How Data Analytics Can Help You Scale Your Cannabis Business

by | Oct 18, 2023 | Cannabis

Reading Time: 6 minutes

The cannabis industry has been rapidly evolving in recent years, with legalization efforts gaining momentum across the globe. As the market expands, cannabis business owners face increasing competition and the need to optimize operations for growth.

Data analytics can be a game-changer for cannabis entrepreneurs looking to scale their operations. By harnessing the power of data, business owners can make informed decisions, enhance efficiency, and achieve sustainable growth.

Understanding market trends and consumer behavior

The cannabis industry is extremely competitive, and is only going to grow more so as states hand out new licenses. Building a loyal customer base is essential for long-term success, especially when businesses start to expand their operations.

Monitoring market trends

Cannabis entrepreneurs can use data analytics to track the growth or decline of specific product categories. They can identify emerging trends in strains, consumption methods, and product preferences.

Additionally, businesses can also use data to track how different markets are performing across different states and regions. Entrepreneurs looking to expand their business into new territories need to have a bird’s eye view of that specific market if they wish to establish a foothold.

Analyzing consumer behavior

Utilizing point-of-sale (POS) data, cannabis business owners can gain insights into customer preferences and buying patterns. With this information, they can create targeted marketing campaigns based on customer demographics, location, and purchase history. Moreover, they can optimize pricing strategies by analyzing customer reactions to price changes.

At the core of every effective sales strategy lies a product inventory that aligns with consumer demand. POS data empowers dispensaries to gain deeper insights into their customer demographic, enabling them to provide a superior selection to their clientele. Given the psychoactive nature of cannabis, it’s critical that customers have access to products that cater to their specific needs.

As expected, dispensaries experience a notable increase in business during weekends, holidays, and other special occasions. Leveraging POS data for strategic decision-making, dispensaries can effectively plan promotions that align with their inventory to better handle higher foot traffic on busy days. Moreover, offering promotions that coincide with holidays and special events serves as a compelling incentive to foster continued patronage from loyal customers.

Compliance and regulatory reporting

Navigating the complex web of cannabis regulations is a significant challenge for business owners, and this challenge is only compounded when expanding into new markets. Data analytics can simplify compliance and regulatory reporting, ensuring that businesses are meeting guidelines regardless of which territories they’re operating in.

With data analytics, cannabis entrepreneurs can automatically track compliance with local and state regulations. They can receive alerts for potential compliance issues or discrepancies and generate reports for regulatory agencies with ease.

An integrated analytics solution provides dispensaries with the advantage of accessing all their business data in real time from a centralized platform. This not only guarantees that their team consistently operates with dependable and precise data but also mitigates the likelihood of supplying outdated information to compliance tracking systems.

Additionally, an analytics solution allows businesses to conduct comparisons between the outcomes of audits and the data recorded within the system. This process allows businesses to quickly identify an unaccounted-for products. In an industry as tightly regulated as cannabis, accurate and timely reporting are crucial for long-term success and sustainability.

Inventory management and supply chain optimization

Efficient inventory management and a well-optimized supply chain are essential components of scaling any business, and cannabis is no exception. The more your business is selling, the more product it needs to replace. This is especially important in an industry as fast-paced as cannabis, where trends and consumer preferences can change overnight.

Demand forecasting

By analyzing historical sales data, cannabis business owners can predict future demand for specific products. This proactive approach helps prevent overstocking or understocking, and in turn reduces costs associated with excess inventory and storage.

Even outside of forecasting, up-to-date transparency into your inventory ensures that your shelves are always stocked with the products that your consumers want most. When integrated with a point of sale (POS) system, inventory management tools can drastically reduce both the time wasted from manual inventory data tracking as well as the risk of human error.

Supply chain optimization

Data analytics enables tracking the movement of products from cultivation to distribution, otherwise known as “seed-to-sale.” With this data, identifying bottlenecks and inefficiencies in the supply chain becomes more manageable. Additionally, it allows for optimizing routes and logistics to reduce transportation costs and delivery times.

Understanding your supply chain is especially important when growing your business, as more products being sold equals more deliveries and shipping. If you’re expanding into a new location, that means a whole new set of logistics as well.

Going vertical

For many cannabis businesses, expanding their operation means occupying multiple stages of the supply chain, or being “vertically integrated.” Having multiple locations in itself can be a big endeavor for cannabis businesses, but the challenges that come with expanding are compounded when introducing new facility types.

The management of multiple facets such as cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and retail introduces a fresh set of financial and regulatory hurdles that businesses must navigate.

To ensure seamless operations, upper management must have access to critical information, including:

  • Accurate product inventory levels
  • Real-time product tracking
  • Comprehensive cost analysis
  • Territory/brand performance
  • Pricing analysis
  • Etc.

Unfortunately, a substantial portion of this vital data remains fragmented within disparate siloes, hindering the ability to gain a holistic view.

Transforming this data into actionable insights necessitates more than the standard features found embedded in individual tools; it demands a specialized solution capable of seamlessly integrating and processing data from every facet of the operation.

Where do I start?

Regrettably, not all analytics platforms possess the specialized reporting necessary to address the nuanced needs of the cannabis industry. Converting data into actionable insights across an entire business’s operation requires a solution that delivers tangible, real-world results.

CannaBI Analytics serves as a comprehensive solution tailored to fulfill the specific needs of cannabis businesses, including:

  • Seamless integration
  • Robust data governance
  • Self-service functionality
  • Anywhere, anytime access

For a deeper understanding of how analytics can empower your business, explore CannaBI or peruse our whitepaper—”Cannabis Technology Landscape—Bridging the Gap with Analytics.”

Trevor Branch

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