Experts say cannabis dispensaries and retailing are set to trigger a revolution in the consumer shopping experience. The target audience for cannabis is not the young guy looking to swap his beer-filled weekends for marijuana smokeables. Trends suggest it’s women of all ages looking for natural, quality lifestyle products for good health.
Health and Wellness Market Driven by Women
In our hectic world, women are on a quest for mindfulness – to be in the moment and have an authentic experience. Cannabis is poised to be the new go-to substance to make this happen. Give women chic and discreet vape pens and other female-friendly accessories, and the appeal is even greater.
Plus, as emerging research shows, cannabis offers the health benefits of relaxation, better sleep, and better sex. And oils and edibles made from the marijuana plant’s cannabidiol, or CBD chemical, don’t have the same psychotropic effects of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, so these products can be incorporated into a regular day’s activities.
Cannabis News at the Consumer Polls
Case in point, a new poll from Harris Research of 2,000 cannabis consumers or cannabis-curious individuals in Colorado and California found consumers aren’t buying cannabis to get high – they’re buying it to relieve pain (75%), relax (70%), manage anxiety (59%) or sleep (60%). The cannabis industry has to respond accordingly to serve audiences searching for products to meet their health and wellness needs.
The implications on cannabis retail and the dispensary system are huge. Cannabis companies on the frontlines of this will provide a new kind of customer experience in education, one-on-one customer service, flexibility of the customer journey, and store design. Which means innovating in a sector with an evolving regulatory structure, social stigma and fast growth.
Experts in Experiential Retail for Women
Cannabis companies that fully understand “experiential retailing” for the female customer journey have the advantage here. Green Growth Brands, for example, has retail veteran Peter Horvath at its helm, formerly with Victoria’s Secret, American Eagle and Bath & Body Works. Understanding what makes a great brand experience in-store, online, and through digital connecting will reach the health-conscious female and build loyalty.
The Harris poll also found that providing product information and dispensary staff as the two strongest drivers of choice for the cannabis consumer, while more than 20% of respondents have never been to a dispensary. Nearly half of women responding to the survey say they are unlikely to go to a dispensary, as are a quarter of respondents 55 or older.
Horvath is confident that putting his team’s women-focused retail experience to work, with brands such as Green Lily and Seventh Sense, is paying off: “We’re also very excited about our new CBD-infused body care collection, which has been very successful in our test markets,” Horvath says.
“Our management team has exceptionally strong experience in the personal care and beauty industry, so we’re confident that we’ll quickly gain a leadership position.”
So experienced retailers, such as Green Growth Brands, have a tremendous opportunity in a young market. The audience is there!
These cannabis companies are working to inspire women to visit upscale store lounges and experiential websites to make a connection, build brand relationships, and try all the health and wellness forms of cannabis in development.