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All cannabis retailers want a flow of in-store traffic and a healthy revenue stream for their shops. To achieve these ends, your cannabis retail operation needs the right mix of products from trustworthy, eye-catching brands.

How will you know which brands to include and which ones to leave out? Read our tips for picking the right selection of brands to help drive in-store traffic.

What is My Primary Target Market?

Here's how to find brands with the product lines that bring in your largest pool of customers. The first thing to do is ask yourself: Who is coming into my shop? If it's a younger crowd (21- to 34-year-olds), identify brands that specialize in quality concentrates and high-THC flower. Are they 25 to 38 years old? Look at leading brands that offer vape pens. If you're catering to senior consumers, you'll want medical-centric brands that carry edibles, oils, tinctures, and CBD products.

Defining Your Product Mix

If your operation is new and you're still in the process of identifying your primary target market, it's best to start with a mix of everything. You'll want a mix of products, from high and medium tier to value brands. Dispensaries should aim to attract every type of buyer, from customers who will spend money on a high-quality product to people who just want to buy cheap weed.

A must-have item in your product mix? Prerolls. They are popular and high-margin items. Find out what customers are saying online about different preroll brands and choose a favored one. Do the same for concentrates and edibles, as they are the two fastest-growing product categories in cannabis right now.

Once you've got a robust product mix in place, it typically takes three to six months to figure out which brands are bringing you the most business. As you begin to see which products people are requesting at your storefront, adjust your inventory accordingly. If you discover, for example, that a lot of your customers are coming in for tinctures, you can minimize your concentrate budget and boost your medical line. Trial and error is a factor here. You don't want to exclude other consumer demographics completely, but you do want to play to your strengths.

Research Brands

Picking the right brands for your store requires background research. Search online to identify the brands you want to work with.

As you do your brand research, you'll also want to keep a few guiding questions in mind:

  • How long has this brand been in business?
  • Do they regularly test their products?
  • If they produce flower, where are they sourcing their genetics?
  • Do they have compliant packaging that's easy for consumers to understand?
  • Are they regularly advertising to consumers?

These questions can help you define the best brands for your operation. A brand with history and longevity in the industry (meaning two years or more) is typically a reliable choice for your shelves. If they were testing their products before it was required to do so, that's a mark of brand integrity. Regardless of the target market or price point you're looking for, knowing how a brand assembles their product line will give you a clear idea of whether or not you want to carry them in your store. Identify brands who work with well-established, quality seed banks. If they invest in their packaging, brand presence, and advertising to appeal to consumers in conjunction with an investment in product quality, the brands are setting themselves up for success and growth, which in turn can help drive traffic to your shop.

The simplest way to find out how a brand is advertising? See how easy it is to find them on Weedmaps. These three strategies can help you to research top brands:

  • Look at Top Brands on Weedmaps

Featured brands on Weedmaps are invested in getting their name and products out to consumers. Consumers are looking for them, so you'll want to consider having them on your shelves.

  • Use Weedmaps to Research Brand Product Lines and Customer Reviews

As you look beyond featured brands on Weedmaps, it's important to know what customers are saying about the less established ones you're considering. If you're a boutique shop, you'll want to consider which of the smaller boutique brands will contribute to your in-store traffic. A brand can say anything they want about themselves, but that doesn't make it true. Look at Weedmaps customer reviews thoroughly to get a good sense of the general consensus around a brand.

  • Talk to Your Weedmaps Account Executive

No one knows more about putting products on your shelf than your Weedmaps account representative. Talk to your rep about your store's needs and products your customers are asking for. They'll be able to help you find the right options and guide your research.