Highly Specialized POS for Cannabis Dispensaries
May 10, 2021
To better manage and sell regulated products, cannabis dispensaries must take a more holistic view of their retail IT systems and overall business operations.
For the budding cannabis industry, traditional POS systems are likely to fall short of its specific needs. While any dependable system has a nice interface, some form of compliance reporting, and integrated inventory management — there are some core capabilities that can set your retail experience apart.
When a new dispensary opens its doors, it usually brings with it lines of expectant shoppers ready to browse a diverse range of products or snap up some limited inventory before it’s gone. Managing omnichannel inventory for any retailer can be a challenge. But for cannabis dispensaries, knowing precisely how much product is available and where it’s located is just the beginning.
In addition to real-time inventory management, add in several more layers of complexity like managing varying compliance regulations, consumption limits, customer privacy, and security. There’s also the all-important customer experience. To better manage and sell regulated products, cannabis dispensaries must take a more holistic view of their retail IT systems and overall business operations.
Must-Have Dispensary Functionality
MANAGING COMPLIANCE & PURCHASE LIMITS
Ever-changing regulatory and legislative policies make it challenging for cannabis-related companies to operate within the latest standards. Even states and provinces where cannabis is fully legal have different polices regarding accessibility and sale. Veras CheckOut POS has built-in flexibility to quickly address these updates while tracking and flagging purchasing limits. To ensure compliance, purchasing limits are tracked automatically at the point of sale for each customer. Veras CheckOut can track the amount of active ingredients across a variety of cannabis products such as edibles, loose leaf, flower and liquid to make sure the total purchase never surpasses the customer’s limit.
Veras CheckOut additionally manages lot and expiry dates to provide visibility into when items are packaged and flag products that are set to expire.
IDENTIFICATION CHECKS & SCANNING
Most dispensaries check the customer’s ID at multiple points along the purchase path to verify that they are of legal age and eligible to buy cannabis. While most budtenders physically check the customer’s ID, Veras CheckOut is able to speed this verification through a quick scan. The scan lets the budtender know if the customer is 21 or older and track how much the customer has purchased that day. In addition to not having to worry about invalid IDs, the budtender can also see if they’re a new or returning customer to provide the best experience.
MULTI-LOCATION INVENTORY MANAGEMENT
When dealing with high volumes, numerous product types and store locations, multi-location inventory management is essential to sustain seamless inventory to get the product to the customer. The dispensary retail floor serves as a polished showroom where a single product is on display. Most of the product is typically kept fresh and secure in the back room.
Given this set up and with Veras solutions, store associates can easily scan product to move it from the backroom to the front for sale. Budtenders may even transfer inventory to another store location through the software instead of having to reupload the product manually. Whether at the corporate or store-level, Veras solutions provide dispensaries clear visibility into product availability at each location, transferred between locations, and sold at each store.
CUSTOMER PREFERENCES & CONSULTATIVE EXPERIENCE
In addition to accelerating checkout times and maintaining continuous compliance, the Veras platform comes with a host of customer-focused modules to deliver a personalized and improved overall experience. Take for instance its device-agnostic clienteling module Veras Affinity. The solution provides a simple way of leveraging mobility via iPad (or any other device) to meet customers on the sales floor. Budtenders can see past purchases, make notes on customer preferences, and save items to wish lists to dramatically improve customer interactions and service.
So, the next time the customer’s ID, loyalty number or phone number is recognized, the budtender can see in the profile that this particular shopper only purchases edibles. Another budtender may have added notes that this customer does not like flower or concentrates. Now any budtender in the store (and across the chain) knows to only discuss and introduce new edible products when helping this customer.
From tasting rooms to high-end displays, dispensaries are breaking down any preconceived notions of what a cannabis store is like. And leading dispensaries are leveraging omnichannel capabilities and digital technology to set a new precedent for how customers purchase products. Spurred by high-volume and high-demand products, cannabis retailers are adopting omnichannel strategies to support customers in new ways.
Veras’ unified platform makes it possible to support omnichannel distribution strategies tied to the store. Customers can start a transaction online or via mobile phone to reserve, pickup, and pay for products at the store. Real-time inventory availability helps to ensure what the customer is viewing online is consistent with what’s available in store. For any out-of-stock items, budtenders can use the Veras ‘global search’ function that looks across enterprise inventory where items can be scheduled for remote pick up at a nearby store or shipped to the customer.
DIGITAL DISPLAYS & SELF-SERVICE KIOSK
While super dispensaries boast large retail footprints, that’s certainly not the norm. Most cannabis retailers have smaller retail footprints and are looking for ways to maximize that space, including digital displays and self-service kiosks. Digital displays are often used to show inventory counts of product at the store. When tied to the point of sale, the customer can see in real-time if the product they want is available. If not, they can decide to select another product or place an order before ever needing to wait in line.
Another efficient way to cut wait times, improve service, and maximize space is through self-service kiosks. Upon scanning their ID, customers can create and complete an order to have it fulfilled from behind the checkout counter. Through Veras Extend, shoppers can view rich product descriptions, images, and customer reviews. With a couple of kiosks, these retail screens can act as its own store — splitting medicinal vs. recreational or other product types — to create different stores in one physical location.
Enterprise Omnichannel Solutions
There are many factors to consider when shopping for dispensary POS. In addition to selecting features and capabilities that work best for your operations, it’s essential to consider the customer experience and consistency across channels. And while compliance measures are of upmost importance, cannabis retailers are still retailers.
As a proven dispensary POS provider, Veras Retail also provides a win-win strategy by bringing innovations and best practices from across a wide variety of retailers while addressing the core needs specific to this industry. Our API-driven platform and services-enabled infrastructure allows retailers to rapidly implement new solutions and capabilities to move as fast as the business needs to:
All things considered, be sure you’re working with a flexible provider that understands your business to properly address your current requirements and can scale up as your needs evolve in the future.