Building a great website for any industry is tricky. Creating an excellent website for a cannabis store is even trickier. On top of all of the traditional pages retail sites possess (such as a catchy homepage, store hours, links to social media accounts, and a contact page), a cannabis dispensary or store website needs to go the extra mile and help new customers over any perceived barriers to entry. That means digging a little bit deeper and thinking through what information your patients and adult-use customers absolutely must have to feel comfortable walking into your store.
To help you in your website quest, here are five things we think every cannabis website should have.
First things first, you need an age gate. Yes, we just discussed the importance of helping uncertain consumers overcome their objections, and an age gate is definitely an additional barrier, but it’s non-negotiable. As a responsible member of the cannabis community, you must ensure that non-medical underage users aren’t surfing your site. Yes, it relies on information entered by the user, but many states have strict regulations around marketing to underage users, and an age gate demonstrates a good faith attempt to keep your content away from younger viewers.
Tell Your Story
On top of having an “About Us” section that gives the facts about your store, consider crafting an origin story around why your store exists. Most people in this industry have gotten into cannabis for reasons that are both compelling and personal. And, while you may shy away from the idea of shining a spotlight on yourself, telling your story is an excellent way to assure new users that they can expect an understanding and warm welcome when they visit. You can also use your story to establish your credentials as a thought leader in this growing industry. People remember stories more than anything else they hear.
Go Forth and Blog
We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it a billion more times, your website needs an active blog. Blogs are an essential way to create trust, build SEO, and reach out to the community. Yes, they are a bit of a pain to come up with week in and week out, but blogs are a critical part of growing your brand’s online presence. Just make sure that you’re following all of your state’s marketing regulations before anything gets posted. And, be creative in keeping your blog updated.
Have a Current Menu (with Photos)
This may be the most obvious of all suggestions, but you might be surprised at the number of websites we’ve run into that either don’t have an up to date menu or don’t have images. Cannabis is still a very new product. Sure, flower may be as old as time, but extracts, edibles, tinctures, and concentrates are breaking new ground. Customers want to be able to read up about new and unfamiliar products, see them on your website, and make sure that you have what they want available in-store. So make sure your menu is up to date, and bonus points if you have an option to pre-order!
They’ve Got Questions, You’ve Got Answers
An FAQ section is a necessity for any store or dispensary’s site. Not only does it build out the content of your site (hello, SEO!) it also creates a space for you to educate your customers and ease any potential nerves. Great topics for your FAQ include your state’s rules and regulations about medical and adult use, possession and sales limits, what to expect once your customers reach your store (yes, they need their ID every time), the forms of payment accepted, etc. The list is a long one, but it’s important to think through your FAQ to make sure that it answers any and all questions a new patient or customer might have (and ask budtenders questions they get the most to spur ideas).
Sound like a lot of work? It is, but it’s important work. That’s where we come in. We’re WYD Agency, and we know cannabis and web design. We can work with you to create a website that tells your story, attracts new customers, and delivers experiences that inspire delight. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.