Website Innovation Helps Cannabis Retailer Increase New Customer Foot Traffic by 1200%
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OVERVIEW Web Modernization Transforms Cannabis Retailer Into Industry Leader
As the first publicly traded medical marijuana company, Terra Tech Corp. (OTCQX: TRTC) operates through multiple subsidiary businesses including Blüm, IVXX Inc., Edible Garden, and MediFarm LLC. Terra Tech came to us because they needed a strategic partner to help with a multi-faceted, digital approach to their retail division Blüm.
Blüm's retail and medical cannabis facilities provide the highest quality medical cannabis to patients who are looking for alternative treatments for their chronic medical conditions, as well as premium cannabis to the adult-use market in Nevada and California. Blüm offers a broad selection of cannabis products including flowers, concentrates, and edibles through their multiple locations in California and Nevada.
CHALLENGE Uncovering opportunities for meaningful impact.
Their website didn’t align with the trendy, community-focused, professional brand image that they have come to be known for. Simply put, it just didn’t represent them well. Even more concerning, as the primary retail division of Terra Tech Corp., Blüm had an immediate need to increase foot traffic to their several retail locations for some hard, bottom line ROI.
The immediate need Instrumental Group (Revenue River at the time of this project) was hired for, was to increase foot traffic to retail stores in California and Nevada. The task at hand seemed simple enough, but as we dug in we uncovered a variety of adjacent issues that presented unique challenges along the way. For one, their tech stack was segmented and robust. Utilizing HubSpot, Salesforce, Green Bits (their customer loyalty program), IHeartJane (their eCommerce software), and more, we had to connect all of these platforms with a streamlined user experience and an integrated back end that synced data across all providers.
In addition, the original Blüm website struggled to convey the level of brand quality and expertise that some of their major competitors did. Their brand identity didn’t convey who they were, nor did it compete in the industry. Blüm was committed to responsible use, community impact, and demystifying the dispensary experience. They had a tremendous wealth of knowledge from use cases, guides, educational materials, support, and community involvement, but you wouldn’t know any of this from their original site.
STRATEGY We hit the ground running.
We wasted no time diving into discovery and strategy creation. From the buyer’s journey development, persona audits, research interviews, and digital strategy development, we were able to move quickly on a variety of fronts. At the center of this ecosystem was their website. It was a functional foundation but never fully fleshed out into a true business-serving asset. At the core of the project were several wildly important goals (WIGs):
- Showcase the locations in a more intuitive and user-friendly fashion so that we can increase foot traffic to individual brick and mortar stores
- Provide a platform for the client to showcase their personal approach to compassionate education, guidance, resources, and advice.
- Increase brand awareness through their conveyed image, style, social following, and more.
Our approach was to build a connected system by which retail locations were connected to the website and customer data was synced between their website, their POS system, their loyalty program, and their eCommerce solution.
We rebuilt the website inside HubSpot with a Growth-Driven Launchpad approach that focused solely on the most important KPIs for the client. During discovery, we identified two distinct personas for their retail business:
"With the success of the launchpad system, we were able to demonstrate immediate results. This has allowed us to further impact the growth system through integrations, attribution visibility and identify new opportunities to continue enhancing the site."
Mike Del Cuore
Types of Cannabis Users :
Beginners - These users were either new to the industry or have been out of the game since the 60s when it was more “socially acceptable”. Their primary concerns were around lack of knowledge of today's cannabis environment. What’s legal? What’s safe? What in the world is CBD? Here our goal was to educate and act as a trusted advisor that demystified today’s cannabis experience.
Advanced Users - These users were very familiar with the different facets of the industry. They were less concerned with the educational aspect and primarily focused on finding a location easily, as well as seeing what dispensaries had to offer in terms of products, promotions, and other location- specific information.
Our approach was to streamline the information architecture of the site around:
Previously on the old site, each location consisted of 3 separate pages including the location-specific menu page. Due to the iHeartJane iframe, we were limited in having a single dynamic store for all locations. Ultimately, we consolidated all locations into a single page using an accordion menu that lets users easily scan all locations, and expand on the one that is relevant to them. By doing so, we were able to provide all the previous information that was scattered across 6 locations that took a total of 18 pages to convey.
