Whether you own a well-known, established store with plenty of regulars, or are planning to open your first smoke shop, there is always room to improve. The cannabis and vaping industries have exploded in recent years, and show no signs of slowing down. Now is the time to stand out amongst the crowd and prove that you are a knowledgeable retailer that truly cares about your customers.
It’s a Team Effort
There’s nothing worse than going to a shop with a specific question in mind, but the worker just stares at you blankly without an answer. You probably would head to a different shop next time, wouldn’t you? Having a well-trained, knowledgeable staff is essential if you want to grow a loyal customer base.
Your employees should know how all the products offered in your store work, and what products complement each other well. Before you list a new product for sale, lead a training session for your staff. Let them test it out and play around with it; if it’s a less expensive item, think about letting everyone test a product out for a week or so, so they can give customers their honest opinion and speak from experience. It’s hard to advocate for a product when you haven’t used it personally.
Be the Party Spot
Due to the niche nature of smoke shops, customers tend to only come in when they need a specific item. Give them another reason to make the trip by hosting events at your store. A little creativity goes a long way in creating an enjoyable experience that fosters loyal customers.
Make the event beneficial to your store in the long term, if possible. Set up a monthly raffle, where customers get entered with each purchase and receive extra entries for being present at the drawing. Play music, give out free snacks, and offer exclusive discounts only available during drawing times. For a more creative approach, hire a local artist to create an art installation live in your store. This could be a mural or other piece of art that will have a permanent home in the store.
Advertise these events on your social media, and encourage others to spread the news by exchanging raffle entries or other incentives for following your social media accounts and sharing event details on their profiles. Building up your social media presence is essential for success in today’s market. Consistent, quality content is key, and once you’ve gained a solid following, marketing your events will be a lot easier.
The bottom line is, you can make major improvements to your shop just by making it a place people find approachable and enjoyable to spend time in. Having a staff of knowledgeable, personable employees will regard your store as a trustworthy source. Promote your events on social media, and have customers at the events follow your accounts for extra incentives. There are so many generic smoke shops out there, so why not put in a little extra effort to establish yourself as a leader in the industry.