May 19, 2022

How to Attract More Customers to Your Speciality Retail or Cannabis Dispensary with Mobile Apps

Okay, you came here to understand how mobile apps can help your business. Before diving into how  mobile applications help you grow your customer base, let's review some key stats when it comes to small speciality retail stores in the U.S.

According to the IBISWorld report: 

  • Specialty retail is a $44.6 billion industry with an annual growth of 2.0%.
  • There are around 144,000 businesses in the U.S. that are classified as small businesses. 
  • Currently there are no major players in the industry.
  • The main strengths of  the industry have been the low amount of imports in this specific market and the  low capital requirements for market entry.
  • The main weaknesses have been high competition in the industry and also the low revenue per employee.

Now that we have delved into small specialty retail, the broad industry in which cannabis retailers are positioned, let’s review some broad stats about cannabis and hemp production in the U.S.  According to a KayaPush report of the Cannabis Industry: 

  • The global legal cannabis market is expected to reach USD 70.6 billion by 2028.
  • Marijuana flowers will remain the market leader, forecasted to represent 47.3% of U.S. sales.
  • The U.S. cannabis industry now supports 321,000 full-time jobs and it's growing quickly.

Now that we have reviewed some key statistics about small scale specialty retail, let’s review some trends and statistics about mobile phones. According to Statista, approximately 6.4 billion people were using smartphones at the end of the year 2021. This statistic gives us insight into the vast opportunities for mobile applications to be leveraged by businesses, small and large, across industries. However, for small scale specialty retailers, these statistics are very important. The usage of mobile applications allows specialty retail businesses to engage with their customers across the globe in a much better way by helping them offer more value to their customers.

According to the report of Statista shared by Flowhub, in both cannabis and specialty retail, there is absolutely no doubt that the integration of mobile apps into the businesses will prove to be beneficial more than ever. The demand and the competition in the cannabis and specialty retail industry has been increasing in recent years thus it is utmost important for the businesses to choose the right technology and especially at the right time. 

The demand for Cannabis apps has been increasing in the industry especially when it comes to Cannabis delivery as it helps grow your market share and open up your client base as well.

The usage of mobile applications allows the businesses to provide a unique and an efficient experience to their customers that they will tend to remember for a long time. In the following ways the use of the right mobile application can boost up and extend the customer base for a cannabis and specialty retail business:


It is not necessary that a business should always have its products available at their physical stores. Also, a website for the specialty retail business provides a great opportunity for the businesses to initially market their products. A mobile application, however, can generate a whole new level of customer experience and allows your specialty retail business to reach and engage with a whole new set of customers. 

According to a report from Compuware, up to 85% of customers use mobile applications as their preferred purchasing platform instead of going through websites via their desktop or laptop. Looking at this stat should push the businesses in specialty retail or cannabis  to fulfill the needs and requirements of their customers by providing a unique and an amazing experience through their mobile application.

Comparison of time spent by customers on retail apps vs websites

Push notifications and location based alerts are one of the features of the mobile applications. Geo-targeted marketing campaigns are made easier for the businesses as they can target a set of customers based on their locations. This geo-data can be used to send them relevant alerts related to products, packages, or deal offers as well. 

Customer segmentation can also be done via the use of mobile applications. It segments and analyzes consumers according to their level of app use. This makes it easier for the cannabis and specialty retailers businesses to decide how they will fulfill the needs and requirements of their customers.

Customer Retention:

The loyalty of the customers and the process of retaining the customers is a long-term process and has to be carried out with great sensitivity and efficiency as well. 

To earn the loyalty of the customers there are various techniques which the businesses can apply in the cannabis and specialty retail and specialty retail industry. The businesses can provide their customers with loyalty awards through their mobile applications which can be redeemed by the customers. The loyalty awards may include various coupon codes, discounts on selected products, etc.

Increase in Sales:

The usage of mobile applications within cannabis and specialty retail will positively result in an increase in sales for the businesses. 

STRAIN launched a mobile application for the cannabis and specialty retail businesses in the medical dispensaries. 

The data extracted by STRAIN in terms of their customers using their mobile application as a purchase platform shows that 75% of the customers prefer to order the products from the mobile application. Dispensaries that integrate their STRAIN mobile app and online ordering system increased their online sales by 80-125%.

Graph of cannabis dispensaries using Mobile App vs Online Ordering Channel

Other benefits of using a mobile application for your cannabis and specialty retail business include:

Mobile Marketing:

As a cannabis or specialty retailer, you need to realize the fact that your own mobile application is basically a powerhouse itself for attracting more customers towards your business. 

Having a mobile application for your customers will rapidly increase the reach of your business to the customers and will allow the users to connect with the business on a much wider scale which definitely can’t be overruled in any case. 

The applications are made such that not only the users see overwhelming icons on their phones but in fact are able to receive push notifications regarding the latest addition of products, new promotional offers or the latest trends in cannabis and specialty retail. 

Expanded Loyalty Engagement:

As you know, free coffees are earned at local cafes through a simple punch card, in the cannabis and specialty retail, a mobile application can be a major and an effective asset which can promote the participation of the users in the customer loyalty program. It doesn’t matter whether the customers are purchasing in-store or online, the loyalty points of the customers can be easily tracked and counted within the mobile application of the business itself. It is obvious that the usage and proper implementation of customer loyalty programs are a win both for the customers and the business itself whereas mobile applications make this process a whole lot easier and much more efficient. 

Make the most out of your Mobile Application:

In the cannabis and specialty retail Industry, investing your money might seem to be a bigger and a risky move but it will definitely be worthwhile. 

The usage of mobile applications brings customers and  businesses  closer to each other which results as beneficial for both parties  To make sure that investing your money in a mobile application doesn’t go to waste, following practices should be followed by the cannabis and specialty retail businesses:

  • The application can be monetized by letting influencers or other brands to advertise their products which will allow your business to create an extra stream of revenue.
  • The content and the news related to cannabis and specialty retail should always be kept up to date and all the latest trends should be put out in the mobile application in the blogs section.
  • The application should be promoted on various channels.
  • The offering of unique promotions and loyalty awards should be made fun and be creative in order to attract more and more customers.

A Computer Scientist who’s a die-hard cricket fan, enthusiastic Fifa player and unfortunately a proud chocoholic.