In addition, we created a single dedicated shop page and leveraged HubSpot CTAs to trigger a dynamic iframe for each location. This provides a more consolidated funnel for the more “advanced users” and presents them with a seamless user experience to find the information they want fast...and it worked!
Also, by dynamically linking the individual location CTAs to the shop page, we were able to present a filtered shop menu by location with a single click.
"People are making their way to the shopping cart. That is the most popular page on the website and that's obviously what matters most to us as a business."
In an effort to help the “beginners”, we wanted to provide a dedicated hub of information that was easy to find so that they could get the answers to all of their questions. We leveraged the HubSpot blog functionality to set in place the foundation of a robust resource area that features everything from articles to events, public relations, recipes, videos, podcasts, and more. We also integrated a Google Review stream to build consumer confidence and intentionally connected the resource hub to the “About” (or Culture) page, which showcases the companies personalized approach toward changing the industry. To date, it appears our persona research was accurate as the Culture page is the second most clicked element on the resource blog, just behind the Shop page.
Eyes on Location.
With the unique relationship between digital websites and brick and mortar locations, we experienced a disconnect. How could we track our results? How could we demonstrate improvement? One of the first action items we planned was an in-store iPad check-in, which was comprised of a HubSpot form and landing page for each location. Users were prompted to sign in when they visit a location. Through an updated page design and integration of a multi-step form that provided optional promotion signup, we were able to track increased foot traffic and generated 3,700+ new organic opt-ins, which was a major KPI for our engagement with Blüm.
Making The Buying Experience a Little Easier.
In an effort to better serve their clientele, Blüm began to focus on promoting the individual locations and leveraged the ever-so-important eCommerce option for pre-orders. By doing so, users could order online and swoop by to pick up their order quickly and be on their way. After all, who doesn’t love take out? Though we were limited with their iHeartJane option for pre-orders, we knew we could affect adoption rates through strategic UX on their website. Our solution was to utilize HubSpot’s chatbot feature. By incorporating conversational marketing, we were able to increase online pre-orders dramatically. As it turns out, chatbot usage was a wild hit with over a 90% pre-order completion rate and over 5,500 successful orders.
RESULTS Using the website to drive in-store traffic.
Since launch, we’ve seen positive results from our strategy and efforts. Some of the most notable wins are:
Elevated brand and lifestyle identity
Blüm’s old site was similar to an old yearbook photo. You had no idea who they were or what they looked like today. After our redesign, Blüm boasts a strong brand identity as a leader in the space. Since launch, we’ve increased their social following to over 10,000 on Instagram through social media integrations on the site. Users are gravitating to who Blüm is and what they are doing in the industry.
Streamlined user experience
By consolidating the site down to a simple 4-step approach, we were able to funnel users to single destinations on the site through the “Shop” and “Locations” pages. Previously, users had to click through many different pages to find the information they were looking for. Now, the Shop and Locations pages are the top two ranking pages on the site, averaging about 50,000 and 20,000 visits per month respectively!
- We increased organic opt-ins to 3,700 by the end of August.
- We increased “new customer” foot traffic in stores by 1200%. Blüm went from averaging less than 1,000 new customers a month to 13,000 new customers monthly (across all store locations)
IMPACT Focusing on the flywheel.
As we all know, the world is changing. Organizations are (by necessity) becoming more and more customer-centric. Especially in the retail business, your customers are your lifeblood. For an organization that relies on an elegant digital experience, combined with meaningful personal interaction, it is imperative for that organization to maintain a consistent experience across all touchpoints.
By keeping the customer at the center of all our efforts, we have been able to build a foundation from which Blüm can continue to serve their clientele in the most meaningful ways that turn speculative interests into full-blown brand ambassadors.
What can Instrumental Group do to help your business put their best face forward? It could turn out to have even more impact than you previously thought possible.