Cannabis is an incredibly complex plant but making a purchase should always be as simple as possible. To that end, dispensaries are learning how to better serve their communities by using technology that educates, expands, and streamlines the customer experience. The people at Seed Technology and BLAZE are at the forefront of seamlessly combining software platforms to make customer flow feel as gentle and enjoyable as tubing down a river on a warm summer day.
Our friends at The Artist Tree dispensary in West Hollywood, California use both Seed and BLAZE software to complement the in-store environment, educate consumers, and increase sales. Seed provides menu and content-laden kiosks, tablets, and digital signage where customers can place a direct order, browse the menu, or learn about all things cannabis prior to consulting with a budtender. The Artist Tree Co-Founder Lauren Fontein said “I found out about Seed when I went to another dispensary. I thought it was really cool that it was so educational and informative.”
Get with the Flow
The Artist Tree currently utilizes two Seed self-service ordering kiosks at the front of the dispensary and two Seed informational tablets in the showroom area. When new customers check-in they’re informed about the direct order option via the kiosks. Customers who already know what they want to purchase can go to a kiosk, place their order through the touchscreen and go straight to checkout. This is also helpful during the COVID-19 era because dispensaries must limit the number of customers allowed in the store at one time.
Lauren explained that “The way we do most orders in the store is through one-on-one consultations with our budtenders. Our budtenders each have their own tablet. A customer tells the budtender which items they want and then the budtender inputs the order and sends it to the fulfillment staff who puts the order together.” The customer then goes to the back of the store and checks out with the cashier. The beauty of self-service ordering through our kiosks is that it’s essentially the same process but without the budtender creating the order. After a customer places their order on the touchscreen, it goes to fulfillment just as if the budtender had processed the order. The customer can then quickly and easily pick up their order from the cashier area when it’s ready.
It’s easy and efficient, and Lauren and her team soon noticed another benefit. While waiting to speak with a budtender, customers frequently interact with the kiosks and tablets. “It’s a nice way for them to look at the menu or scroll through the Cannabis Consultation FAQs,” Lauren said. “For some people, it’s like Cannabis 101. They might not want to bother the budtender with a million questions or they might really be new and just learning about cannabis. There are Cannabis Consultation questions asking how frequently do you use cannabis? Are you a new user, occasionally, often, and what are you looking for? Relaxation, pain relief? The Seed platform can then provide recommendations at the end of the consultation. I love that and it’s really useful. And so it’s a good starting place if they just want to browse on their own, get information, and see the prices of all our products. So that’s another reason why they’re really helpful for customers,” Lauren explained.
From an employee standpoint, technology and automation can be a scary thing, but the reaction at The Artist Tree has been just the opposite. The community-focused staff understands that cannabis shopping is a deeply personal experience. Lauren commented that “I think it’s been really helpful in the past couple of months because we’ve been busy and we’re limiting the people in the store. The Seed platform is actually like another set of hands. When the budtenders are busy helping other customers, people waiting can browse the menu on a tablet or use a self-service kiosk. I think the budtenders like the Seed technology because it helps provide more information and options for the customer.”
BLAZE Fires Up Seed
The Artist Tree uses the BLAZE POS platform which manages the inventory and seamlessly integrates with the Seed system. Seed provides the kiosk and tablet hardware and the software transmits orders directly into the BLAZE platform. No matter whether an order is placed by a budtender or by the self-service kiosk, BLAZE tracks the inventory to ensure a product is available for purchase. This in turn also updates the I Heart Jane online ordering menu so that no matter how a customer places an order, the menu and the photos are all consistent.
It’s a partnership that works because both BLAZE and Seed are committed to creating unique, customizable solutions for their customers’ needs. Lauren remarked that “Seed has been great and has an excellent track record. One of their tech specialists has been especially helpful. He’s been to the store numerous times and works with our general manager. They needed to deal with a few issues early on and they just continually worked on it to create the best customer experience possible.”
Art for Art’s Sake
One thing we love about The Artist Tree is its commitment to local artists and the rotating curated collections displayed in the main showroom. To help customers learn more about the art, Seed includes information about the work and the artists on the kiosks and tablets. So while browsing for their personal cannabis preferences, customers can read about the artists and learn more about the art that speaks to them. This is all about community, and we look forward to a long, engaging relationship in helping The Artist Tree. Together, we’re planting a seed for success by redefining the cannabis dispensary experience one fulfilled customer at a time.