As the COVID-19 quarantine continues, Cannabis retailers are looking for alternative ways to take orders and service their customers safely. Some states have authorized new pre-order options such as Curbside pickup. For this article, we will focus on how to operationalize Curbside pick up using one of our many supported E-commerce partners (Tymber, Jane, Dutchie, APopMedia, Tokr, BLAZE WooCommerce or BLAZE Widget) or by placing an order over the phone.
Curbside Pickup Request For California
For cannabis retailers, it’s important to check with your state and local regulators to see if Curbside Pickup is something that is legally offered. In California, licensed retailers can request that the BCC allow temporary curbside pick-up at their retail location. This will enable your employees to deliver products to customers on the sidewalk or the curb. If your community would benefit from curbside pick-up, you can write to the BCC with your license number to request temporary relief from the requirements of section 5025, subsections(c)(2)-(3) to offer curbside pick-up. Please note that you may also have to request temporary relief from your local licensing jurisdiction as well. We suggest contacting your local authority directly after you have received the temporary relief from the BCC.
Example Curbside Pickup Draft email:
Mail to: email@example.com
“To Whom It May Concern:
Given the current emergency situation with COVID-19, we are requesting that the Bureau grant temporary relief from the requirements of section 5025, subsections(c)(2)-(3) to allow us to conduct curbside pick-up at our retail location (Insert your name and LICENSE #). We request relief from these specific licensing requirements for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic under Disaster Relief, Section 5038. We will comply with all other BCC requirements including age and identity verification.”
E-commerce Curbside Pick Up
Many dispensaries are finding out how important their ecommerce presence is. With BLAZE, our dispensaries get up to 7+ options to have a fully integrated/seamless online ordering process. Once the integration is set up, consumers can go to your dispensary site to sign up and place an order for Curbside pickup. The user will go through the sign up process to provide the necessary information (may vary per ecommerce integration) and place their order for Pick Up.
During the Checkout Process, it’s important for the user to determine how they will be notified with order updates. We recommend the consumer select Text Message so they can receive alerts as the order progresses through its various stages.
If you are currently using your ecommerce store to send order updates, you can disable the BLAZE system order. You can do this by going to Global Settings > Current Shop Settings > Notifications. From here, you can disable all and/or some of the notification messages.
The online order will show up in the INCOMING ORDER Queue. From there, a budtender will need to ACCEPT or REJECT the order. We recommend the person that accepts the order also fulfills the order. You can optionally assign the order to a specific budtender responsible for fulfilling online orders.
Once the order is accepted, the budtender will be able to see/view any specific notes attached to the order. If there is a note, a notepad icon will appear on the order itself. Tap on the Notepad icon to view the order notes.
The next step is for the budtender to package the order and update the tracking information. To do this, the budtender should tap the option button at the end of the order and select “Update Tracking.” The budtender will then update the order to “Packaged,” Change the ETA and select “Update.” This will trigger either an email or SMS to go to the user with the updated status.
The SMS and Email notifications are predefined by BLAZE. The user will get the following updates for a pick up/curbside order:
- Thank you. You have successfully placed an order.
- Your order is accepted. ETA is within an hour.
- Your order is packaged. ETA is between 5 to 10 min.
- Your order is completed!
When the order is packaged, we recommend that the budtender/dispatcher give the customer a call with instructions for them to call upon arrival so the order can be walked out to them.
Once the customer is at the dispensary parking lot, they will call in and your budtender/runner should bring the BLAZE iPhone or iPad app as well as the order to the vehicle. The budtender will need to verify the customers ID against the BLAZE profile and then complete the order.
Phone Call Curbside Pick Up
While having a strong online presence is key, so is convenience. It’s ideal if a store can offer both Online and Phone Call orders. If you plan to take phone call orders, we recommend setting up a specific phone extension for the orders and make that number clearly visible and easy to find on your website. Once you’re ready to get started, your dispatcher will have a few options to create orders:
- The BLAZE iPad or iPhone POS app
- The BLAZE Dispatch page
- The BLAZE Online POS page
Placing an Order from BLAZE iPad POS
The customer will call in. The dispatcher will look up the customers name on the member section of the ipad. Once they find the customer, tap the customer to view the customer profile. Ensure there is contact information (ideally cell and email) for the customer. If not, please edit the profile and add the relevant information. Next step is to add the customer to the Walk In queue and build the order through the Point of Sale section.
Placing an Order from BLAZE Web POS
For this method, the dispatcher will be using two main pages to take orders: 1. Members page will be used to look up members using any search criteria such as a phone number and name as an example. The dispatcher will then ensure all information on the customers profile is correct prior to adding the customer to the Walk In queue. Once added to the queue, the dispatcher will need to navigate to the online POS page to start placing the order. Once the order is put together, the dispatcher will place the order on hold and assign it to the person packing the order (we recommend it’s the same person who takes the order).
Placing an Order from Dispatch
The customer will call in. From the dispatch page, you can use the search bar to search by phone number, first name, last name or recommendation number. If there are no results, you can add a new member easily by hitting “New Member” and entering the details in. From here, select the option for “Pick Up” and hit “Continue”. On the Create Order page, simply hit “Add Product” and search for the product names. Select the product, enter the quantity and hit “Save”. You can add Rewards, Promotions and/or Custom Discounts. Once the order is finished, select “Send To Unassigned” to place them into the Walk In queue. Using this method, a budtender on the floor will need to package the order up.