How to Get Dispensary Customers to Sign Up (and Use) Online Pre-Ordering

Consumers—particularly dispensary customers—appreciate the convenience of online ordering. But while online pre-ordering has grown in popularity, there are still plenty of customers who aren’t using it yet. Why? Most people just need to get used to ordering online via your dispensary e-commerce platform. After they’ve done it a few times, they’ll be hooked!


The benefits of online pre-ordering for you as a dispensary owner or marketer are huge. Online pre-ordering:

  • Increases the average order value by 20%
  • Reduces customer service costs
  • Eliminates or reduces lines and wait time
  • Captures customer purchasing data that you can use to more effectively market to your customers
  • Increases customer loyalty

Plus, customers appreciate the convenience! After all, who doesn’t enjoy saving time?

To get these benefits, though, your customers have to know about your online pre-ordering system—and use it. Here are a few easy ways you can promote your cannabis dispensary’s online pre-ordering system.

Have Your Budtenders Share the News

Your budtenders are one of the best assets your dispensary has. When your happy customers are checking out, have your budtenders share the benefits of pre-ordering online. Equip your cash wrap with marketing materials highlighting your online pre-ordering to make it even easier.

Budtenders can inform customers about how simple it is to use your dispensary e-commerce service and place the marketing materials (like a simple card or small flyer) in their bag as a reminder. Your budtenders should have a script that’s easy and comfortable for them to use. “Just so you know, you can order online so you don’t have to wait. Plus, this month, we’re doing a special for a free pre-roll joint with your first online order! The info’s in your bag.”

If you don’t already have an express line or your pre-orders, make one! It will work as an incentive in and of itself. Sign the express line so it’s obvious what it is. You can even include marketing materials nearby so customers have the info they need to place their next order online.

Offer Customers an Incentive to Purchase Online

First, create an incentive! Promotions have been around since the beginning of time. Why? Because they’re effective. People love deals.
Offering an incentive not only provides a catalyst for your customers to sign up but it also allows you to subtly get permission to market to them. You can send out a text message (see below) or email that shares the promotion and encourages them to register.

Capture Your Customers Mobile Numbers Anywhere and Everywhere You Can

dispensary e-commerce person looking at phone
SMS marketing is one of the most significant promotional tool for dispensaries. And it’s the most cost-effective. Use whatever means you can to get your customers to sign up for SMS marketing. A few ways you can get mobile numbers is at point-of-sale, through opt-in landing pages, or from a Loyalty Program.

You should send out promotions frequently and consistently, but never more than once per day. And always make sure to point customers to your online menu for more convenient ordering.

When crafting your messages, don’t try to jam too much information into a single text. Customers quickly tire of this and won’t read your messages as frequently. Make sure your text messages are brief, well formatted, and easy to read.

Create a High Converting Opt-In Page

dispensary e-commerce opt in check box
You’ve created your incentive, now create a pop-up opt-in page that invites your customers to register for online ordering. This page should be focused on getting people to register and pushing them to order online.

Make sure there is a delay between when your customers land on your site and when the opt-in pops up. If you do it too quickly, it can feel intrusive and visitors will bounce.

Embed Opt-In Forms Throughout Your Site

Strategically add small embedded opt-in forms (sign-up boxes) or simple Calls-to-Action (CTAs) throughout your website. You should place these within every blog post, either at the end of the post or contextually within the blog.
You can also add opt-in forms and CTAs to the following:

  • Email newsletters
  • Social media profiles
  • All your content marketing including blog posts, guides, and checklists

Content Marketing: Write a Blog to Show People How to Register Via Mobile or Desktop

dispensary e-commerce man on laptop
Content marketing is not just a no-brainer, it’s essential. If you’re not doing it, know that your competitors sure are. Beyond improving SEO, content marketing is a cost-effective tool that provides too many benefits to list. But we’ll share a few of the benefits anyway:

  • Provides value to your customers
  • Increases customer loyalty
  • Enhances your credibility
  • Is less intrusive than conventional marketing
  • Grows your social following
  • Improves brand awareness
  • Enhances the visibility of your product pages and online menu

And most importantly, it boosts online ordering and pre-orders!

An easy way to get started? Why not write a blog on “how to register and use your online menu?” Once your customers visit your blog, you can share more about the benefits of online pre-ordering and offer them an incentive to sign up. Make it easy and link directly to your dispensary e-commerce platform.

Make Sure Your Entire Website is Mobile Friendly

We live in an increasingly mobile world. And cannabis is no exception! If you want to maximize conversions, you need to provide a superior mobile experience for your customers. Your customers are more likely to access your dispensary website with their phone or mobile device than from their desktop. According to Google, 61 percent of users are unlikely to return to a site that wasn’t mobile-friendly and which they had trouble accessing; 40 percent will visit a competitor’s site instead.

Here are a few  things to consider:

  • Is your website responsive across all devices?
  • Does your site load quickly?
  • Is your registration and checkout process easy to find and simple to use?

Implement a Local SEO Strategy

dispensary e-commerce local SEO on laptop
Search engine optimization is essential for cannabis dispensaries. By smartly investing in SEO, you’ll rank higher on Google, you’ll get found more often, and you’ll drive more pre-orders.

Local SEO is one of the most effective ways to ensure your dispensary e-commerce site is successful. While you can do some SEO yourself, it’s usually better to hire professionals who live and breath SEO every day.

Consider Adding Live Chat to Your Dispensary E-Commerce Solution

dispensary e-commerce live chat on laptop
Live chat is becoming the norm in the dispensary e-commerce world. It allows customers to enjoy a service experience that’s similar to an in-store experience but more convenient. Live chat will also increase your conversion rates.

Consider these statistics from the American Marketing Association:

  • Live chat can increase conversions by at more than 20 percent while the typical return-on-investment (ROI) rate from paid live chat software for sales teams.
  • Customers who use live chat are three times more likely to make a purchase compared to customers who don’t.
  • Nearly half of consumers identify “live chat” as their preferred way to connect to businesses.

Make Sure You Aren’t Breaking Any Laws

As you’re well aware, the cannabis industry is one of the most tightly regulated industries around. Before you embark on any major marketing initiatives, consult with your attorney and make sure everything you’re doing is above-board in the eyes of regulators. Laws vary not only from state-to-state but also between local and state regulations.

To learn more about marketing your dispensary, download MediaJel’s FREE “Beginner’s Guide to Dispensary Marketing.”