosa described earlier, cannabis dispensaries throughout the United States vary in terms of quality, safety, and compliance to industry regulation. To remedy this, according to Mosa, “The COIL network of certified dispensaries will include only the highest caliber of retail vendors, to whom foot traffic from geofenced app users will be directed.”
In their accompanying phone app for customers, COIL evaluates dispensaries based on their product availability, licensure, experience, and digital payment options. To honor both customer and dispensary for conducting regulatory, safe, compliant business, COIL offers a rewards program to customers at these compliant stores, where they may scan receipts and earn loyalty points.
Customers may then redeem their loyalty points for non marijuana items, like Uber rides, or groceries at Whole Foods. By offering a loyalty program and guidemap to proper marijuana dispensaries, COIL systems can help increase customer retention, which in turn will increase sales and overall dispensary profits.
According to Scott Dowty, CEO of Australis, "The launch of COIL into the fragmented United States cannabis space will immediately resonate with MSOs and SSOs alike delivering new loyal customers with minimum cost of acquisition.”
Anticipating nationwide cannabis legalization in the not so distant future, Dowty also believes that COIL Systems, “will have significant leverage in driving traffic to partner dispensaries while building a valuable data set.”
About the Author
Chris Matich is a professional writer, journalist, SEO specialist, and editor living in Pittsburgh, PA. Chris blogs for Schenley.net. His writing interests include LGBT+ people/issues, sports writing, and cannabis. Chris currently writes for SEO purposes for cannabis clients, as well as creative pieces about medical cannabis, and cannabis lifestyle. He writes fiction and creative nonfiction in his spare time. Linkedin, Twitter