We’ve been working tirelessly here at 420 Web Pros to be the very best full service business solution company for the cannabis industry. Soon, we’ll be launching a new site that’ll make the process of branding your cannabis venture a breeze! Brand Your Cannabiz will launch within the next couple of weeks, stay tuned!
If you own a medical marijuana collective, the recent decision by the Los Angeles City Council to place a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries is yet another speed bump in the goal of completely legalizing medical marijuana. While the ban is not expected to go into effect for months and could get held up in court, now is the time to examine what you should do with your collective should the city force you to close your doors.
The ban of medical marijuana dispensaries applies to brick and mortar locations. With that said, there is still a way to operate your collective without the use of a storefront. Seeing as how businesses are more frequently moving online, as witnessed in the business of movie rentals and music, the best way to maintain your collective is to set-up a virtual collective.
If you’re accustomed to the face-to-face interaction you’ve been providing at your collective, the first thought of a virtual collective may sound like it’s complicated. A virtual online collective, however, turns your collective into a delivery service and it actually provides ease and discretion.
Patients can sign up to become a member of your collective via a user-friendly interface on your website. Patients can then search your catalogue of medicine and add/edit/delete their selections via an online shopping cart. Your collective can then provide delivery to the patients’ residence. Patients can also track their order and view their own donation history.
The interface is also beneficial for collective owners, who can set minimum and maximum amounts for donation for individual patients. You will also be able to maintain a complete order history, along with the capability to keep track of trends and who your top patients are. Videos accompanying your strain menu will help educate your patients on the strain they are looking to acquire.
Another great service for collective owners is the Notification System that sends a message to your e-mail and mobile device every time a new patient joins your collective and needs to be verified. It will also notify you every time an order is placed so that you can fill the order. The most important notification comes in the form of one where the system will automatically disable an account when the patient’s expiration date has been reached on their doctor’s recommendation.
The other benefit of the virtual online collective is the ability to tailor your site toward medical and non-medical visitors to the site. Patients who are members of your collective will be able to order their medicine while non-members can still purchase merchandise like shirts, hats, and DVD’s.
One of our project managers will take you through a full training course on how to operate your virtual online collective before you make it available to the public.
The whole system takes three to four weeks to develop. Given the political climate surrounding medical marijuana, now would be an appropriate time to look into rebuilding your brick and mortar in the virtual world, and 420 Web Pros can make that transition run smoothly.
We’ve all heard the saying “You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.” Even though that saying is becoming more outdated with the transition of books into e-readers, the saying still holds some relevance in today’s world. And while the saying may be true and wholesome, we are all guilty of judging something based on its appearance. That is why the layout and appearance of your website is so important. At 420 Web Pros we take great pride in all of our work, but especially when it comes to remodeling and improving the design of a website. One example of a successful redesign we recently accomplished is exemplified through our new partnership with Seattle Hempfest.
Seattle Hempfest occurs every year during the third weekend of August. This year it falls on August 17, 18, and 19. It’s free to the public and runs on donations each year. 2012 marks the 21st anniversary of the festival, which features five stages of musical acts and speakers promoting the positive effects of medical marijuana. The festival prides itself on being one of the largest and most sophisticated policy reform events in the world.
One of the first ways we improved the festival’s website was by making it more visual. We placed a scrolling gallery of images in the middle of the site to great visitors to the page. In the design of the old website, viewers were simply greeted by a layout of words. The change to being greeted by images eases the viewer into the site and doesn’t overwhelm the viewer with too much information a
ll at once. Visitors are now stimulated to delve further into the website, simply because of the addition of pictures on the front page.
Another thing we did was that we created some drop-down menus where links to desired information can be found under different categories. We then placed those menus at the top of the page where it’s customary on most websites to find navigation options. In the design of the old website all the links were simply listed on the left side of the website where the viewer had to scroll down the website and read down a long list to find a desired option. With the new design, the viewer doesn’t have to scroll. He simply has to hover over a category. It cuts down on the visitors search time and more neatly organizes the design of the website.
