Understanding sales trends in your cannabis dispensary is essential to optimizing product inventory. Dealing with vendors, avoiding expired products, and knowing what products move off shelves can be difficult to navigate. There are a few ways to make sure that the inventory in your storefront will sell and not just sit idle taking up valuable shelf space.
Reviewing Vendor Samples
Cannabis dispensaries see hundreds of vendors walk through their doors every week to drop off samples in hopes that their brand will make it into your inventory. Trying these samples will help you and your staff determine the quality of the product and if it will appeal to your customer base. Enlisting your staff to try these samples is a great way to get honest feedback. If your budtenders speak highly of a product, it might be worth investing in a small order to test the waters.
Some vendors will even be open to working off of consignment at first to prove that their products will sell. If their product do indeed sell then placing an order is probably a good idea but make sure that the profit margins make sense for the amount of shelf space you are offering the vendor.
Choosing Vendors Wisely
Once you’ve sampled the products from a cannabis vendor it also important to evaluate them on a business level as well. Constantly checking their products for dates of production, THC levels, and compliant packaging/labeling is vital to building a healthy working relationship. Often times vendors can overpromise and under deliver, so comparing order pricing to what was originally discussed is imperative.
There are also other factors to consider when working with a vendor such as reliable delivery times and dates, clear lines of communication, and the accuracy of orders/manifests. As a general rule of thumb it is never recommended to sign for an order that is incomplete or doesn’t match the electronic order. This is why it so important to work with licensed vendors, manufacturers and producers. Accepting deliveries that match the digital manifests in the track and trace software is paramount to maintaining compliance.
Stocking Products by Category
Stocking the optimal amount of products in each category is a bit of a balancing act that requires experience and a deep understanding of your customers. Often times cannabis dispensaries have a purchasing manager who is responsible for stocking the shelves within an inventory budget.
Selecting specific products for each category and the appropriate quantity is often dependant upon the season, upcoming events like concerts or holidays, and your regular clientele. Whether it’s edibles, extracts, oils, tinctures, or dried flower it’s important to continually test the quality of orders as consistency is hard to come by. Every cannabis dispensary should always be in search for the “perfect inventory” to cater to their customers.
Another great way to anticipate the shopping habits of your clientele is to compile an almanac of sales analytics from previous years. This will help you stock inventory that has shown to be popular in the past and will likely be again. Cannabis dispensary traffic ebbs and flows throughout the year so being able to predict downturns or upturns will give you an idea of how much stock is needed.
Yearly, monthly, and weekly analytics can be an invaluable resource when optimizing not only the stock levels but the products that you choose to upsell. Using a dispensary point of sale software that can generate these type of numbers will benefit your business and your bottom line.
Adding New Inventory
Once you’ve decided on your products and placed orders with vendors you want to be able to add your new inventory to your POS system efficiently. Manually typing in each product and quantity is extremely laborious and time consuming. Streamlining this process using technology is a must to keep your cannabis dispensary running smoothly.
Thanks to advancements in RFID barcode technology there are some scanners that scan every barcode in an order in seconds. If your business sees a high turnover in stock it may be worth investing in a dispensary POS software that is compatible with this functionality. In order to stay compliant, dispensaries will also need to use inventory software that is integrated with the state track-and-trace system to accept it online before stocking the shelves.