Cannabis Dispensary TV Menus: Utility Vs. Vibe
Dispensary design is a highly specialized field, with a host of very specific concerns. (And that’s without a global pandemic to content with; click here to learn how a multistate operator has been navigating the waves.) Will a TV menu support your core mission—giving your customers access to the clearest, most comprehensive and up-to-the-moment information—or will it crowd your walls with hardware and detract from the person-to-person touch that’s at the heart of successful retail?
That’s a mouthful. To help break it down, let’s run down a few pros and cons. Let’s begin with the upsides:
- TV Menus Can Simplify Communication: Especially for those customers who are fairly sure what they’re looking for, a TV menu allows you to communicate the essentials—what’s in stock and what it costs—quickly and seamlessly. That said, a single screen probably won’t allow room to display your entire menu at once, so you’ll have to make choices in terms of limiting the display or mounting more screens.
- TV Menus Can Entertain: Let’s face it: Screens are about more than just imparting facts. With motion graphics, animations and other eye-catching details, TV menus can help bring your products to life in a memorable and entertaining way. However, unless you have a qualified designer on-staff, you’ll probably have to purchase or license that content, as well as complying with local regulations to make sure your materials conform to all applicable restrictions on cannabis marketing.
- TV Menus Can Boost Sales: Savvy marketers have suspected that TV menus have the potential to boost sales in certain environments. A pair of studies—one from Michigan State University and one from Iowa State University—demonstrate the power of the image in different ways. The first study suggests that visuals prompt our decision-making actions to a greater idea than previously believed; the second one indicated that moving or rotating images exerted a strong effect on food choices. They even appeared to influence kids aged 6 – 12 to select more options from the salad bar, not typically the first choice for that age group!
- TV Menus Can Save Time: If you currently employ “analog” signage in the form of whiteboards or other hand-drawn menus, you know how time-consuming it can be to enter all the relevant information in a timely (and legible) fashion. By comparison, TV menus can save you time, once you’ve completed the initial setup and formatting. If you’ve got a fast-changing menu with a lot of products to display, a TV menu might just be a game-changer.
Of course, TV menus aren’t for everyone. Here are a few reasons you might want to wait on taking the plunge:
- Upfront and Ongoing Costs for TV Menus: Obviously, a nice-looking, hi-res screen isn’t free. In addition to a screen suitable for wall mounting, you’ll need an internet connection, a media player, and software that turns the screen into a digital menu (often an extension of your dispensary POS system). While it’s difficult to provide a precise estimate, you can expect to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 up to $1700 for a single screen with all the related components. Over and above that, the software is typically cloud-based and priced on a subscription model.
- TV Menus Change the Feel of Your Dispensary: Just as some patrons prefer quiet and tranquil restaurants to loud, active, and boisterous ones, installing a TV menu will elicit different reactions from your clientele. Does the design of your dispensary support a quiet, reflective, and hands-on vibe, or are you aiming for higher energy and flow? Be aware that some customers will naturally gravitate towards a dispensary that embodies one or the other. At the end of the day, which setup will best serve your mission statement and goals?
Do you have other questions about maximizing your dispensary? We’re here to help; feel free to drop us a line any time.