The most exciting new aspect that we added to the redesign is interactivity to the site. Rather than just having visitors seek information, they can feel as if they are a part of the site by viewing webcasts, reading the blog, or discussing topics in a forum. In addition, we also created a ticker on the bottom of the site counting down how many days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the start of the festival. Finally, to make it even more user friendly we created a language option for people of varied tongues to understand what Seattle Hempfest has to offer. Visitors are more likely to return to a website if they feel they are a part of an online community.
What we did for Seattle Hempfest is a redesign process that can be repeated for any website. If your medical marijuana collective, festival, or organization already has a website then you may want to examine how 420 Web Pros can enhance how you display your website to visitors.
Finally, we’d like to thank all of the people at Seattle Events for the opportunity to let us be just a small part of Seattle HempFest. We look forward to continuing to help and support the event and overall cause now and in future. Check out http://hempfest.org
We’ve all been there. It’s late at night. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be late. It could be any time of the day, and you’re just too lazy or don’t have the energy to leave your home to pick up something to eat, and you certainly don’t want to make something at home. So what do you do? You call for delivery. Pizza places take advantage of our laziness and implore the convenience of delivery. Grocery stores also do it. Now, medical marijuana dispensaries are in on the practice, and if you operate a collective it is certainly something you should consider as well.
Calling for delivery is somewhat outdated now that seemingly every person has a smart phone, tablet, or mobile device. Most companies that deliver now utilize a customer service platform via their website. 420 Web Pros can implement a platform to broaden your collective’s outreach to a new patient base.
Some patients will always prefer to see a budtender pick their desired strain out of a Mason jar, just like how some people prefer to see their sandwich made in front of them at a sub shop. It can be a chore, however, for patients with debilitating diseases to make it to a collective’s brick and mortar location, which is where the online customer service aspect can significantly boost patient outreach.
There are already several medical marijuana websites that feature medicine menu’s for each collective, so it’s quite easy to utilize a menu and cart feature on your own website where patients can order their medicine and make their donations. The online ordering and delivery service is also appealing to patients who have safety concerns about traveling with their medicine.
As a collective, if you’re not quite ready to make that jump into providing an online ordering system then another online customer service option is to provide a form for patient online verification.
Waiting in line is something that very few people enjoy. Sometimes it feels like you’re just moving from one line to the other as you go from place to place, whether it’s in traffic, at the grocery store, and maybe even in your own house to use the shower in the morning. To eliminate the waiting process in at least one aspect of your patient’s lives try offering an online verification process to new patients.
420 Web Pros can create a designated area on your collective’s website for prospective members. The same membership application that new patients would fill out in person could also be provided on the website. The patient could then e-mail or fax a completed copy of the application, along with their doctor’s referral, and identification card. Before the patient arrives to the collective’s location, the information provided on the documents could be verified. Once the patient arrives all they have to do is show their identification card, as long as their documents were verified, and their wait time to enter the showroom is cut down significantly.
Quality customer service is what keeps patients returning, and 420 Web Pros can make your site as friendly as possible for that outcome.
Every culture, religion, country, ethnicity, club, or organization has a special holiday that means something special for the people who call themselves a member. Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25. American’s celebrate Independence Day on July 4. Football fans celebrate the Super Bowl on the first Sunday in February. OK, that last one may not be a real holiday, but you get the point.
In the medicinal marijuana field, April 20, aka 4/20 is THE holiday for the community. We at 420 Web Pros obviously take the holiday seriously considering the number is in the title of our company. With that in mind, if you own a collective we hope you have also put proper preparation into the holiday?
