Legal Cannabis Hits the Minnesota Market – Is Your E-Commerce Website Ready?
Beginning on August 1, 2023, the medicinal and recreational use, possession, and transport of cannabis will be legally permitted for Minnesotans 21 years of age and over. If you’re a cannabis retailer and/or producer, there’s never been a better time to get started on building your e-commerce cannabis website!
That being said, selling marijuana online isn’t as straightforward as selling, let’s say, novelty T-shirts. Cannabis retailers not only have to mind SEO standard practices so that their websites rank on Google, they also have to mind the health and well-being of their customers through age verification, cannabis education, and more.
Here are the 5 most important things you’ll need to help get you started on building your profitable and responsible e-commerce cannabis website.
1. Age Gate Your Site to Visitors of a Legal Age
While this doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone, it’s worth reiterating that cannabis may only be sold to consumers who are 21 years old and older. While online ID verification is the most effective and ideal way to deter underage visitors, a simple pop up form where the visitor enters their date of birth complies with the law, since identification is verified upon delivery of the purchase or when the buyer collects their purchase at your dispensary (if applicable).
2. Optimize your Cannabis Menus for Search Engines
Many cannabis consumers will Google their preferred cannabis product before purchasing online. That means if your dispensary sells a consumer’s preferred product, your online menu must rank among Google’s top results for them to visit your website.
To keep visitors on your website and increase the likelihood of having them make a purchase, make sure that your website works properly on both mobile and desktop. Avoid iFrame-embedded menus and opt for advanced native e-commerce that will help your website build SEO authority. An SEO-optimized cannabis e-commerce store will increase your site’s visitors, boost sales, and improve customer retention.
3. Keep Both Frequent and First-Time Cannabis Users Informed with Educational Content
While experienced cannabis users will certainly be drawn to your website, so will first-time users, considering that Minnesota’s cannabis legislature was recently passed and is only now coming into effect. Inform your website’s visitors about the different kinds of cannabis strains and their effects on the body through blog articles, an FAQ webpage, or through whatever means you think is best for your website.
Branding your cannabis business as being a valuable cannabis education resource will not only earn the trust of first-time cannabis users, but will also supplement your website with keyword-rich content that will boost your site’s SEO. Legitimize your business as an educational resource for experienced cannabis users as well by staying on top of the latest research concerning cannabis.
4. Share your Testimonials & Enable Customer Reviews through Google My Business
If you’re building your e-commerce cannabis website for a storefront dispensary, you might already understand how essential it is for your business to have its own Google My Business profile. Having your dispensary show up in local search results and on Google Maps is a surefire way to drive customers to your website and through your doors.
Registering your dispensary on Google My Business will also enable Google reviews, and give happy customers a place to share their satisfaction with your business and your products, which will not only legitimize your brand as a tried-and-trusted dispensary, but will also aid in boosting SEO.
Online-only dispensaries may also register their business on Google My Business to enable Google reviews and boost SEO, but we also recommend featuring customer testimonials on your website. Testimonials can be featured on a dedicated webpage or scattered across your site. As well as featuring testimonials, enable reviews on your product pages so that your site’s visitors can read other customers’ experiences, and make informed decisions about the product/s they buy.
5. Ensure that Your Website is a Well-Built, Professional E-Commerce Site (We Can Help with That!)
Ensuring that your e-commerce cannabis website is responsible and legally compliant is important, but remember that you’re looking to sell your supply. You should sell your cannabis products the same way you would sell anything through an e-commerce site.
- Make sure that your headlines, content, and product labels feature high-ranking keywords.
- Feature high-quality, crisp photos of your storefront dispensary (if applicable), your products, and of your team, if desired.
- Share engaging social media content on your website that promotes your cannabis products and highlights your brand’s personality and philosophy. Remember to clearly link your social media profiles on your website!
- Keep the purchasing process easy and intuitive for your customers by ensuring that your site is easy to navigate, keeping the search bar and shopping cart icon visible on every webpage, making your products’ add to cart buttons clear, and keeping your check-out process simple and your POS easy to use.
Whether you’re looking to refresh your e-commerce cannabis website as Minnesota’s new cannabis legislature rolls out, or you’re looking to build your site from the ground up, Iceberg Web Design can elevate your cannabis business with beautiful, professional, expertly-crafted e-commerce websites.
With almost two decades’ experience designing and developing websites for businesses, the Iceberg Web Design team is always a phone call away to answer your questions and to discuss how we can bring your vision to life. Contact us to get started!