4/20 is likely to be the busiest day of the year for your collective, but it will also be the busiest day of the year for all collectives. There are more discretionary donations to be made on 4/20 than on any other day of the year. The retail industry has Black Friday where more discretionary income is spent on that day than on any other day in the year. That is a holiday for the retail industry, and retail businesses acknowledge that. Target competes with Best Buy, which competes with Wal-Mart, which competes with Macy’s, which competes with other large chain stores. They all may not be selling the same products, but they’re all competing for the same dollars. That is precisely why they all try to top one another with special deals on Black Friday. The medicinal marijuana field on 4/20 is infinitely more competitive on its holiday, because it’s a holiday specific to the needs of one group.
Every collective will be trying to set it apart from other collectives by offering specials on 4/20 like free gifts with a minimum donation and perhaps free food when you enter the showroom. That is good and all, but if you really want to provide a memorable experience for your patients then try thinking outside the box.
Here are a few unique ideas to make 4/20 the most rewarding day of the year for your collective and for your patients.
- Extend your collective’s hours. You remember what it was like to be a kid on Christmas morning. You couldn’t wait to open presents and pull your stockings off the chimney. That was the one-day during the year that you woke up before the sun and you probably even woke up your parents from bed to get the day’s festivities started. Patients start celebrating the holiday early, which means you should too.
- Offer unannounced promotions. Most collectives have taken the time to place ads on the Internet and in magazines about what free gifts will be offered. Surprises, however, often have a long lasting positive impact on the likelihood that a patient will return, in the off chance of getting another unannounced gift. One example for 4/20 would be to give a special gift to the fourth, twentieth, and if you’re really lucky, the four hundred twentieth patient of the day.
- Don’t forget about 4/19 and 4/21. Christmas has Christmas Eve. In the Mexican culture, All Saints Day is celebrated the day after Halloween. For 4/20, why not offer some specials on 4/19 and/or 4/21?
In between timeouts of your favorite athletic event I’m sure you’ve noticed those TV commercials for erectile dysfunction pills. If you’re a guy, don’t pretend like you haven’t considered asking your doctor about them. I’m also quite certain you’ve seen free perfume samples in between the folds of magazines like Glamour and In Style. If you’re a lady, perhaps you have even ripped out the page and rubbed it on your wrists and neck to help out those guys with ED. Those companies that advertise via those outlets know where their audience lies and they advertise toward their target market. The effectiveness of those products marketing strategies would be diminished if placed in opposite arenas, since men don’t use perfume and women don’t use erectile dysfunction medication.
If you own and operate collective it is just as important to have a feel for who your patients are, so that you can tailor your website toward their needs. One factor to consider is the location of where you are based. Since locals are most likely going to be the majority of your patients, are you located in an area with a heavy population that is above 50 years old or under 50 years old? That type of knowledge should affect how you disseminate information on your website. Seniors don’t frequent websites as often as younger individuals. But when they do, information should be easily accessible, since they do not spend as much time on the Internet and probably are not as accustomed to navigating a busy website.
The way information is distributed should also be considered. Younger people will be more apt to click on a video, read a blog, listen to a podcast, or be stimulated by a picture. They will also be more likely to utilize social media like Twitter and Facebook, so your collective should have a presence on those platforms, which link to your website.
Knowing your loyal market is important, but as a business owner you likely continually want to tap into untapped markets. That is especially true of the medical marijuana field, since it is ever growing with new patients, but it is important not to exclude your loyal market.
One factor that can exclude your loyal market is the language you use while trying to pursue a new market. If your loyal market is people later on in life it would not be a good idea to start using slang and jargon tailored toward garnering a younger audience. Your loyal market could be turned off by a perceived new direction that you are heading in, which could cause them to search for a collective that better speaks their language.
420 Web Pros is well versed in tailoring content toward specific markets because you certainly don’t want to place an erectile dysfunction ad in Women’s magazines or advertise perfume in the middle of an athletic event. We can also help diagnose your loyal market, along with coming up with some web strategies to garner new markets without excluding who is loyal to you already.